(The Center Square) – Another company, another hiring and investment goal not met.
Citrix Systems cleared out of its Raleigh offices months ago, had layoffs in 2017 and 2021, and never did create 400 jobs as promised in 2016.
The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee on Tuesday voted to kill the Job Development Investment Grant that would have provided Citrix with $5 million from taxpayers to create the new jobs. Officials with the cloud computing company wrote in a letter to request the move Citrix has “relocated to a smaller space in Raleigh.”
Citrix senior vice president Brian Shytle said the decision stemmed from a $16.5 billion acquisition by two private investment firms last year, though the company’s struggles began before that.
Just one year after securing the jobs grant, Citrix went through mass layoffs in 2017, with a second round in 2021. Citrix now employs about 400, down from more than 900 when it inked the 2016 grant.
The company never received the $5 million from the state, or a $500,000 tax grant from Wake County. Citrix put its former home, a 171,067-square foot building in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District, up for lease in June.
The canceled jobs grant was the second for Citrix, which moved downtown after securing $9 million in taxpayer incentives in 2012.
It’s also the latest flop in Job Development Investment Grant program that produces more losers than winners.
Only 42 of the 406 grants the state has doled out since the program launched in 2003 have met hiring and investment goals. Ninety-two ended without payment, while 91 were canceled with a portion of funds dispersed for creating some jobs. Another 181 are active, suggesting companies could still fulfill the agreements, according to an October report from the NC Department of Commerce.
Overall, the department has spent $489.5 million to create 61,228 jobs, “which equates to approximately $7,995 per job created,” according to the report.
“These companies also retained 140,441 jobs that existed at the time of their respective awards,” it reads. “Since 2003, private investment made by grantees is over $11.8 billion.”
The pace of the grants this year has slowed significantly from years past as interest rates have soared, with only nine deals in 2023 through mid-October. Between 2019 and 2022, that figure ranged from 27 to 32.
The last time the state awarded fewer than a dozen of the job grants was in 2005.
It’s a similar situation with another major incentive program, the One North Carolina Fund, with only approved 11 awards in 2023. There were more than two dozen in recent years, when interest rates were much lower.
Department officials have pointed to the national economy as the reason, rather than any change in how the grants are administered.