Siemens expansion to add 825 jobs in Charlotte

Charlotte, NC - By Jeff Rivenbark - email & Melissa Hankins - email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Siemens Energy plans to create a new hub in Charlotte to manufacture gas and steam turbines that will create 825 new jobs and over 100 million square feet of manufacturing capability.

The announcement was made Thursday morning at Siemens' location on Westinghouse Boulevard.

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue said a state incentives committee approved giving the company more than $22 million once the new workers are hired.

"Had Siemens gotten unhappy with North Carolina, what that meant was there would have been no expansion, but there also would have been a closure of the 700+ jobs that were [already] here," Perdue said.

The company plans to build a plant next to its existing large steam turbine and generator manufacturing site which already employs nearly 800 people in Charlotte.  They will begin construction on the new site this summer.

The first round of new hires will consist of 450 jobs and Siemens plans to employ 825 at the new facility by 2014.

"Eight hundred and twenty five new jobs is just a start," Perdue added. "I've got that confirmed from the big cheese here."

The company also plans to invest at least $135 million into the city over the next five years.

It will be the biggest manufacturing move in Mecklenburg County in over 30 years.

Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan tweeted Thursday afternoon that the expansion will make Siemens the largest manufacturer in Mecklenburg County.  He said this announcement is the biggest of its kind since IBM's announcement in 1978.

Siemens officials said last spring it would add hundreds of jobs in Charlotte as it increased the energy division's offerings of climate protecting technology for power plants.

"A number of other cities competed for this new plant, and Siemens' choice of Charlotte proves the city is well positioned to become a national clean-energy center," U.S. Senator Kay Hagan said in a written statement.  "The turbines and generators created at this plant will enable the production of clean, America-made energy."

The company will export products made at the new Charlotte plant throughout the United States as well as the Middle East, South America and Asia.

The United States is one of Siemens' largest markets.  The company said Siemens-built power plants supply one-third of North America's electricity.  They currently employ more than 10,000 people in the US, and by 2014, there will be more than 1,500 employees working in Charlotte.

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