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Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – “Green jobs” availability will make headlines Thursday afternoon in the Bull City.

A day after Dell announced it was closing its PC manufacturing plant and laying off more than 900 people in Winston-Salem, light emitting diode and semiconductor manufacturer (Nasdaq: CREE) is going to announce an expansion of its Triangle operations with an emphasis on clean tech and green energy.

The news will be disclosed after the stock market closes for the day. Cree shares have soared recently to a 52-week high of $38.97 on Aug. 28 from a low of $12.57. Cree closed at $36.63 Wednesday.

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue is scheduled to be on hand for the announcement from Cree Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Swoboda.

The company announced earlier this week the “green jobs” news at Cree’s headquarters on Silicon Drive in Durham but refused to disclose any details.

Cree is set to announce its latest quarterly earnings on Oct. 20.

Cree has previously disclosed plans for expanding of its operations to meet growing global demand for LEDs. The LEDs are more energy efficient and last longer than other lighting sources.

The company employs some 3,500 people, including 1,500 in Durham.

Planning for expansion, Cree last month raised more than $400 million through a stock offering.

“Cree intends to use the proceeds from the offering for anticipated capital expenditures of approximately $150 million in fiscal year 2010 and additional future capital expenditure needs with the remainder being used for general corporate purposes, including working capital and potential strategic investments,” the company said.

After a strong earnings report in May, Swoboda said he was optimistic about earnings for the quarter ending Sept. 30 and for orders in 2010.

"We are pleased with the strong booking trends for Q4," Swoboda said in a statement. "We also remain optimistic about the growth potential for LED lighting in fiscal 2010, although there is some near term execution risk as we ramp up production to meet these higher targets."