Wells Fargo CEO says bank has to be ‘more aggressive’ in cutting jobs

Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Charlie Scharf said the bank has slashed tens of thousands of people from its payroll in recent years — but more employees will have to go. As a result, the bank’s severance costs could approach $1 billion in the current quarter.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), which is cutting costs aggressively to boost profitability, saw its workforce peak at around 275,000 employees. Charlotte Business Journal

Boom Supersonic lands backing from Saudi investment fund

Boom Supersonic has landed financial backing from a fund connected to Saudi Arabia’s royal family in a deal the experimental jet company says takes it over $700 million in funding for the business.

Denver-based Boom Supersonic aims to make faster-than-sound passenger jets at the factory it’s building at PTI Airport in Greensboro. Founder and CEO Blake Scholl predicts the aircraft will revolutionize international travel by cutting transoceanic flight times in half.

Last week Boom Supersonic confirmed closing a financing round that included a strategic investment from the NEOM Investment Fund. NIF is a funding offshoot of a Saudi Arabian royal family’s effort to foster economic development, technology innovation and ecological preservation in a swath of northwest Saudi Arabia touching the Red Sea coast. Triangle Business Journal

North Carolina wins 350-job manufacturing plant linked to EV industry

A Japanese company that makes pouches for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles has selected Davidson County to invest $233 million in its first U.S. advanced manufacturing facility, a project slated to create 352 jobs.

Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd expects to set up shop in the city of Linwood. The state estimates the investment will include $3 million in real property acquisition, $65.4 million in real property construction and/or improvements and $164.6 million in tangible personal property. Triangle Business News

North Carolina goes all in on EV batteries. Will it pay off or flop?

Recruiters called it Project Puma: a Japanese company considering North Carolina to locate a 350-job subsidiary to produce lithium-ion battery pouches for use in electric vehicles.

The project – revealed this week as Dai Nippon Printing’s proposed factory in Davidson County – is one in a growing number of battery plants the state has won in recent months on the heels of Toyota (NYSE: TM) in late 2021 announcing plans for a huge plant that will make EV batteries outside Greensboro. Triangle Business Journal

Dominion Energy’s $400M natural gas facility wins approval in Person County despite protests

The Person County Board of Commissioners has cleared the way for a $400 million natural gas project to move forward. But the vote came after a tense two-hour discussion where opponents of the plan had to be escorted out of the venue.

Dominion Energy North Carolina, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE: D), had asked Person County to rezone more than 485 acres off 6401 Helena Moriah Road from rural to general industrial use to allow for the Moriah Energy Center, a liquified natural gas (LNG) storage facility. Triangle Business Journal

Faster rail service between Raleigh, Richmond gets $1B infusion

A new passenger rail route between Raleigh and Richmond has secured a $1 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The grant, announced Tuesday by the office of U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, will fund a route expected to better connect North Carolina with Virginia, Washington D.C., and the Northeast Corridor.

The route is planned to along the CSX Transportation “S-Line” and is part of an effort to make passenger rail more resilient in the Southeast. Joe Milazzo, CEO of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business coalition out of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, called the planned railway “transformational” and something the Triangle business community has consistently supported. Triangle Business Journal

Ralph Lauren to expand North Carolina facility to 1 million square feet

Ralph Lauren is expanding its distribution facility in High Point to more than 1 million square feet.

The city of High Point recently approved a building permit and related work for an expansion of 200,623 square feet to its distribution center of 805,000 square feet at 2755 N.C. 66.

The company was listed as High Point’s largest employer, with 2,687 workers, in High Point Economic Development’s 2022 annual report.

In a statement to the Triad business Journal, the company didn’t disclose the expansion’s effects on employment at the distribution center.

“For more than 30 years, we have called North Carolina home to critical logistics operations. We look forward to expanding our presence with a more than 200,000 square feet addition to our NC66 facility, which will allow us to continue to serve our customers with efficient fulfillment and delivery of orders across North America.” Triangle Business Journal

CEO: Battery maker Forge already hiring for new NC factory

After Forge Nano announced Tuesday that its new offshoot wants to create 200 jobs in Morrisville for a new lithium-ion battery plant, the CEO said hiring has already begun.

CEO Paul Lichty said Morrisville came out of a national search – and the clinchers were the local talent pool, the building itself and the region’s livability.

“We want to build a factory in a place where people want to live,” he said. “Morrisville definitely fits that bill. It’s got great culture, great resources – it’s more than just a factory out in the middle of nowhere.” Triangle Business Journal

Could Toyota build cars at massive Randolph County, N.C. battery plant?

The megasite that Toyota picked for its first U.S. battery plant originated from hopes to lure an auto manufacturer for what would be at the time North Carolina’s first vehicle assembly plant. That didn’t happen, though at an total investment the company now says will come to nearly $14 billion and employing 5,000 people, the battery plant rivals the scale of some vehicle assembly plants.

But could Toyota build vehicles at the Greensboro-Randolph site?

Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina President Sean Suggs was asked at last week’s press event announcing the latest expansion if that could be possible.

It’s likely not Suggs’ immediate concern, as he has his hands full getting battery production going and ramped up. And it isn’t likely his call, as Toyota just in the United States has a corps of executives tasked with major long-term decisions, not to mention the world’s largest car maker’s C-suite in Japan.

But he didn’t precisely say no. Triad Business Journal

People are moving to these NC cities more than any others in 2023, report shows

Over the years, North Carolina has been among the fastest growing states., and according to a new report, it’s been one of the most popular states to move to in 2023. A report from moveBuddha, a relocation technology company, sheds light on which cities and states people have been moving to and away from this year. North Carolina is among the top states seeing the biggest boom in population growth. “South Carolina, North Carolina, and Montana are proven winners year after year after year — interest for moving to these states has outpaced moves out from 2020 through 2023,” the report says. “Of the most searched states with at least 10K mover queries, North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado are attracting the highest proportions of inflow in 2023.”

Asheville and Wilmington are among the top cities to move to in the U.S. Charlotte is making a post-pandemic comeback, as the most popular big city to move to in 2023, with more people moving in than out, the report says. Since 2020, more people have been relocating to southeastern states and mountains in the west, in part due to the pandemic. Charlotte Observer