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NC Projects Earn 2012 CiCi Awards

For the seventh year, Trade and Industry Development magazine has evaluated economic development projects for its CiCi Awards. The awards recognize 30 projects from the past year in two areas: Community Impact and Corporate Investment. Over 700 applications from all over the U.S. were evaluated for the 2012 awards. Gov. Bev Perdue and the N.C. Department of Commerce had the honor of announcing two of the winning projects, which were among the many economic development projects announced in North Carolina in 2011. 

Semprius, Inc. in Vance County was recognized with a Community Impact Award and Horsehead Corporation in Rutherford County earned the Corporate Investment Award. Combined, the companies are creating over 500 jobs and investing about $440 million.

The CiCi awards feature the largest corporate investment projects. They also recognize projects that may not involve large investments, but notably impacted communities. For the Community Impact Awards, the influencing factor is how the investment will make a difference in the betterment of the community.

Here are excerpts from Trade & Industry Development about North Carolina’s economic development projects:

Corporate Investment: Horsehead Corporation
2012-03-14 Gov Perdue-Horsehead Announcement
Gov. Bev Perdue attends Horsehead Corporation announcement, September 2011

Horsehead Corporation, a leading U.S. environmental services provider and producer of specialty zinc and zinc-based products headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is making a capital investment of more than $350 million near Forest City, North Carolina (Rutherford County), to build a state-of-the-art zinc production facility. The annual incremental EBITDA contribution from the new plant will be approximately $90 to $110 million, the majority of which will not be dependent on the price of zinc.

This investment is expected to create 250 jobs. Construction work, which is hoped to be completed in the third quarter of 2013, is slated to create construction jobs for up to 1,000 people.

Horsehead President and CEO Jim Hensler said, "We are excited to begin the project and are pleased with the support we have received in North Carolina at the state and local level. 

A leading recycler of zinc-bearing waste produced by the steel mini-mill manufacturing process, the Horsehead Corporation facility in Rutherford County will utilize the ZINCEX solvent extraction technology, which discharges significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than older metal smelting technologies.

Community Impact: Semprius, Inc.

Semprius builds it HCPV modules using patented technology and low-cost components that can concentrate the sun’s energy more than 1,000 times onto the world’s smallest solar cells.

“Semprius chose to launch this cutting-edge technology in North Carolina because our investments in education and worker training ensure that they can find the job-ready employees they need,” said Governor Bev Perdue. “These are not just any jobs," she said. "They are making the technology here in Vance County … in North Carolina, that will literally power the future."

The unemployment in Vance County at the time of the announcement was 14.7 percent. A clean economy manufacturing facility in this county with 256 jobs and almost $90 million in investment is a transformational opportunity for this community.

While individual wages for the 256 jobs will vary by job function, the overall average for the new jobs will be $45,565 a year, not including benefits. The Vance County average annual wage is $30,004.

Read the full Trade and Industry Development article.

[North Carolina Department of Commerce Editorial Staff]

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