Gov. Pat McCrory returned to Charlotte on Monday for a jobs announcement – the addition of 130 high-paying jobs at a new corporate headquarters.
Areva, a French-owned energy company with a presence in Charlotte since 2002, plans to add the jobs as it relocates its North American headquarters from Bethesda, Md.
McCrory, Charlotte’s former mayor, said the decision by French-owned Areva would add “another jewel in the crown of the Charlotte-area’s energy cluster.”
The move will create 130 mostly engineering jobs at annual salaries that will average $130,000. Areva received a state incentive grant from the state Commerce Department valued at up to $2.5 million over nine years.
Areva is involved in both the nuclear and renewable energy business. Its Charlotte operations all involve servicing nuclear power reactors. It already employs 562 people in Charlotte.
Company President Mike Rencheck said relocating its headquarters to the city will enable easy access to the 19 states it operates in as well as its corporate headquarters in Paris.
The company considered other cities, including Bethesda and Lynchburg, Va., for its headquarters. Mary Alice Hayward, a company vice president, said the presence of a US Airways hub, with regular nonstop flights to Paris, weighed heavily in Charlotte’s favor.
“Transportation and mobility are key” to the success of a global company, she said. “And US Airways’ ability to get us to Europe on one flight and in a timely manner is key.”
McCrory was joined in the announcement by Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Mecklenburg County Commissioners Chairwoman Pat Cotham and House Speaker Thom Tillis.
Tillis alluded to the region’s growing reputation as an energy hub – drawing a collection of companies that revolve around the nation’s largest electric utility, Duke Energy.
“It’s another step in the continued progress in making this region the energy hub of the world,” Tillis said.