12/22/05 — Industry locating in Wayne County

View Archive

Industry locating in Wayne County

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 22, 2005 1:51 PM

Andrew Corp., a designer, supplier and manufacturer of communications services and equipment, is coming to Wayne County and bringing 204 new jobs.

The Wayne County Economic Development Corp. announced the company's decision at a press conference this morning.

Andrew Corp., which is based in Illinois, employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. Last year, its sales totaled $1.96 billion.

The company had operated a facility in Smithfield, which is closing in 2006. Andrew Corp. will relocate 232 existing jobs from that facility, and will add the 204 additional employees at its new building in Wayne County.

EDC executive director Joanna Thompson said the work to bring the company to Wayne County started roughly one month ago. She said the company made such a quick decision because executives liked the Park East industrial park and the available workforce in the region.

Groundbreaking on the new 125,000-square-foot facility should begin in January, Mrs. Thompson added.

"The company will be constructing a new facility at Park East," she said. "We hope to have a groundbreaking sometime soon. It's going to be a pretty fast and furious time for us."

Andrew Corp.'s decision to keep and expand its facility in North Carolina was due in part to an incentive offered by the state. The company will become the 35th recipient of a Job Development Incentive Grant (JDIG) since the program was founded by Gov. Mike Easley in 2002, according to a press release from the state about the jobs announcement.

JDIG grants are awarded only to projects whose benefits exceed their costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

Under the 10-year agreement, which was unanimously approved by the state Economic Investment Committee, the project will generate a cumulative gross state product value of $503 million and will produce a positive net state revenue of $7.3 million.

Before choosing Wayne County, Andrew Corp. was looking into relocating to South Carolina or Mexico.

This morning, numerous county commissioners, City Manager Joe Huffman, Sen. John Kerr and County Manager Lee Smith were on hand to acknowledge the announcement.

All offered their congratulations to the EDC for its hard work and for bringing more jobs and money to Wayne County.

"I think this is only the beginning of something even better," Kerr said. "And I think we owe a debt of gratitude to the staff here."

Easley also noted the impact of the announcement.

"Andrew Corporation's decision to remain in North Carolina will enhance our already strong presence in the information technology sector and provide more than 200 new jobs for the state," he said in a press release. "North Carolina is a major center for telecommunications, networking and software development with 2,300 IT companies employing more than 200,000 highly skilled workers."