North Carolina

Xerox bringing hundreds of new jobs to Cary, Gov. Cooper announces

This Tuesday, May 24, 2016, file photo shows Xerox copiers at a store in North Andover, Mass.
This Tuesday, May 24, 2016, file photo shows Xerox copiers at a store in North Andover, Mass. AP

Xerox will create 600 new jobs in Cary as part of a $18.4 million investment, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday morning.

“Not just any new jobs,” Cooper said. “Jobs with an average salary of over $112,000.”

Xerox will receive more than $13.6 million in taxpayer-funded incentives over 12 years for the promise of the new jobs, which comes to about $23,000 per job.

Most of that money is coming from the state government. Wake County, the Town of Cary and the NC Community College System are contributing as well.

Xerox did not elaborate on the types of jobs it will provide, but Naresh Shankar, Xerox’s chief technology officer, said many of the jobs will be technology jobs.

“North Carolina was a logical choice for us,” he said Tuesday. “It will allow us to build a talent pool and, more importantly, take advantage of a fast-growing community.”

Xerox is already in touch with Wake Technical Community College to help develop a specialized program to train potential workers for the new jobs, Cooper said.

Not everyone likes the state’s use of incentives to lure new jobs like these, however.

Donald Bryson, the head of the conservative Civitas Institute think tank in Raleigh, said in an interview Tuesday that he thinks Cooper is being “hypocritical” because he opposes corporate tax cuts in general but also relies on taxpayer-funded incentives to land deals like this.

Bryson said the only difference he sees is that Cooper “gets to pick who gets the tax cuts instead of giving them to all companies across North Carolina.”

Why states use incentives to lure companies

Cooper is not the first North Carolina governor to give companies incentives, and state officials often view them as good investments. The companies that receive incentives don’t get the money if they fail to live up to their promises.

In a news release, Cooper’s office said Xerox is expected to add an estimated $1.7 billion to the state economy over the 12 years of incentives.

Cooper said North Carolina’s schools and quality of life are two reasons why Xerox chose North Carolina for this expansion. And he pointed to a state plan to get 2 million more people in North Carolina with at least some sort of post-high school education in the next decade.

“That is sending a message to the business world out there across this country, and across this world, that North Carolina is going to have the workforce they need,” Cooper said.

But in a brief press conference after the announcement, Cooper said it’s not only about having educated residents.

“I think we’ve cleared up things like House Bill 2 and other forms of discrimination,” Cooper said. “We’re sending a message loudly across this country and the world that North Carolina is open for business.”

The Cary site is the fourth “Center of Excellence” in North America for Xerox, according to a news release. Others are in Palo Alto, Calif.; Webster, N.Y.; and Toronto, Canada.

NC Commerce Sec. Tony Copeland announces that Merck plans to build a new facility in Durham and add 425 new jobs in North Carolina after receiving incentives from the state. The company has invested $1.6 billion in Durham County since 2004.

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Will Doran reports on North Carolina politics, with a focus on state employees and agencies. In 2016 he started The News & Observer’s fact-checking partnership, PolitiFact NC, and before that he reported on local governments around the Triangle. Contact him at wdoran@newsobserver.com or (919) 836-2858.
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