The company behind Bubble Wrap is popping in nearly 1,300 jobs in Charlotte. Sealed Air Corporation announced Wednesday it's moving its headquarters here from New Jersey. The Fortune 500 company could eventually get more than $41 million in state and local incentives.
Before the announcement, Charlotte Chamber employees put strips of Bubble Wrap under everyone's seats.
And then as Governor Pat McCrory described how Sealed Air Corporation makes protective wrapping for "food products, for medicine products, the list goes on and on - even the famous product called Bubble Wrap."
McCrory was interrupted by a handful of people popping their Bubble Wrap, making that distinctive crackling sound.
"Look at this!" he said with a laugh. "Everyone do it at once!"
The Chamber turned into a Bubble Wrap party, with the crackling sound, cheers and laughter filling the conference room. (You know how much fun kids have with Bubble Wrap? Imagine that, but a room full of business people.)
Of course, the announcement eventually got back to business: Sealed Air Corporation is moving its headquarters to Charlotte and plans to create 1,262 jobs over the next three years.
CEO Jerome Peribere said that a year ago, the company overhauled its logo and changed its tagline to "Re-Imagine."
"What better proof that we are able to re-imagine our company than gather our headquarters, gather our three divisions, all of this into what we want to call a campus that we're going to build and can't wait for having it built, to re-imagine Sealed Air," he said.
That new campus will be part of the nearly $60 million Sealed Air plans to invest in the area. The company plans to decide in the next two months where to build it.
Sealed Air is getting the largest incentives package the state has put together so far this year, says Graham Wilson with the N.C. Department of Commerce.
"In assurance that they're going to bring these 1,262 jobs to Charlotte, benefits could be more than $36.7 million," he said.
On top of that, the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are offering incentives worth $4.4 million.
Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble says the city is still trying to figure out how many of the new jobs will be local hires.
"We will be talking to the company over the next many weeks about the numbers that will be new employees from this area versus relocated employees coming nationally from the headquarters," he said.
Kimble added that the number of local hires will not be tied to the incentives.
"We're interested in the number of jobs, the 1,262 jobs, along with the wages that are paid to each one of those jobs," he said.
The average salary will be roughly $120,000.