RALEIGH- Corning Incorporated and its subsidiary, Corning Optical Communications LLC, will invest $176 million in facilities in Catawba and Cabarrus counties, creating 410 jobs over the next two years, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.

The company will invest $67 million in a new optical cable manufacturing facility in Newton and $109 million to expand its existing optical fiber manufacturing facility in Midland. 

“Corning is a global leader with a longstanding commitment to North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “Companies that continue to innovate and invest in research and development are the kinds of high-tech job creators we want working with North Carolina.” 

Corning Optical Communications (COC) is a worldwide provider of fiber optic communication solutions for voice, data and video networks. Its 165-year-old parent company, Corning Incorporated [NYSE: GLW], has applied its expertise in precision glass, ceramics and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives, including the invention of low-loss optical fiber, which drove a global communications revolution. As a $3 billion segment of Corning Incorporated, COC employs more than 3,000 people across five facilities throughout North Carolina, including two of the world’s largest fiber manufacturing facilities in Midland and Wilmington and two of the world’s largest fiber cabling facilities in Winston-Salem and Hickory.

“Corning is in its 46th year of delivering high-performance fiber optic solutions to global network operators,” said Clark S. Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “This long history in North Carolina – and today’s announced expansions – would not be possible without the ongoing support of local, county and state government entities. This decision is a win/win for Catawba and Cabarrus Counties, and for our highly skilled, diverse and dedicated employees who work and live there.”

COC will hire a variety of workers needed at the two manufacturing operations, including operators, distribution staff, maintenance personnel and other workers. Salaries will vary by position, but the annual compensation for the company’s new jobs will be the following:

Catawba County: $56,963 (average county wage is $39,774)

Cabarrus County: $58,146 (average county wage is $37,808)

North Carolina Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina led the state’s support for the company’s expansion.

“North Carolina is fortunate to have the skilled workforce, location, infrastructure and healthy business climate that a Fortune 500 company like Corning needs to be successful,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland.


Corning’s expansion in Catawba and Cabarrus counties will be facilitated, in part, by Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive the following:

Catawba County: up to $2,613,600 in total reimbursements, over 12 years

Cabarrus County: up to $2,124,000 in total reimbursements, over 12 years

Payments will occur in annual installments over 12 years pending verification by North Carolina Commerce and North Carolina Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets at both locations. JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base with the goal of increasing the overall revenue benefit to the state of North Carolina. The Cabarrus County reimbursement is contingent upon financial participation from local government.

By law, JDIG projects must result in a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For projects in Catawba County and other Tier 2 counties, 10 percentof the eligible grant is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance economic infrastructure in rural counties.  For projects in Cabarrus County and other Tier 3 counties, 25 percent of the eligible grant is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. 

Corning’s expansion in these two counties could provide as much as $998,400 in new funds for the Utility Account. More information is available on county tier designations.


"We are thrilled with this expansion, and proud that this will make Midland home to the world's largest fiber-optic manufacturing facility," Midland Mayor Kathy Kitts said. "Between this expansion and the new facility under construction by Intertape Polymer Group, Midland is fast becoming a prime location for the advanced manufacturing sector."

“Great news,” said N.C. Senator Andy Wells. “The citizens of Newton and all Catawba County are thrilled to have more opportunities to work with a Fortune 500 company producing innovative products used by consumers around the world.”

“The expansion of Corning in Newton will be a welcome addition to our strong manufacturing community,” said N.C. Representative Mitchell Setzer. “I know the company will find a skilled workforce ready to fill these jobs and get to work.”

“We are very proud of our corporate partner, Corning Optical Communications, and commend them for their decision to grow right here in Cabarrus County,” said N.C. Representative Linda Johnson, “where we have the best business climate a company could ask for.”

Project partners

Partnering with North Carolina Commerce and the EDPNC on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Community College System, Catawba County, Town of Newton, Cabarrus County, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation and Duke Energy.