The Monday morning announcement establishes the company’s first major east coast footprint, and its first new U.S. campus in more than 20 years. The hub will bring plenty of jobs to the local technology industry including machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering and “other cutting edge fields.”
When completed, Apple said its investments will generate more than $1.5 billion in annual economic benefits for North Carolina.
“As a North Carolina native, I’m thrilled Apple is expanding and creating new long-term job opportunities in the community I grew up in,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re proud that this new investment will also be supporting education and critical infrastructure projects across the state. Apple has been a part of North Carolina for nearly two decades, and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow and a bright future ahead.”
Hiring for the new campus is expected to begin immediately, according to an Apple spokesperson. The company plans to lease local office space to accommodate new workers until construction on the 1,000,000 square foot campus is complete on land secured by Apple in Wake County near RTP.
“We’re delighted that Apple chose Wake County as the site for its newest research and development campus,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. “An investment of this magnitude is transformational for our community, bringing great jobs and long-term economic benefits.
“It also proves that we have the right combination of talent and innovation to attract industry-leading companies who want an exceptional quality of life for their employees.”
Governor Roy Cooper and the state Commerce Department have been negotiating with the company on tax incentives to land the new campus. An Apple spokesperson confirms the company is accepting Job Development and Investment Grants (JDIG) for the project. The total is unspecified at this hour.
“At this moment of recovery and rebuilding, Apple is doubling down on our commitment to US innovation and manufacturing with a generational investment reaching communities across all 50 states,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, wrote in a statement. “We’re creating jobs in cutting-edge fields – from 5G to silicon engineering to artificial intelligence – investing in the next generation of innovative new businesses, and in all our work, building toward a greener and more equitable future.”
Apple’s announcement comes as the company plans to invest more than $430 billion and add 20,000 new jobs across the United States in the next five years.
$100 Million Dollar Infrastructure Fund
Apple says it will also establish a $100 million fund to support schools and community initiatives in the Raleigh-Durham area and across the state. There will also be an over $110 million investment to fund infrastructure going toward broadband, roads and bridges, and public schools, in the 80 North Carolina counties with the greatest need.
The investments are expected to generate $1.5 billion in economic benefits annually for the state.
“By 2029, Apple’s investment and job creation is expected to generate at least $1.5 billion annually for the state of North Carolina,” said Dr. John Connaughton, UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business.
Apple’s Racial Justice and Equity Initiative
Apple’s move into the Triangle brings it closer to the students of color the company has made recent strides to empower through racial justice efforts. Late last year, the company announced a $100 million dollar initiative to help dismantle systemic barriers and promote racial equality for people of color. Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh partnered with the tech company for a first-of-its-kind education hub for historically Black colleges and universities based in Atlanta. Monday’s announcement has the potential to bring that partnership much closer to home.
“Our region (Triangle Area of North Carolina) is bursting with creative, innovative and problem-solving partnership opportunities between Apple and Saint Augustine’s University,” said SAU President Christine Johnson McPhail. “We are excited about the opportunity to become a hub to build the capacity to promote pathways for more of our students and community residents to enter the STEM workforce.”
With 1,100 current employees in North Carolina, Apple’s hub in RTP will more than triple the company’s Tar Heel state footprint.
“The Research Triangle Park was the 2nd research park in the world and remains one of the largest and most successful. Transformational events have occurred during RTP’s 61 year history; Apple’s decision to undertake a leadership role in our community certain. “The Research Triangle Foundation of NC, founder and administrator of Research Triangle Park, celebrates Apple’s decision to become a leader among our 310 companies.”
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.