Relias Learning, an online training company for health care professionals, has announced a $4.5 million expansion plan that will introduce at least 450 new positions over the following five years.
The announcement makes the largest corporate expansion in North Carolina since House Bill 2 was passed in March. Among other things, HB2 requires people to be able to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate while inside public schools and other government buildings. As a result of the law going into effect, a number of expansions, concerts, and conferences were cancelled, with the most prominent being the reversal of PayPal's decision to expand into the state, which would have brought with it 500 jobs.
When asked if the law had any effect over the company's decision to expand in the state, Eric Masters, vice president of marketing for Relias, replied: "We've had tremendous success recruiting here in Cary, and we expect that success to continue."
Meanwhile, Mark Belles, Relias' chief operating officer, said the key factor in the move were financial incentives. If the company meets its hiring and investment targets, it could receive $5.36 million in state Job Development Investment Grants over the next 12 years. The town of Cary, which houses the company's headquarters, will put $50,000 toward the effort, writes John Murawski for The News And Observer.
However, State Rep. Duane Hall, who sponsored legislation to repeal HB2, said the announcement "pales in comparison to the jobs we've lost."
Hall was speaking about the PayPal positions, as well as a decision made by Deutsche Bank to freeze 250 jobs in Cary in addition to reports from site selection officials that say the state is no longer considered by many companies who are looking to expand. Aside from expanding businesses, the National Basketball Association will be making an announcement soon as to whether it will continue with plans to hold the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte or if it will begin to look for a location outside of North Carolina.
Kim Genardo, a spokeswoman for the NC Commerce Department, maintains that the state has increased its job market despite the new law. Since its enactment, the governor's office has announced that nine companies are expected to bring a total of 1,207 jobs to the state, which include the positions at Relias.
A total of $4.5 million will be invested by Relias into its Cary location to allow for the expansion to take place, which is set to finish in 2020. In all, 450 new positions will be available with the company in several areas including sales, marketing, product development, and client support. The average annual salary was not announced.
The expansion will cause the 4-year-old company to more than double in size. Currently, 291 individuals work for the company in Cory, an additional 100 work outside the state, and 15 people work in Europe.
Relias is currently the largest education company of its kind in the world, providing online training for nurses, social workers, and other individuals in the health care field. Masters said the company plans to expand its services into other sub-markets including hospitals, physicians, urgent care, and diagnostics. Earlier in the year a mobile app was announced by the company. "Our plan is that we'll be in all areas of health care in the United States," Masters said.