Regarding the recent Under the Dome article regarding Corning Inc. moving its headquarters from Catawba County to Mecklenburg County and the state incentives involved:
It has routinely been the case that state incentives are never used to induce a company to move a facility from one county to another county within the state.
We monitor these matters, and the following is what occurred:
▪ The corporate headquarters in Hickory was in need of major renovations, likely exceeding the cost of a new facility.
▪ The company looked for locations in Catawba County, other regional counties, in South Carolina and also considered existing company facilities in other states.
▪ The company then considered whether to relocate the headquarters to Mecklenburg County or to South Carolina.
▪ The N.C. Department of Commerce offered incentives only for the new jobs that would be created and not for the 500 jobs that existed in Catawba County.
▪ The Department of Commerce offered substantially more incentives for the company to stay in Catawba County than if it located in Mecklenburg County.
▪ This assistance, along with other factors, caused the company to choose Mecklenburg County versus moving to South Carolina.
The state’s incentives programs are used in a common sense and effective way. This project was not a misuse of those programs.
Ernest C. Pearson
President, North Carolina Economic Developers Association