March 13, 2024

Event Highlights Wolfspeed Coming to Chatham County

Wolfspeed, a world leader in the production of next-generation, silicon carbide semiconductors for cars, data centers and other technologies, believes in hiring in its own backyard and ensuring that its employees succeed. That’s what two company representatives told participants at a Feb. 8 meet-and-greet hosted by the 79°West Innovation Hub at MOSAIC.

At Siler City’s Advanced Manufacturing site, Wolfspeed is building a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art facility that will be the world’s largest silicon-carbide materials manufacturing plant. The John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide is expected to open in 2025 and bring 1,800 jobs to Chatham County by 2030.

Leader in Silicon Carbide Manufacturing

Ashley Evans, manager of talent acquisition, called silicon carbide the ideal semiconductor material and noted that Wolfspeed has long been a leader in silicon carbide manufacturing.

“What’s really unique is that we are vertically integrated. … We are the future,” she said. “We make the silicon carbide wafer material and also fabricated it into devices we sell to companies around the world for use in their products, such as electric vehicles, Wolfspeed is involved at every step of the process.”

The company saw a 24% annual revenue increase in 2022-23 and it has facilities in the United States – North Carolina, New York, Texas – Europe and Asia.

Focus on DEI

Jess Evans, the company’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, said Wolfspeed wants all employees to feel respected, feel like they have a voice and have a sense of belonging. Four company pillars support the efforts: acquisition of a diverse and talented, top-tier workforce, retaining workers by providing growth and development opportunities, building a culture that removes barriers to success, and having a social impact.

That’s why the company supports community efforts for housing relief, food and hunger relief, and science, technology and math education. In the area of STEM education, Wolfspeed has built partnerships with NC State, N.C. A&T State University, as well as with Central Carolina Community College, where it’s building a training center to help meet workforce needs.

“We believe that wherever we are, we need to work with the community,” Jess Evans said. “We never want to come in and put a bubble over one of our facilities and not interact with the community.”