North Carolina government officials and Toyota will welcome a new industry to the 1,800 acres at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, according to a news conference held Monday.
The project announced is a lithium battery manufacturing plant near US 421 in Randolph County, employing 1,750 people. The announcement comes as automakers compete to build battery factories in the country to prepare themselves for the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.
Chris Reynolds, chief administrative officer for Toyota Motor North America, said Monday marked the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial partnership and a strong relationship with the state.
According to Reynolds, this project is the largest private capital investment in North Carolina history. Toyota announced in October that they would invest 13 billion globally, $3.4 billion in the U.S., and will now develop and localize automotive battery production in the county.
Production will begin in 2025 to deliver 1.2 million battery packs per year. Reynolds said the company could not think of a better location because North Carolina has an extensive highway and railway system, world-renowned education and consistent ranking with businesses.
"North Carolina has an outstanding and diverse workforce, one we intend to hire from, train and develop so that your children can have great jobs," Reynolds said.
Local and state officials further believe this partnership is essential to building the workforce. Gov. Roy Cooper believes it is another important chapter in North Carolina's economic history. Cooper said the state had been first in partnering with industries that change people's lives.
"Good things come to those who wait. Today we announce Toyota will invest $1.29 billion for its first automobile battery manufacturing plant," Cooper said on Monday. "Electric vehicles and hybrid batteries will be produced here. It will be for the cleaner cars of today and tomorrow."
Sen. David Craven came back to Randolph County after college and worked toward this project to help other young individuals find employment where they grew up. He said the project is a scale of magnitude in the county by allowing residents the opportunity to live and have quality jobs.
"I believe this announcement puts Randolph County and the Piedmont/Triad on the map towards an advanced manufacturing type of area," Craven said. "The goal is to build thousands of jobs and as people realize what came here (Monday), other companies are going to look to do the same thing. Adding to the trend of bringing more jobs to the county."
Darrell Frye, chairman of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners, agrees that Toyota's presence in Randolph County is a transformational project. Frye is glad to be a part of the process and looks forward to a growing economy.
Petruce Jean-Charles is a Government Watchdog Reporter. They are interested in what's going on in the community and are open to tips on people, businesses and issues. Contact Petruce at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @PetruceKetsia on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on The Courier-Tribune: Greensboro-Randolph Megasite announcement, economic development