CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper made a stop in Charlotte Monday to give a speech at the new East Coast headquarters of Centene Corporation.
“Centene’s investment here is great for the Charlotte area and our whole state,” Cooper said. “Centene knows that North Carolina has a resilient economy, ready workforce, livable communities and a host of other assets that make our state a leading destination for forward-thinking businesses.”
Gov. Cooper was joined by Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and Mecklenburg County Commissioner George Dunlap expressing excitement for the project.
“This $1 billion is because we are having the largest job announcement in North Carolina's history, and we’re doing it at home,” Lyles said.
Centene's arrival becomes one of the latest major corporations to make Charlotte its new home.
“This really joins the Charlotte area successes we have had over the years with Honeywell, Allstate, Lowe's, Robinhood, Credit Karma, the list goes on and on,” Cooper said.
Centene Corporation provides high-quality health and wellness services for individuals covered by private health insurers, Medicare, Medicaid and government-sponsored plans for military personnel, veterans and correctional facilities. Founded in 1984, the company currently serves more than 23 million Americans across all 50 states. Headquartered in St. Louis, the company reported nearly $75 billion in revenue for 2019, a 24.2% increase from the prior year.
“We chose Charlotte as the home to our East Coast headquarters because we believe it will enable us to continue our strong growth and our mission to serve the most vulnerable populations,” said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO of Centene. “We look forward to our future in Charlotte and intend to be a strong part of the community, as we are in all of the places where we have business operations.”
The health care company plans to create 6,000 new jobs in the Queen City, with 3,000 of those jobs available by the end of next year.
The company broke ground on the facility last summer in the middle of the pandemic, even as the future of the in-office workforce was uncertain.
“Michael said that they were not going to change anything, they were continuing their efforts to come here and to build this facility and so I admired that,” Cooper said.
Filling the roles could still prove to be a challenge as businesses across the Tarheel state struggle to find workers.
"It’s up to us to make sure the compensation is competitive, the benefits, and all the other things we do,” Neidorff said.
It’s clear people across the Carolinas are ready to get back to work, though, as the unemployment rate in the Charlotte Metro Area has decreased from 6.2% in November to 4.4% in April.
"It's one of the great appeals of Charlotte," Neidorff said. "You have a high-quality workforce and we’re able to attract the people we need.”
Cooper said as more companies consider moving to the Tarheel state, he wants to ensure North Carolinians are ready.
"I think these companies are going to be watching us, are we going to invest in education," Cooper said. "Are we going to do what's right with our community colleges and universities? Because they are depending on us to make sure we provide the workforce for them.”
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