Jun 29, 2022 - Business

Scoop: Chip maker Wolfspeed could add 1,800 jobs in Chatham County

The Wolfspeed logo on a phone in front of a Wolfspeed logo on a wall.
Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Wolfspeed, the Durham-based semiconductor maker formerly known as Cree, could be on the verge of a major expansion in Chatham County, if a state budget proposed Tuesday evening is approved, two sources told Axios.

Driving the news: The budget plan includes $112.5 million for the state's Commerce Department as a potential incentive for a chip manufacturing project in Chatham County.

  • To qualify for the incentive, the chip manufacturer must invest at least $4.8 billion in the county and create at least 1,800 jobs.

Why it matters: The project would be the latest large manufacturing project to select Chatham County, located west of Raleigh.

  • Along with the electric-vehicle manufacturer VinFast, which recently selected Chatham for its first U.S. manufacturing facility, Wolfspeed would bring thousands of advanced manufacturing jobs to the county, and continue the Triangle's growth to the south.
  • Toyota is also building a battery plant in adjacent Randolph County, which is expected to employ another 1,700 workers.

State of play: Wolfspeed has bet big on providing silicon carbide chips to automakers and other industries. In October, the company struck a deal with GM to supply silicon carbide power devices for its EV programs, for example.

Yes, but: In a statement last night, Wolfspeed said it "does not comment on external speculation or rumors about our business operations or plans."

What's next: Both chambers are expected to pass the proposed budget. It would then be sent to Gov. Roy Cooper, who will either sign or veto it.

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