RALEIGH – As the aftershocks from Apple’s announcement of a new $1 billion campus in the Triangle and 3,000 high-paying jobs continued to reverberate Monday morning, the CEO of the state’s largest pro-tech business lobbying group sees challenges and opportunities ahead.

“There will be pressures generated by the growth we are seeing, but states and regions adapt…we always have,” NC TECH’s Brooks Raiford told WRAL TechWire. “And the COVID impact on making remote working more widespread has turbo-charged the interest of companies – and workers – in areas like ours where people can live a good life affordably.”

The state already has thousands of open tech jobs with many of those in the Triangle. And companies keep coming or expanding, such as Google. These also are prestige firms paying big salaries. Apple’s jobs are in the $180,000s.

As a result Raiford says workers can be expected to swap employers, looking for the best deals.

“Marginally,” he said of job shopping. But overall Raiford expects the Triangle to attract more workers from across the US.

“There is already a strong mix of larger tech sites/campuses in the are, ranging from tech companies like IBM, Cisco, Lenovo, etc. and tech-enabled companies like MetLife, Credit Suisse, Fidelity Investments, and many others.  The creation of 3,000 new jobs by Apple of a number of years will further spotlight the area, attracting new talent in addition to any shifts between employers.

“North Carolina, and the Triangle in particular, are magnets for highly skilled workers,” he added. “The demand for experienced tech workers will continue to draw top talent from elsewhere to join the existing mix of early-career and seasoned professionals.

When Google announced its new engineering hub for Durham recently and the creation of some 1,000 jobs, job recruiters said talent demand would hit smaller firms. But Raiford said he sees options to corporate raiding.

“Fortunately, there is a thriving small-to-midsized company ecosystem here, and in many cases they partner with larger companies,” he pointed out.  “The increased attention brought by announcements from Apple, Google, and other well-known brands will also benefit other employers seeking highly skilled workers.”

Raiford also said the addition of Apple will help attract more companies as well as more workers to the region.

“This announcement is just the latest in a string of major similar news – Google, Amazon, Fidelity, Credit Suisse, and others all add to the lumen strength of the spotlight on North Carolina and the Triangle.”

So how can workers looking for a new job take advantage of opportunities at Apple and other firms?

“It’s essential to take advantage of all of the private and public organizations/institutions that offer education and training, such that a worker’s skills are continuously improving,” Raiford said. “We often use the term ‘stackable credentials’ – a mix of traditional degrees, certifications, boot camps, [and more.]

NC TECH just hosted a virtual job fair last week with more than 1,000 positions available from numerous firms. Look for another one. Soon.

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