CHARLOTTE – An economic development deal struck between the state of North Carolina and Centene Corporation in 2020 under which the company committed to hire 6,000 workers and invest $1 billion has been terminated.

The company pulled out of the deal earlier this year, as WRAL TechWire reported, but today, the termination of the performance-based economic incentives package was made official with a unanimous vote approving the termination of the Job Development Investment Grant, or JDIG, by the state’s Economic Investment Committee during a regularly scheduled conference call.

Health insurance giant Centene to invest $1B for HQ2 in Charlotte, bringing 6,000 jobs

What’s happening

The health insurance giant selected Charlotte for its second headquarters in 2020.  An economic model used by the state of North Carolina predicted at the time the deal was announced that the impact of the decision would be nearly $30 billion for the state economy.

But earlier this year, Centene pulled back from the deal, citing a changing workforce and changing economy.

In a statement, published by Charlotte-based WBTV, the company said: “Since announcing our plans to establish an East Coast headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, there has been a fundamental shift in the way people want to work. Today, almost 90% of our workforce is working fully remote or in a hybrid work environment, and workplace flexibility is essential to attracting and retaining our top talent.”

With plans to house 6,000 employees in Charlotte, Centene dedicates its new east coast HQ

What will happen with the planned facility?

But the company did say it would complete the construction of the facility it had planned to occupy.  And a representative from the North Carolina Department of Commerce noted on Tuesday’s conference call that the company still planned to maintain a workforce in North Carolina, though did not disclose whether there was a specific number of positions that would remain or be created in the state.

The 2.4 million square foot campus, which was to be constructed in the University City area of Charlotte, was to include a childcare center and early education center, multiple dining venues, a fitness center, a healthcare clinic, pharmacy, and more amenities focused on serving employees, the company said in a statement in 2021.

“Our new state-of-the-art campus and growing Charlotte workforce will enable Centene to drive innovation through technology and continue advancing our mission of serving the most vulnerable populations in North Carolina and across the country,” said Michael Neidorff, the chairman, president and CEO of Centene, in the statement at the time.

NC’s economy takes a $1B hit in project cancellation – fifth announced this year