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Source: Bloomberg / Getty

Apple announced plans Monday to open a new campus in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The news of the tech giant’s latest expansion comes with speculation as to what exactly their future plans will be in the state’s most advanced research area.

The $1 billion campus will employ 3,000 people working on technology including software engineering and machine learning, according to a press release by Apple. It will be located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area, near the campuses of the state’s three major universities— NC State, Duke and North Carolina.

The region has strong ties to the Apple family. The company’s CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams have MBAs from Duke University. In fact, Williams grew up in the area and sees the project as a “welcome home,” of sorts.

“As a North-Carolina native, I’m thrilled Apple is expanding and creating new long-term job opportunities in the community I grew up in,” Williams said in a statement.

Apple will move ahead with the project that is scheduled to start operations early next year.

On Monday, the company also announced it would be expanding in other cities where it has engineering operations. They’ll be adding a total of 20,000 new jobs across several sites over the next five years.

Apple has 147,000 full-time employees, it said last year in a filing.