The Queen City Becoming "The Energy Capital of the World"
CHARLOTTE NC: The Queen City is becoming "The Energy Capital of the World." Charlotte has been known, in past decades as an industrial center, moving in more recent decades into the banking sector, now considered the 2nd largest banking center in the United States. With 240 companies employing about 25,000 people in Charlotte's energy sector, Charlotte is quickly becoming known as one of the world's largest energy employment hubs.
Jeff Merrifield of The Shaw Group feels that, "A lot of companies are coming from around the country and around the world, placing facilities here and creating a network where we're talking to each other."
New unemployment statistics recently released, show a slight dip in Charlotte's rate to 9.6 percent with most of the new jobs being attributed to the energy sector. Merrifield of The Shaw Group confirms that their employment has grown from 40 to 1,110 over the past 5 years.
Governor Bev Perdue announced 180 new jobs and a SPX's global headquarters expansion in Charlotte earlier this quarter. The jobs are categorized as energy related, just another of recent announcements of expaning energy jobs in the Charlotte NC area.
In September, ABB announced 100 new jobs coming to Huntersville. Merrifield further explains that ABB's additional jobs will be in one of the major facilities for the manufacturing for cable, underground cable around the world. ABB will hire a combination of 100 engineering, technical and production employees for the new Huntersville plant. The average wage for the new jobs will be around $64,008, higher than the $48,776 average in Mecklenburg County.
In March, Governor Perdue unveiled a major economic investment by Siemens. Mark Pringle of Siemens Energy said that his company's expansion shows diversification of energy products too, which is important to sustainable jobs in the area. "We just announced we're adding gas turbine to our manufacturing and service capabilities here and we're going to build a 450,000 sq. ft. addition to the factory and hire over 1,000 people in the next 4 years," said Pringle.
Many of the new jobs announced in Charlotte over the past few years have been in the energy sector and growth in this sector is mostly attributed to an investment and commitment by Duke Energy. Duke Energy brought in some of their suppliers to the area and then Siemens, who was already based here, decided to make the Charlotte hub, the main North American hub. These two major facilitators have spawned and encouraged several other companies' decisions to make the move to Charlotte.
Leaders in the energy industry say that jobs are being created for all education levels and salaries. Also credited with the growth are the area's university systems which provide specialized training for the energy industry.
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Source: Charlotte Chamber of Commerce