CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and industrial conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. announced Friday that the Fortune 100 company is moving its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte.
The move will bring roughly 750 jobs to the area over the next six years -- including 150 positions currently based in New Jersey -- after North Carolina expanded tax breaks for high-paying jobs, according to an economic development official familiar with discussions between state officials and the company.
A second person present during discussions over the incentives needed to lure Honeywell to North Carolina said expanded tax breaks approved by the state legislature Thursday were designed to attract the company.
They spoke on condition of anonymity, citing confidentiality in business recruitment.
"Today is a landmark day," Cooper said during the Friday announcement in Charlotte. "Our state was competitive on so many levels."
He credited the North Carolina workforce for making the move possible.
“With our strong talent, robust infrastructure and unmatched quality of life, including our commitment to education and our low cost of living, North Carolina is the ideal headquarters choice for an elite company like Honeywell,” said Governor Cooper. “Charlotte is perfectly positioned to provide the education and training, infrastructure and amenities to attract and retain Honeywell’s top talent.”
Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk said it was not important to just bring jobs to Charlotte, but that the company wants to be a part of the community too.
"We're already huge Panthers and Hornets fans, so we don't need to be convinced," Adamczyk said. "I've got to come back as soon as we wrap up here and convince a lot, about 150 of my colleagues in New Jersey, what a great city this is."
The company’s move will bring more than $248 million in investment by the end of 2023.
Over the next 12 years, Honeywell will create 3,500 supporting jobs and $8 billion worth of impact in Charlotte and North Carolina.
Honeywell plans to relocate the company’s extended senior management team along with its Safety and Productivity Solutions business group headquarters.
“Today we establish a new way of doing business that illustrates collaboration, promotes economic mobility and elevates our region,” said City of Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. “We welcome Honeywell to the Charlotte region and look forward to building on a long-term, successful relationship.”
The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are supporting the investment through a Business Investment Program grant of $46 million over 15 years; making this the largest BIP ever offered. The county estimates an additional $51 million in net revenue over the 15-year grant.
“This is a huge win for Mecklenburg County,” said Ella Scarborough, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “We are delighted to welcome the new employees of Honeywell to our community. We are proud to have been able to secure one of three Fortune 100 company headquarters relocations that have occurred over the last 18 years. This will have a significant impact on our community.”
Lawmakers hurried through legislation this week that more than doubles the per-job annual cap on tax breaks to $16,000 in a move to attract corporations that move high-paying jobs to North Carolina. State Rep. Bill Brawley, a Republican who represents suburban Charlotte, said he has been involved in bringing a corporation's headquarters and 750 jobs to Charlotte.
"We expect there'll be an announcement soon," Brawley said Thursday.
Honeywell, based in Morris Plains, New Jersey, makes core systems for military aircraft, space satellites and automated office buildings. Its extensive product line also includes fishing line, chemicals used in the oil industry, and a process that turns vegetable oils into diesel fuel.
Honeywell's decision comes three years after it considered leaving New Jersey but received a $40 million tax credit to stay.
On Thursday, North Carolina legislators expanded tax breaks for high-paying jobs, hurrying through legislation that more than doubles the per-job annual cap on tax breaks to $16,000 in a move aimed at corporations that move big-salaried jobs to the state. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's office noted Honeywell's move was contingent on the governor signing the legislation as well as approval of a state package of tax breaks, both expected Monday.
The company's relocation decision was largely based on recognition that in order to incorporate the interconnected, digitally driven features of the business future, Honeywell needed to be located in places appealing to attracting a millennial workforce, the economic development official said.
Honeywell employed 131,000 people worldwide at the end of last year, about 35 percent of those in the United States. The company makes aerospace, energy efficiency, specialty chemicals, electronic and security products.
The company has been stressing that its integration of software into industrial products helps connect aircraft, cars, homes and manufacturing plants.
Honeywell is No. 77 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S.-based companies. Charlotte is already home to Bank of America, No. 24 on the Fortune list, and Duke Energy, No. 125.
The list also includes Charlotte-based steelmaker Nucor Corp., car retailer Sonic Automotive and packaging-maker Sealed-Air Corp. Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos. is based in suburban Mooresville.
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