Hope and confidence are on the rise as North Carolina celebrates several major economic development victories coupled with continued vaccine deployment. The state’s higher education system has long been a key economic driver for our communities. As North Carolina recovers from the pandemic, higher education is in a unique position to advance the economy.
Apple COO Jeff Williams, an 85 NC State Mechanical Engineering alumnus, says he’s proud to create opportunities in the community where he grew up. The company’s new campus in Research Triangle Park is expected to generate $ 1.5 billion in economic benefits per year for the state, creating at least 3,000 new, high-paying jobs in machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering and other advanced fields. These are areas where NC State excels – creating extraordinary opportunities for our students and researchers.
The Apple news follows a series of major job creation announcements. FUJIFILM Diosynth will invest $ 2 billion and create 725 jobs to develop a new bioproduction plant in Holly Springs. NC State partners with personalized workforce training through our bioproduction training and education center and creates collaborations with our researchers in areas important to the innovation strategy of the business.
CEO Martin Meeson tells me that university partnerships are a critical part of the current and future growth of his organization’s workforce. He emphasizes that collaboration is key to our collective success, especially as we seek to meet the ever-growing demand for biopharmaceutical manufacturing talent in North Carolina.
In addition to the growth in health sciences encouraged by the pandemic, the technology sector of the Triangle is booming. Google’s plan to open a 1,000-job cloud engineering center in Durham will make the Triangle one of five locations, alongside New York City, Silicon Valley and two locations in Seattle, with such a facility. Here again, the state’s strong higher education ecosystem plays an important role.
Lilyn Hester, Google’s public affairs manager for the Southeast, cites area research universities and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to meet the company’s recruiting needs, create research partnerships and help Google lead the next evolution in computing.
To meet the growing needs of data science research, education and workforce development in North Carolina, NC State recently launched our Data Science Academy – an incubator for training and partnerships. long-term research.
Access to talent remains dominant in corporate real estate decisions, outweighing costs and other factors. States with strong education systems provide strong talent pools and, therefore, positive economic impact.
In Raleigh, nearly half of the population over 25 has a bachelor’s degree or above, ahead of Austin, Atlanta and Nashville, and slightly behind San Francisco and Boston. Raleigh also shows high growth in STEM completions at 40.3%, again ahead of Austin, Atlanta and Nashville. This data is based on an independent study commissioned by Wake County Economic Development that contrasts Raleigh with the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
As a public land granting university, NC State is committed to partnering with the public and private sectors to improve teaching and learning. Our collaborations with industry have launched 190 startups, brought more than 600 products to market and issued 1,500 patents.
These partnerships solve complex problems, provide hands-on training for faculty and students, strengthen state-wide economic development, create a more skilled workforce, and increase exceptional employment opportunities for students. .
NC State is proud to play a major role in supporting the economy. Through unique public-private partnerships, North Carolina is well positioned to lead the country out of the pandemic and into a stronger economic future.
Randy Woodson is the Chancellor of NC State University and sits on the Board of Trustees of Research Triangle Park.