NC tops nation in economic development for second year in a row

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North Carolina ranked first in the nation in an analysis of statewide economic development achievements in 2021.

For achievement, the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) received top honors and won Site Selection magazine’s 2022 Prosperity Cup.

The prosperity cup award is given annually to state-level organizations with the most successful economic development projects in their state in the prior year.

For 2021, North Carolina welcomed 174 new economic development projects.  Those projects are expected to create more than 23,000 jobs for residents and involve the investment of about $10 billion in capital.

“This is not some blip,” said Gary Daughters, Site Selection magazine’s senior editor in a statement.  “North Carolina’s increasingly resonant example represents the triumph of long-term planning, perseverance and adaptability, investment and execution.”


Earlier this year, WRAL TechWire called North Carolina’s economic development wins a “hot streak” in a report.

Following a “blockbuster year,” which is how Melissa Smith, vice president of business recruitment and development at EDPNC, characterized 2021 in the EDPNC annual report that was released earlier this year.

The 174 economic development projects were an all-time high, according to EDPNC’s report.

“The pandemic forced companies to take a hard look at their supplier networks and business forecasts,” Smith said in the annual report. “As companies reassessed, uncertainty gave way to confidence for many.”

But with a dynamic start to 2022, the state could see another record-setting year.  Already, the first quarter of 2022 saw the announcement by VinFast that it would construct a $4 billion automotive assembly plant in Chatham County, the announcement from Eli Lilly that they would build a second North Carolina manufacturing facility in Concord to the tune of $1 billion, and the announcement from Boom Supersonic that it chose Piedmont Triad Airport for the site of the company’s aircraft manufacturing facility, and others.

And, according to EDPNC report, at end of 2021, the state’s active pipeline of projects “represented the highest in potential capital investment on record.”

EDPNC’s data showed that as of the end of 2021, there were 191 potential projects that could create more than 72,000 jobs with nearly $39.3 billion in potential capital investments.


Four megaprojects fueled the record-setting capital investment figures from the 2021 calendar year, according to EDPNC.

Those megaprojects:

There were, of course, other project wins.  Those include a $553.5 million Amgen project in Holly Springs, a $139 million project from Kroger Co. in Cabarrus County, a $213 million project from Abzena in Lee County, the $154 million project from Thermo Fisher Scientific in Pitt County, a the $114.6 million project from Invitae Corp. in Wake County, and a $100 million project from Amazon in Johnston County.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire