Corning Optical Communications to move headquarters to Charlotte, create 150 jobs

Published: Dec. 8, 2015 at 5:33 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2016 at 5:33 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Corning Optical Communications, headquartered in Hickory, is moving the company headquarters to Charlotte. The new corporate headquarters will create 150 new jobs in Mecklenburg County, Governor Pat McCrory says.

The company made the announcement at their current location, on 17th Street NW, around noon Tuesday.

Corning specializes in fiber optic solutions and plans to invest $38.7 million by the end of 2018.

Of course, not everybody is happy about the news. Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright said he wanted to see the company's headquarters staying in the Catawba Valley.

"We really fought to keep them here," Wright said. "Some things are just out of our control. We are working hard in Hickory to create a place where young professionals can work and live."

The company currently employs 1,300 people in Hickory. Isolde Karro, with Corning Optical Communications, told WBTV that approximately one-third of the employees will be affected.

"Our hope is that every employee makes the transition with us," Karro said. "We are hoping to build northwest of Charlotte, somewhere in the I-485 and I-77 corridor."

Karro told WBTV the Charlotte location will give them central access to other Corning locations. Also, the Charlotte location offers access to major commodities, like Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The company has more than a thousand people on the payroll in Catawba County, most of them at a manufacturing plant making fiber optic cable. Still, several hundred work at the headquarters building off of Highway 321.

The Charlotte positions are expected to average more than $80,000, McCrory says. The average wage in Mecklenburg County is $59,882.

"Corning is a global leader whose name has been prominent in North Carolina's business community for many years," McCrory said.

The structure is 40 years old. Earlier this year, company officials said the building was not suited well anymore for the the growing company.

Last Spring, the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce asked citizens to help convince Corning Optical Communications to keep its headquarters in Hickory.

"Today's announcement builds on the solid foundation this innovative company has in our state, and I am proud we emerged as the top choice for this important headquarters and the new jobs that come with it," McCrory said.

Corning has 30 locations and more than 17,000 employees worldwide. McCrory says the business employs more than 3,000 people in five North Carolina locations.

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