Enticed in part by a package of tax incentives, grants and training assistance, Dell said Tuesday morning that it would build a computer manufacturing facility in North Carolina.

In a joint statement with Gov. Mike Easley, Dell CEO Kevin Rollins said the 400,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility would be built in the Triad.

The site is still to be determined, Dell said in a separate statement.

The new plant will be used to build desktop computers when it opens in the fall of 2005, the company said. Some 700 people will be employed initially and reach 1,500 over five years, Dell said.

Easley’s office said Dell will invest $100 million in building the plant over the next five years.

The state said total employment at the facility would reach 2,000 when jobs created by strategic partners with Dell are included.

Rollins cited three reasons for the decision to pick North Carolina.

“The education system, commitment to business and proximity to a large and growing base of Dell customers were important in our decision to expand into North Carolina,” he said. “Our growth, and the need for increased manufacturing demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of our people and the direct way to do business.”

Dell already has manufacturing facilities in Tennessee and Texas. The expansion is the third Dell has announced this year, driven by growth. Dell said it has increased unit shipments by 20 percent in the first six months of this year.

Dell’s headquarters are in Round Rock, TX.

“This is a very exciting announcement for the Piedmont Triad region,” said Don Kirkman, president and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, the economic development and marketing organization for the 12-county region, in a statement. “The fact that Dell chose the Triad for this project affirms our region’s strategic location for advanced manufacturing and distribution companies serving East
Coast markets.”

North Carolina’s Department of Commerce, the governor and business executives in the Triad worked aggressively to land the plant. The General Assembly approved up to $225 million in tax credits for Dell at a special session last week. A job development incentive grant worth up to $14.1 million was approved by the state Economic Investment Committee. Dell will receive job training assistance from the state’s New and Expanding Industry Training Program, the Golden Leaf Foundation and the Piedmont Triad Workforce Development Boards.

“Dell’s decision to locate in North Carolina means thousands of jobs are headed to the Piedmont Triad, bringing better benefits and skills to an area hit hard by job loss due to federal trade policies,’ Easley said in announcing the deal.”

The state estimates that the Dell plant will produce more than $700 million in net revenue for the state over 20 years.

The Department of Commerce estimates that the Dell plant will serve as a catalyst to create another 6,000 jobs in the Triad.

Because Dell is expected to build its plant in a developed county, the company will pay $4.7 million to the state’s Industrial Development Fund for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina’s rural areas.

Dell: www.dell.com