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SPX To Stay, Expand In Charlotte

Fortune 500 company SPX has decided to stay in Charlotte, build a new global headquarters and transfer up to 180 additional jobs here. State and local government have pledged incentives worth up to $9 million if SPX delivers on the new jobs. Half of the incentives come from the state's job development grant fund, the other half from the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. SPX CEO Chris Kearney says the $9 million incentive package was critical. "(The incentives) are not insignificant to us in terms of our decision making," says Kearney. "That's why we so appreciate all of the government entities coming together to make this work." SPX makes high-tech products that are used in power plants, food and beverage factories, as well as car repair. The company moved its headquarters to Charlotte's Ballantyne area in 2001, but was considering leaving when lease expired in 2012. Governor Bev Perdue placed a call to SPX to help seal the deal. "We're not just trying to get the big gorillas from out of state - we're trying to get the big gorillas and small companies right here in North Carolina growing jobs," said Perdue at a jobs announcement in Charlotte. "SPX is a really good NC company and this additional job growth is as important to me as was the initial hunt to get them to come here." Perdue touted a list of job creation successes in recent months: Facebook, Pepsi, Seimens, Caterpillar and now, SPX. "There's no company that we like any more than this company," says Perdue at the SPX expansion announcement. So far this year, companies have pledged to create more than 8,500 jobs in the Charlotte region. SPX will move into a new building near its current location, where it will consolidate operations in the Americas. The 180 new jobs will pay an average of $82,917 a year, but many will be filled by current SPX employees willing to transfer to Charlotte. The $9 million tax incentive package is contingent on SPX transferring those jobs and investing $70 million in the expansion over the next five years.