RALEIGH: Advance Auto Parts to bring 600 jobs to Raleigh - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Advance Auto Parts to relocate CEO to Raleigh, bring 600 jobs

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Advance Auto Parts will open a Corporate Support Center in this Carquest building on Millbrook Road. Advance Auto Parts will open a Corporate Support Center in this Carquest building on Millbrook Road.

State officials announced Wednesday that Advance Auto Parts will relocate its CEO and other executives to Raleigh, generating an expected 600 jobs by 2017.

The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee unanimously voted to award $17.4 million in Job Development Investment Grants to Advance Auto Parts to bring 600 jobs to Wake County. Company CEO Darren Jackson, President George Sherman and Chief Financial Officer Mike Norona will all relocate to the office on Millbrook Road.

"We're proud to partner with Advance Auto Parts to bring more high-paying management jobs to our state," Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday. "This announcement is further evidence that North Carolina's economy is growing and that we are serious about investing in our workforce."

The company, which is headquartered in Roanoke, Va., plans to create an expected 600 new jobs by 2017 and invest more than $5 million when it establishes its Corporate Support Center in Raleigh. The positions that will be based in Raleigh include corporate functions related to merchandising, marketing, supply chain and commercial sales.

The compensation for the new positions will vary by job function, but the average total compensation will be approximately $110,000 plus benefits.

Virginia also bid for the Corporate Support Center. Advance Auto Parts spokeswoman Shelly Whitaker told WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Va., that the company's headquarters is not moving to Raleigh and five departments currently based in Roanoke will be moved to the new location.

"We are pleased to partner with North Carolina and we are delighted that Raleigh, along with Roanoke, Va., will be part of our effort to organize our corporate operations around two Store Support Centers in the Southeastern United States," said company CEO Darren Jackson. "These locations will play an important role in our efforts to serve our customers, drive profitable growth and support the needs of the communities in which we operate."

The company also would not say how many of those 600 jobs were new jobs, as opposed to existing employees who planned to relocate to Raleigh. Whitaker said Roanoke will still have about 1,600 jobs, the same number currently employed there.

In January 2014, Advance Auto Parts acquired Raleigh-based General Parts International, Inc. The acquisition created the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, with annual sales of more than $9.3 billion.

General Parts is the parent company for Carquest.

Critics say jobs trend remains bleak

Critics on the left say the announcement does not stop a trend toward lower-paying jobs since the recession technically ended in 2009.

"Anything that brings family wage jobs to North Carolina is terrific, but we shouldn't lose sight of the big picture," said Jeff Shaw, with the N.C. Justice Center.

The N.C. Justice Center did its own analysis that showed more than 80 percent of new jobs created in North Carolina since 2009 pay less than $33,700 a year.

"I would say it's an anomaly," Shaw said of the Advance Auto Parts announcement. "Any good job, any high paying job that gets created in North Carolina is good news, but it certainly cuts against the larger trend of low wage jobs that are being created."

Commerce Department spokeswoman Kim Genardo fired back saying, "Any job is a good job for anyone wanting to work."

She said the announcement showed North Carolina leaders were working hard to turn around a slow economy.

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Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms.

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