Global Industrial Company ABB Selects Mebane for 400-Job, $40M Expansion

July 10, 2019

ABB, Inc., a global leader in electrification products, robotics, and industrial automation, will expand its current facility in Mebane, North Carolina, creating more than 400 jobs in Orange County and investing up to $39.9 million to upgrade equipment and increase the size of its plant.

Although wages will vary depending on position, the average salary for all the new positions could reach up to $70,789. The current average wage in Orange County is $46,112.

“Companies like ABB expanding their manufacturing operations means jobs and investment that benefit communities well beyond the walls of its facility,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “North Carolina will work to grow our education programs and improve workforce preparation so that companies continue to choose to grow and invest across our state.”

ABB is a pioneering technology leader serving customers around the world with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With global headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, and its U.S. headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, the company is known for its customer-focused, globally leading businesses in the areas of electrification, industrial automation, motion, robotics and discrete automation, and power grids. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees worldwide.

“ABB is a global company with a strong, local footprint. That means we think globally on a strategic level and hire and grow locally,” said Greg Scheu, ABB president Americas region. “Our U.S. headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, is strategically important to ABB. In fact, ABB employs more people in North Carolina, well over 3,000, than in any other state. This expansion in Mebane is further proof of our commitment to the region.”

“North Carolina is committed to remaining a leader in manufacturing and companies recognize our potential to grow with them,” said state Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “Leading our list of strengths is the North Carolina workforce, which provides the skills companies need for advanced manufacturing operations.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) led the state’s support for the company’s decision.

ABB’s project in Orange County will be supported, in part, by a state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG). Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $1 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the 403 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $4,369,500, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur after the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

Because ABB chose a location in Orange County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $1,456,500 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 3 county such as Orange, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state.

To secure this project, state Commerce and the EDPNC worked with partners including the North Carolina Community College System, Orange County, the city of Mebane and Orange County Economic Development.