RALEIGH, N.C. — Encouraged by a wave of interest in companies possibly building new facilities in North Carolina, the Commerce Department is trying to make the state even more attractive.

The News & Observer reported Thursday that the Commerce Department is asking the General Assembly to increase the Job Development Investment Grant program to $30 million.

According to The N&O and other media reports, North Carolina is being considered as the site for new plants or operations by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Fidelity Investments, Novartis and Toyota.

As many as 35,000 new jobs and $8 billion in new investments could be won by the state this year, Don Hobart, legal counsel for the Commerce Department, told The N&O.

The state recently prevailed in a court fight over incentives used to lure a Dell computer manufacturing facility to the Triad.