Apple plans on hiring 20,000 people — possibly in North Carolina

Apple is doubling down on its commitment to building a new campus, and it seems increasingly likely that the tech giant’s new home could be in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. Despite rumors just last month that the iEmpire was most interested in Virginia for its newest office, a recent interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook has folks believing the company is looking more closely at another southern state.

Cook’s interview was held with David Rubenstein, the billionaire founder of private equity firm Carlyle Group, and was taped in Durham when Cook delivered the commencement address at Duke University in May. During the chat, Cook noted that Apple is planning on hiring 20,000 more people, many of whom could be in North Carolina. Sources told WRAL and WRAL TechWire that the company is seriously considering sinking $1.5 billion into a campus worth $600 million — a massive addition to Apple’s existing data center in North Carolina.

“We’re going to create a new site, a new campus within the United States,” Cook told Rubenstein in the video interview, which was released on Bloomberg TV on Wednesday. “We’re going to hire 20,000 people. We’re going to spend $30 billion in capital expenditure over the next several years. Number one, we’re investing, and investing a ton, in this country. We’re also going to buy some of our stock, as we view our stock as a good value.”

North Carolina is certainly doing everything that it possibly can to incentivize Apple to choose the Tar Heel state as its new home. Just a few days ago, the North Carolina General Assembly overturned a veto issued by Governor Roy Cooper, which would have shot down a new two-year budget. That means North Carolina is now free to move forward with a budget plan that includes incentives meant to bring in projects very similar to the one Apple is considering, which in turn could pave the way for construction to begin on Apple’s new campus in Research Triangle Park.

You can check out the full interview between Cook and Rubenstein at Bloomberg.