RALEIGH – Copier giant Xerox (NYSE: XRX) plans to open a “Center of Excellence” in Cary, creating 600 jobs, officials announced Tuesday.

The $18.4 million operation will focus on “accelerating innovation” and digital efforts, Xerox Chief Technology Officer Naresh Shanker said during a news conference at the State Capitol.

“This is essential for our long-term growth,” Shanker said, noting that the Cary facility will be Xerox’s fourth Center of Excellence, joining operations in Palo Alto, Calif., Webster, N.Y., and Toronto.

The jobs will have an average annual salary of more than $112,000.

“These things don’t just happen,” Gov. Roy Cooper said during the news conference. “A company like Xerox looks at a lot of places.”

Cooper noted the state and local efforts to improve workforce

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