RALEIGH (April 20, 2022) – North Carolina has longed for an auto plant for decades.
Now, with Vietnamese electric automaker VinFast’s announced investment of more than $4 billion in a plant in Chatham County,1 coupled with Toyota’s announcement in December of a $1.3 billion battery plant in Randolph County,2 North Carolina is on a battery-powered roll.
“This is huge for North Carolina, and we can’t underestimate it,” Thomas Stith, President of the NC Community College System, says in the accompanying video. “It will have the ability to attract other industry – this is a global announcement.
“VinFast is a global company. They could have selected any country in the world. They chose the United States, and they chose the leading economic engine in the United States, and that’s North Carolina.”
The state’s surge in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing underscores our community colleges’ economic value to the state. On an ambitious schedule, VinFast hopes to start producing SUVs by 2024 and employ at least 7,500 workers by 2027.3
Stith says community colleges will work hand-in-hand with VinFast to provide training for its employees. VinFast’s plant will be near Moncure in Chatham County, so Central Carolina Community College will be the lead institution for training.
“But because of the size and scope of this plant, we will respond in a regional manner,” Stith says. Several colleges will provide training for VinFast employees.4
And as for the state’s future with the EV industry?
“North Carolina’s future is bright. We will be powered by some of the batteries that we produce here in the state,” Stith says with a grin.
“You’ll see now with these two announcements – Toyota and VinFast – just the infrastructure and supply chain that will develop around these plants, and others that will be coming. That’s why it’s so significant for North Carolina to secure these two companies … but also the additional global companies that will locate in North Carolina really makes our future extremely bright.
“And we can power that with some of the electric batteries that will be produced.”