Charlotte Goes Bananas Over Chiquita Relocation
CHARLOTTE, NC--"Charlotte provided the most compelling economic opportunity for Chiquita by far and the region is a very attractive region for our employees," said Chiquita C.E.O. Fernando Aguirre. Just like that the banana giant is headed to the Queen City.
A $14 million dollar investment bringing around 400 jobs, half of which are expected to be new hires recruited here in Charlotte. "By the summer I want to have the majority of the people here and I suspect the majority of the new hires will be here already by come June or July," said Aguirre.
The open positions will pay on average $106 thousand dollars a year, mainly executives and managers. There will also be a few sales, marketing and I.T. jobs.
Even though the paperwork hasn't been officially signed yet, the plan is to have the headquarters at the tower above the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Chiquita officials say that they chose the area because it's the hub to all that Charlotte has to offer.
The business environment, our airport and the quality of life in the Charlotte region are all reasons Chiquita says it decided to call Charlotte home. A city-wide twitter campaign also helped. "99% of what we hear on twitter is positive and of course the Charlotte community was very proactive in twitter and very positive," said Aguirre.
In addition to its headquarters, Chiquita will also move its research and development department to Charlotte. "Jobs, investment innovation and entrepreneurship, that in my mind is what Charlotte is about," said North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue. "Charlotte Mecklenburg is becoming the center for that high technology research that really is twenty first century," said Jennifer Roberts Mecklenburg County Commissioner Chair.
The Queen City reinventing itself as a technology hub for the world to see. Chiquita is also investing in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools by providing the district with 15 salad bars.