Yesterday, A Wireless announced its selection of Wake County, North Carolina for its new headquarters and support operations. The company plans to invest $4.95 million and create 250 jobs in five years.
A Wireless is Verizon’s largest exclusive independent retail agent by store count, has more than 1,150 retail locations across 46 states and employs more than 5,500 people. Founded in 1996 in Wilson, N.C., the company currently has dual headquarters in Greenville, N.C., and Eden Prairie, Minn.
“We are thrilled to locate our corporate headquarters in Wake County,” stated George Sherman, Chief Executive Officer of A Wireless. “The community’s robust job market, skilled people, vibrant growth, and strong technology base provide the right resources for us to continue our rapid growth.”
A Wireless’ new headquarters will house executive leadership, operations and administrative functions–including marketing and finance. The new positions are considered critical to the company’s growth and will support an expected $23 million in annual wages.
The company’s selection of Raleigh comes on the heels of a few recent technology-related company location announcements to the area: Trilliant, Credit Suisse and Infosys. These companies selected Wake County, North Carolina, citing many of the same reasons:
A well-educated population – According to data sourced by Wake County Economic Development, Wake County is home to one of the nation’s most well educated populations. Almost half of Raleigh’s residents over the age of 25 have at least a four-year degree—nearly twice the national average. Driving this trend are 12 nearby universities and colleges which have a combined enrollment of over 100,000 students and confer more than 20,000 degrees annually.
Vibrant growth – In addition, Wake County represents one of the fastest growing metros in our state. According to the U.S. census data, the Raleigh metro area added more than 31,500 people, marking a 2.5 percent change from the previous year and making Raleigh the 14th fastest growing area in the country.
A healthy job market – In 2015, Raleigh was ranked the #2 City Creating the Most Technology Jobs by Forbes. Companies like Red Hat, IBM, SAS, Citrix and many others have helped Wake County stay atop the corporate relocation short list. In the technology sector, Wake County’s workforce excels in software development, defense technologies, interactive digital media and open source technologies.
A Wireless’ expansion in North Carolina is supported by a state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) of up to $3.3 million over 12 years. This grant reimburses a portion of the personal income tax withholdings to the company, contingent upon companies meeting committed job and investment targets. Over the term of this grant, A Wireless’s expansion is expected to grow the state’s economy by an estimated $640 million.
Because A Wireless chose to locate in Wake County, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $1.1 million 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 Wake, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps communities across the state.
This project was led in partnership by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the North Carolina General Assembly, the City of Raleigh, the North Carolina Community College System and Wake County Economic Development.