Business & Economy

Housing
Leoneda Inge

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates today but experts say that’s unlikely to slow down the real estate boom in the Triangle. Most of the action is in Wake County, especially in Fuquay-Varina and Morrisville. 

Efforts are underway to restore oyster populations, while mariculture looks at sustainable farming practices.
Baxter Miller / Bit & Grain

From clams to catfish, the North Carolina coast holds a variety of seafood, but at a crossroads is the oyster. The supply of oysters in the state has decreased since the industry peaked in 1902 after decades of aggressive harvesting.

Today, efforts are underway to restore wild oyster reefs while mariculture looks to provide a sustainable and abundant farming strategy.

Operator work on infusion pharmaceutical industry
xmagics / Dollarphotoclub.com

Vance County no longer has the strong economic based it used to have in textile manufacturing.  Today, it’s becoming more and more clear one of the best workforce opportunities for workers here is in advanced manufacturing.  But like many in rural communities, Vance County residents will likely have to leave home for these jobs.

A picture of a poultry house.
Joe Valbuena / USDA

A worker at a Perdue Farms contract poultry operation in Richmond County has been arrested and charged with four counts of felony animal abuse. An advocacy group's undercover video showed workers kicking the birds like footballs and spinning them by their heads to break their necks.

Jobs
Thinglass / Shutterstock.com

There’s good news on the jobs front for 2016.  That’s according to the latest Duke University – CFO Global Business Outlook Survey.

Chief Financial Officers say they expect to increase hiring by about 2.4 percent in the New Year.  And wages should jump almost 3 percent.

But John Graham, a Finance Professor at Duke and director of the survey, says CFOs still struggle with finding qualified employees.

An American Airlines Boeing 777-200 from London-Gatwick landing at RDU in 2005.
Ken Thomas / Wikipedia

Officials at Raleigh Durham International Airport say coming infrastructure upgrades will not interfere with plans for a direct flight to Paris.

Perils And Promise, Rural Education, Vance Public Schools
Leoneda Inge

Like many rural counties, Vance County is not bustling with manufacturing jobs anymore.

In fact, the largest employer in Vance County is the school district.  Its main offices sit in the former textile headquarters of Henderson and Harriett Mills, a testament to the changing economy.  

In our series Perils & Promise: Educating North Carolina’s Rural Students, we follow a group of 10th graders to their first career fair.

christmas tree farm
Wikipedia Creative Commons

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the biggest of the year for Christmas tree sales. And there’s a good chance many of the trees bought this weekend will come from North Carolina.

Cash
401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent Assets and Opportunities scorecard released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development shows North Carolina lagging behind other states in providing a stable financial landscape for asset building and growth.

The scorecard examined 67 factors in areas of healthcare, wealth building and financial opportunities. The shortcomings are even worse for the state's minority citizens.

Komodo Food truck at the LA Street Food Fest
Ricardo Diaz / Flickr

Raleigh might soon see more food trucks on the streets.  The city council will hear about a pilot program tonight that would allow the trucks to set-up along some curb sides in the city.  Right now they're limited to private property and special events. 

Mary-Ann Baldwin chairs the council's Law and Public Safety Committee which drafted the program.  

"Food trucks really do create community and in areas where there are no restaurants, it serves as a gathering spot for people and a place for folks to, you know, get to know each other," Baldwin says.

A picture of a folded wad of cash.
401kcalculator.org / Flickr

Wake County Commissioners voted yesterday to raise the pay floor for county employees to $13.50 per-hour.

An illustration of the plaza outside the proposed Union Station.
raleighnc.gov

A shortage of skilled laborers and rising costs of materials is pushing Raleigh's proposed downtown train station over its $44.7 million budget.

Richard Kelly, Raleigh's interim public works director, said despite combing through budget items and weeding out high bids, the project is going to cost another $10 million to complete.

A picture of PNC Arena.
Alexisrael / Wikipedia

Fans of the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State's men's basketball team could soon have new places to grill before a game or clink glasses after a victory.

Tom McCormick, chairman of the state-appointed Centennial Authority that oversees PNC Arena, said they are planning for major renovations.

"We're 15 years old now, starting into our 16th year. And like everything else, it's always good to freshen up," he said.

PNC Arena's multi-million dollar face lift could include a rooftop patio and space for luxury tailgating.  

The Core design.
UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill and the Town of Chapel Hill will break ground on the new Carolina Square project today. The mixed-use project will replace the demolished University Square shops and offices on Franklin St.

Carolina Square will have shops, apartments, office space, and a performing arts center.

Oscar Wong started Highland Brewing Company in Asheville in 1994 and passed along the business to his daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn.
Carrie Turner / Carrie Turner Photography

Leah Wong Ashburn has been around beer all her life.

Her father Oscar Wong is considered the "godfather" of craft beer culture in western North Carolina. In 1994, he founded Highland Brewing Company, the first legal brewer in Asheville since Prohibition. Today, Highland is the largest homegrown craft brewery in North Carolina.

Produce, Shopping, Grocery Stores
www.usda.gov

The main principle of a cooperative organization is to give ownership to the people who use its services. Every member has a say in how the business is run and shares the profits.

But for African-American communities in the United States, cooperative economics have also historically been a method of survival. 

An image of a handshake on an isolated business background
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

Greensboro, High Point and Guilford County leaders are in informal talks about creating a united economic development partnership.

Guilford County Commission chairman Hank Henning says this proposed Guilford County Economic Development Alliance would coordinate to promote the county and its cities as a business destination.

Chuck Liddy / News and Observer

It is the responsibility of the N.C. Department of Labor to protect the rights of workers.

But a new report from the News & Observer finds that state investigators for the department did not collect $1 million in wages that were owed to 617 workers in 2014.

Food Bank, Food Lion
Leoneda Inge

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will soon be able to deliver food to the needy with its new mobile food pantry.

Food Lion donated the truck.  President Meg Ham says many families in need don’t have the transportation to get to a food distribution center.

Flat screen TVs are one of the reasons for the decreasing size of furniture. Many people opt to mount them on the wall, which eliminates the need for an entertainment center.
Jeremy Levine / Flickr Creative Commons

For more than 100 years, the High Point Market has offered furniture and home furnishings to buyers from across the state. Today, the market is the world’s largest furniture trade show.

The furniture industry has been an economic boon for the Triad and it continues to adapt to new needs as the next generation starts to settle down and buy furniture.

A picture of a modern stone mason at work.
Vladimer Shioshvili / Wikipedia

As the demand for construction has started to rebound, there's a shortage of qualified craft workers.

Associated General Contractors of America says 86 percent of general contractors in North Carolina say they can't fine enough plumbers, masons, carpenters and concrete workers. That's in line with the national rate.

RTP, Research Triangle Foundation
Leoneda Inge

The head of the Research Triangle Foundation announced Thursday they’ve raised enough money to move forward with a major, more urban redevelopment project in Research Triangle Park.

The Research Triangle Foundation has secured $50 million to begin breaking ground on Park Center.  The plan is for this 100-acre property to include two hotels, housing, restaurants and entertainment.

A picture of a mercury vapor street lamp.
Famartin / Wikipedia

Duke Energy will begin replacing Raleigh's 30,000 conventional high pressure sodium and mercury vapor street lamps with more energy-efficient light-emitting diode—LED—streetlights this week.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Meredith Archie says several North Carolina cities are making the switch, including Wilmington, Henderson and Cary.

"LED lights are more energy efficient, so they reduce the carbon footprint. And as a result of that, they expend less energy so saving money and cost on energy bills," Archie says.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

A provision in the legislature's new budget proposal would limit state spending on any light rail project to $500,000 per-year.

That's a far cry from what the North Carolina Department of Transportation recommended contributing to the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail project. In its State Transportation Improvement Program, NCDOT allotted $138 million for GoTriangle's light rail project.

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