MetLife to fill most Cary jobs locally
Posted November 1, 2013
Cary, N.C. — Insurance giant MetLife Group Inc. broke ground Friday on a technology hub planned for Cary, and officials said about 1,000 of the 1,300 jobs at the complex would be local hires.
The company announced in March that it would invest $125.5 million to consolidate its technology operations in Cary and its U.S. retail business campus in Charlotte. The two moves are expected to bring 2,600 jobs to North Carolina in the next three years.
The Cary jobs will primarily be in information technology and engineering, and the average salary on the campus will top $100,000.
"When you have salaries over $100,000 a year, these people are going to buy big homes, they're going to be shopping in stores and shops and they're going to be spending a lot of money. Hopefully, they'll spend it right here in Cary," Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said.
Executive Vice President Marty Lippert said MetLife has already hired 200 people for the Cary operation and is adding about 25 people each week. The company is looking for people with an entrepreneurial spirit, he said.
MetLife will lease two buildings being developed by Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties Inc. off Weston Parkway, totaling more than 400,000 square feet of office space. A model of the campus on display Friday also included an amphitheater and outdoor sports amenities for employees.
Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr were among the state leaders turning ceremonial shovels of dirt. Burr said he's encouraged that MetLife will bring more than jobs to the area, noting the company's strong commitment to philanthropy in its employees' communities.
"They're doing a lot of things for our country's veterans. They do a lot of things for education, for caregivers, for food banks," Burr said. "They fit well with North Carolina, and I think that is worthy of the investment we've made in them."
North Carolina provided more than $90 million in tax breaks and local incentives to attract MetLife to the state. The package – the largest in the state in six years – included a rebate of 75 percent of the state withholding tax on its new jobs over a 12-year period, which could total $87.2 million; $4 million in worker training at Wake Technical Community College and Central Piedmont Community College; a $2 million grant from the One North Carolina Fund; and a $1.9 million grant from Wake County.
Wake Tech President Stephen Scott said his school is designing a custom training program for MetLife.
"We'll be creating a pipeline of employees for them, trained to their specifications," Scott said. "So, we're excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with them for years to come."