Economic Development

Creating Jobs Across North Carolina

As a land-grant university, NC State is dedicated to excellent teaching, the creation and application of knowledge, and engagement with public and private partners. By uniting our strength in science and technology with a commitment to excellence in a comprehensive range of disciplines, NC State promotes an integrated approach to problem solving that transforms lives and provides leadership for social, economic and technological development across North Carolina and around the world.

The Economic Development Partnership works across the state to attract new businesses and industries to North Carolina. Working closely with the N.C. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), and local and regional economic development organizations, Director Tom White is instrumental in helping recruit companies to the state while providing real-world opportunities for students and faculty. Under Tom’s leadership, NC State actively participates in outreach and engagement projects with local communities across the state to support economic development.


Meet Tom White

As Director of the Economic Development Partnership, Tom White leads economic development initiatives for NC State, serving as the liaison to local, regional and state economic and workforce development entities. These strategic partnerships result in new jobs and capital investment for North Carolina, as well as meaningful opportunities for students and faculty.

Prior to joining NC State, Tom served as the Director of the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment and Training. He was also president and CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

A graduate of Duke University, Tom also received his Master of Public Affairs from NC State.

If you’d like to connect with Tom, he can be reached at:

5,035 Jobs and $1.35 Billion in Capital Investment

created across North Carolina in FY20 through NC State's economic development partnerships

Economic Impact

Here are a few examples of how NC State’s Economic Development Partnership is supporting North Carolina economic development:

  • Kalyani Transmission Technologies, an advanced manufacturing company based in India, announced an expected $170 million in capital investment and 450 jobs created in Sanford/Lee County.
  • Merck’s new vaccine manufacturing and distribution center in Durham commits $680 million in capital investment and 425 new jobs, with an additional $57 million capital investment and 55 jobs in Wilson County. Read more.
  • GRAIL, Inc., a cancer detection biotechnology company, announced $100 million in capital investment and 398 new jobs at an average annual salary of $71,000 in Durham. Read more.
  • Amazon announced 1,500 new jobs in Garner/Wake County with an investment of $200 million at its new logistics/distribution center.
  • Ameriqual Aseptic, a processing company, announced $23.8 million in capital investment, generating 76 jobs in Montgomery County. Read more.
  • Infosys, an India-based technology company, announced 2,000 jobs and $8.7 million investment at a new technology and innovation center in Wake County. Read more.
  • MAS Holdings, a Sri Lankan apparel and textile manufacturer, announced a 133-job acquisition-expansion in Asheboro/Randolph County, with a $20 million capital investment. Read more.

Workforce Development

Workforce development is another area the Economic Development Partnership supports. A key initiative is “Backpacks to Briefcases,” a program that accepts unemployed or underemployed college graduates and provides them with a fully paid internship with a local company.

Funded by a grant from the Duke Energy Corporation, the program stretches from Wake and Johnston Counties in the Piedmont area to the Cape Fear and Kerr Tar regions. Businesses such as Allied Barton, Bioptigen, Caldwell Banker, Clear Connex, Covidien and Freudenberg IT are a few of the companies that have participated.

NC State's Tom White discusses workforce development initiatives with the National Association of Workforce Board

Watch the video

Community Development

The Economic Development Partnership also leads outreach and engagement with local communities to assist in strategic projects. For example:

  • A Municipal Research Lab economic impact analysis in Henderson/Vance County
  • Submitted a $300,000 proposal through NC Southeast Region to U.S. Commerce EDA Hurricane Recovery/Resilience for Ag Supply Chain Analysis
  • Contract with the Benson Town Council to develop an Economic Development Strategic Plan
  • Partnership with the Town of Angier to develop a Community Visioning Plan
  • Collaboration with the Town of Creedmoor on a reclamation land design project in partnership with NC State’s College of Design