By: Michael Haley, Executive Director
Bandwidth Inc. (NASDAQ: BAND), has announced a major expansion of its Raleigh, North Carolina operation. Bandwidth has designated Raleigh as its corporate headquarters and will expand operations in Wake County by adding 1,165 jobs and generate more than $100 million in capital investments.
Why is this announcement so important? I think it is because of the long-lasting impact it will have on Wake County. This impact can be summarized in four key reasons.
Headquarters are essential to communities
Headquarters are vital to any community. A company’s headquarters are most often where community philanthropic activity occurs and has a direct impact on the arts, culture, education, and community development. Wake County is at a tipping point; a period in its evolution at which the community is properly positioned for growth and attracting more headquarters. We (WCED) have made growing and attracting headquarters a major part of our new five-year economic development strategy under our Economic Prosperity Pillar as part of our EDGE 6 program.
Bandwidth joins an impressive list of tech companies headquartered in Wake County: Red Hat, Lenovo, SAS, EPIC Games, Pendo, and many more have decided to make Wake County their home As well as other companies headquartered in our community: Advance Auto Parts, Capitol Broadcasting Company, First Citizens Bank, Gregory Poole Equipment Co., Fred Smith Company, Highwoods Properties, Martin Marietta, John Deere Agriculture and Turf, and RTI International.
Building and strengthening our tech cluster
While the numbers show we have a diverse economy, there are significant concentrations in a few key industries. Three key sectors that help drive our regional economy are Life Sciences/Biotech, Advanced Manufacturing, and IT/Technology. Defining these industry clusters is important because they support and represent the collaboration between firms, academia, and government, drive talent attraction, and spur innovation and entrepreneurship.
Technology has long been a fundamental cluster in Wake County. Propelled by global tech leaders, the region’s tech scene offers a rare combination of innovative culture mixed with affordability. The strength of the tech scene is also driven by talent. Wake County is expected to increase by 14.8% in tech jobs in the next five years (2018-2023), more than double the national average of 7%.
Great example of amazing corporate culture
The Research Triangle region is home to an amazing array of tech companies that put community and culture at the center of everything they do. Companies like SAS, Red Hat, Citrix, Credit Suisse, Lenovo, IHS Markit, MetLife, and many others are leading global examples. Bandwidth has long been one of these companies and further solidifies our region’s growing reputation as a leader in a people-first corporate ethos.
Another driver for talent recruitment
We have all heard the stat: Wake County is growing by 64 people a day. Over 46 people are moving to our community each day to find a new job, start a new career, experience our amazing quality of life, or launch a new company. Top tier talent from across the U.S. and around the world are attracted to our community because it offers an array of opportunity. Bandwidth’s announcement and diversity of positions it offers is yet another driver in attracting global talent to Wake County.
Bandwidth’s announcement represents the future of Wake County. We are excited about the new jobs and amazing investment that will impact Raleigh, Wake County, and the region for many years to come. Bandwidth will be an important part of our next chapter.