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Corning To Expand Hickory, Winston-Salem Plants

Corning Inc. says growing demand for optical fiber in communications networks is behind plans for a $30 million expansion of its optical cable plant in Hickory. The company also announced a similar sized expansion of another plant in Winston-Salem.

Altogether, the company will create at least 205 new jobs and bring new investment of $83.5 million in the state over the next five years, according to an announcement from the office of Gov. Pat McCrory.  If Corning meets its hiring and investment promises, it's eligible for $1.93 million in state Job Development Investment Grants. 

In Hickory, the company says it will add 150 jobs over the next five years, with an average wage of $58,000, according to Catawba County business recruiters. Hickory's median household income is about $42,000. 

Elected leaders in Hickory and Catawba County held a joint meeting Monday night, where they approved local economic incentives for the project, which local leaders dubbed "Project Lighthouse."

In Winston-Salem, Corning could add up to 100 new jobs over the next five years. County commissioners approved local incentives Monday, and Winston-Salem leaders have scheduled an Oct. 3 public hearing and vote on city incentives.  

Corning's expansions come as the company is building a $38 million headquarters for its optical communications business off I-485 in northwest Charlotte.