Apple plans on adding an additional 20,000 jobs in the United States, along with investments totaling $430 billion in everything from data centers to suppliers. That will include a new campus and engineering hub in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area, which already has a strong reputation as a prominent technology center.
“Apple is on track to meet its 2018 goal of creating 20,000 new jobs in the US by 2023,” the company wrote in a statement. “With today’s new commitment, Apple is setting a target of creating 20,000 additional jobs in states across the country over the next five years.” Those new jobs will include engineering teams in Boulder, Colorado, as well as more employees in existing offices in Boston, Seattle, and other cities; however, the company’s statement didn’t break down how many of these jobs are technology-related, versus retail or support roles.
Apple has also made significant investments in manufacturing facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, California, and other states, with a prominent focus on 5G hardware, laser technology, and state-of-the-art glass. These investments are in conjunction with various technology partners; for example, Corning has received $450 million from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund to develop glass processes, equipment, and materials at its Kentucky facility.
The investment in North Carolina’s Research Triangle will reportedly create 3,000 new jobs in everything from software engineering to machine learning. In addition, Apple has pledged $100 million to “support schools and community initiatives in the greater Raleigh-Durham area and across the state,” plus $110 million in infrastructure spending on broadband, public schools, and roads.
Apple has engaged in quite a bit of investment lately. Earlier this year, for instance, it announced new projects for its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), backed by $100 million in funding. That included a $25 million investment in the Propel Center, which is billed as a “first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub” for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Propel Center will have a physical campus in the Atlanta University Center, as well as a presence at “partner institutions.” Apple is also funding educational grants for HBCU Colleges of Engineering, along with a Faculty Fellows Program to support HBCU educators.
Apple’s aggressive U.S. investments and job creation come as the company continues to manufacture its keystone devices—most notably the iPhone—overseas. The announcements also come just as Apple finds itself under increasing scrutiny for what its critics call anti-competitive practices, particularly regarding its App Store policies. Earlier in April, Apple found itself under the proverbial microscope at a U.S. Senate hearing at which companies such as Tile and Spotify criticized what they viewed as Apple’s attempts to unfairly limit competition.
At such a crucial moment, will Apple’s investments buy it goodwill from lawmakers in states such as North Carolina and California? That’s an excellent question. In the meantime, technologists with a variety of skills might be well-suited for the jobs that Apple will post over the next few years.