RALEIGH — Xerox will create 600 new jobs in Cary as part of a multimillion-dollar investment, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday morning.
“Not just any new jobs,” Cooper said. “Jobs with an average salary of over $112,000.”
Xerox will invest $18.4 million in its new offices but will also receive more than $13.6 million in taxpayer-funded incentives for the promise of the new jobs, which comes out to about $23,000 per job. Most of that money is coming from the state government. Wake County and the Town of Cary and the NC Community College System are all pitching in money as well.
The exact types of jobs Xerox will be hiring for was also not clear. Naresh Shankar, Xerox’s chief technology officer, said many of the jobs will be tech jobs.
“North Carolina was a logical choice for us,” he said Tuesday. “It will allow us to build a talent pool and, more importantly, take advantage of a fast-growing community.”
Xerox is already in touch with Wake Technical Community College, Cooper said, to help develop a specialized program to train potential workers for the new jobs.
Not everyone is a fan of the state’s use of incentives to lure new jobs like these, however.
Donald Bryson, the head of the conservative Civitas Institute think tank in Raleigh, said in an interview Tuesday that he thinks Cooper is being hypocritical because he opposes corporate tax cuts in general but also relies on taxpayer-funded incentives to land deals like this.
The only difference Bryson said he sees is that “he gets to pick who gets the tax cuts instead of giving them to all companies across North Carolina.”
Cooper is not the first North Carolina governor to give companies incentives, and state officials often view them as a good investment. The companies that receive incentives don’t get the money if they fail to live up to their promises, and Cooper’s office said in a press release that over the 12 years those incentives will be paid out, the company’s expansion is expected to add an estimated $1.7 billion to the state economy.
Cooper said North Carolina’s schools and quality of life were two reasons why Xerox chose North Carolina for this expansion. And he pointed to a state plan to get 2 million more people in North Carolina with at least some sort of post-high school education in the next decade.
“That is sending a message to the business world out there across this country, and across this world, that North Carolina is going to have the workforce they need,” Cooper said.
But in a brief press conference after the announcement, Cooper said it’s not only about having an educated populace.
“I think we’ve cleared up things like House Bill 2 and other forms of discrimination,” Cooper said. “We’re sending a message loudly across this country and the world that North Carolina is open for business.”