Thousands of jobs, new projects fill Wake County’s potential economic pipeline

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by Rick Smith

Economic developers in Wake County are having an exceptional year with significant announcements for facilities and new jobs. But the even better news is that the pipeline for future projects continues to be quite promising.

So as the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce gathers for its annual meeting Tuesday afternoon, the head of economic development has plenty of good news to share.

“The pipeline remains strong,” Michael Haley of Wake County Economic Development tells WRAL TechWire. “We continue to see a variety of projects in terms of potential job creation and investment.”

Haley’s latest update comes in a year when Apple has announced plans for a new campus and a $1 billion expansion planned at North Hills. Life scinece projects such as the $2 billion Fujifilm Diosynth and another from Amgen also mean jobs.

“Our region is having an incredibly strong year,” Haley says. “Since our fiscal year began in October WCED has announced 5,815 jobs and $3.7B in capital investment, which is by far our best year yet. We are pleased by recent rankings recognizing our community as a top place to live, a global life science hub, a ‘millennial magnet’ and top tech hub, among other accolades. Being included on lists like these energize us to keep working on our community and ensuring its success for years to come.”

In the latest economic update available – July – Wake County Economic Development reported 48 active projects under consideration that could mean another 10,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in investment.

More development is coming to Wake beyond the economic rebound expected from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic induced recession.

“The increased interest and traffic is a result of years of intentionality and collaboration across our region,” Haley explains. “Our high quality of life, talent pipeline, education and workforce partnerships and strong business ecosystem continue to anchor our community as one of the best places to live and work. These numbers fluctuate from month to month, but the pipeline has remained strong overall. ”

As for the rest of the year, Haley remains optimistic despite the resurge of COVID caused by the “Delta” variant.

“At this time, interest is remaining steady,” he says.

Here is the latest data from WCED:


  • New & Expanding Company Announcements since October 1, 2020: 71
  • Jobs: 9,037
  • Investment: $3.4 billion
  • Total Projects received Since October 1,  2020: 89
  • Potential Jobs: 24,220
  • Potential Investment: $4.6 billion
  • Client Visits: 33
  • Active Projects 48
  • Potential Jobs: 9,934
  • Potential Investment: $2.5 billion

Here’s where the project pipeline looked like a year earlier:

JULY 2020

  • New and Expanding Metrics since October 1, 2019:
  • New & Expanding Company Announcements: 75
    Jobs: 5,866
    Investment: $396 million
  • Project Metrics
  • Total Projects received Since Oct. 2019: 72
  • Potential Jobs: 16,041
  • Potential Investment: $3.9 billion
  • Client Visits: 34
  • Active Projects: 34
  • Potential Jobs: 9,139
  • Potential Investment: $1.9 billion

Original Source: WRAL TechWire