Economic Development

Roy Cooper and Pat McCrory
File photo / WUNC

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper outlined their economic visions today to a room full of business leaders in Pinehurst.

Wake County Superintendent Jim Merrill said the report shows investing in Wake schools has economic benefits for the county.
Jess Clark

Investment in Wake County schools is increasing property values, job growth and spending according to a study out of N.C. State. Wake schools and a local nonprofit called Wake Ed Partnership commissioned N.C. State researcher Mike Walden to conduct the study.

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.

North Carolina Legislature passes a tax reform bill.
W Edward Callis III

A package of economic incentives aimed at luring businesses to North Carolina is one vote away from reaching the Governor’s desk.

The Senate swiftly approved the bill on Tuesday, while the House gave a tentative approval, 84-24, after a lengthy and lively debate.

The plan would increase funding for the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program from $15 million to $20 million a year.

It could go as high as $35 million if the state attracts a large project, like an auto plant, that invests at least $500 million and adds at least 1,750 jobs.

Downtown Raleigh
Mark Turner / Wikipedia

Residential builders are scrambling to keep up with demand for downtown housing in cities across North Carolina.

New apartment building projects are on track to double the number of housing units in the core of downtown Raleigh within a few years.

Bill King of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance says much of the demand comes from millennials and downsizing empty-nesters who want to be close to the action. King says there have been few options in the Triangle, which developed as a "suburban region".

An image of the Greensboro Skyline
Public Domain

The City of Greensboro and the U.S. Economic Development Administration recently finished hosting a contest looking for the best plan to revive the city's economy.

Out of six finalists, judges selected the plan submitted by a team from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Image of Toyota Plant in Indiana. North Carolina was in the running to be the home of Toyota's North American Headquarters in 2014, but Plano, Texas won the bid.
Kurt Weber / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina was able to lure 47 new or expansion business projects to the state last year. The haul promises to bring more than 8,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in capital investment.

But the state recently lost the bids for a Volvo manufacturing plant and the Mercedes Benz U.S. headquarters.

So how's the state doing with economic development overall?

The Core design.
UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill is planning a performing arts lab, studio and theater on Franklin Street.

Chancellor Carol Folt says the University has committed $4 million in non-state funding to build the $5 million facility.

Folt says "The Core@Carolina Square" will allow university departments and the public better access to works in progress. But she says it won't compete with the existing performance spaces on campus.

"We bring symphony orchestras and ballet companies. They don't come and practice in front of our town's children," Folt says.

Symposium on social entrepreneurship and civic engagement poster.
Duke University

A Duke University symposium is encouraging students to use entrepreneurial skills to give back to the world.

Leaders from several organizations will talk about social entrepreneurship and civic engagement at the campus today. 

Megan Granda directs Duke's Office of Civic Engagement.  She says two freshman pre-med-students serve as a good example.  They teamed up with the Clinton Global Initiative.

a handshake
danyrolux via Flickr/Creative Commons

State leaders in economic development circles are gathering Thursday for the grand opening of the new Economic Development Partnership offices in Cary.

The new Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina is basically a new privatized business recruitment agency.

About 34 people in sales and marketing, along with travel and tourism moved from the state Commerce Department to the new partnership.  They worked in sales and marketing, international trade, film and tourism.

NC Welcome Sign
NC Commerce

The state’s new Economic Development office is officially open and several employees have walked over from the Commerce Department.

About 34 people moved from Commerce to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, located on Weston Parkway in Cary.  The new non-profit partnership essentially privatizes some of the Commerce Department’s duties.  John Lassiter chairs the board.

Items from the old American Tobacco Campus.
WUNC - Hady Mawajdeh

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the American Tobacco Historic Campus revitalization in downtown Durham. The businesses and retail stores occupy a space that was once the epicenter of the tobacco industry. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with former American Tobacco employee Richard Clements about the rise, fall and rebirth of the area.

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

For the first time, North Carolina’s 16 regional councils of government have come together to create a blueprint for statewide community and economic development.  

The report is called “North Carolina Tomorrow, Building Communities for Tomorrow’s Jobs.”  It focuses on the competitive advantages of each region, like Tourism and Energy.  But also give attention to emerging technologies like video modeling and gaming.

A picture of Mitchell Silver.
City of Raleigh

Raleigh is bidding farewell to its planning director.

Mitchell Silver took the post in 2005, when Raleigh was a mid-sized city grappling with rapid population growth. Silver says the city was able to ride the wave by becoming an attractive place to live and work.  He cites changing density and zoning ordinances, building the Raleigh Convention Center, and revitalizing Hillsborough Street and Cameron Village as successes.

A map showing the hottest growth spots for immigrants in NC
NC Bankers Association

A new study is challenging the notion that low-paid immigrant populations are "taking" jobs from native North Carolinians.

Richard Lindenmuth began work in his position of interim CEO of the Economic Development Partnership in early January.
NC Department of Commerce

Gov. Pat McCrory’s plan to move parts of the state’s business recruiting functions to a private nonprofit have been delayed, as the new organization’s managers are setting up a plan for the transition and finding costs to cut, officials said Tuesday.

Parts of the state Commerce Department will be transferred to the Economic Development Partnership no sooner than July this year, according to a department letter given to legislators Tuesday. Two of the department’s divisions had been scheduled to be moved by June and three more by December.

Sharon Decker
NC Commerce

North Carolina’s Economic Development Board is reviewing strategies and making suggestions on how to help re-vamp the state Commerce Department.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says she’s pretty positive the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina will be a reality.

“It’s a total re-organization, it is indeed.  Redesign, I guess is a better way to say it," said Decker.

The IPAS logo

  Forty years ago, the controversial supreme court decision Roe Versus Wade ushered in a new era of reproductive rights and touched off a culture war that has waged ever since.

Father and son relaxing in a living room, a scene from American Winter film.

Gene Nichol, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said on The State of Things today that the financial collapse really hurt the poor but that the problem is multifaceted.

City of Raleigh

Raleigh city officials have plans for several new residential developments in the middle of the capital city.  They say it's part of their master plan to entice not only new residents but new business downtown.

It is also an indication that Raleigh is doing well economically.  City Planning Director Mitchell Silver says residences that are on the drawing board or under construction are geared toward not just urban professionals, but families.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

A bill that would abolish regional economic development commissions has tentatively passed the state Senate.

The measure would dissolve all seven of the state's commissions. The Department of Commerce would then send at least one employee to work in one of eight newly created economic zones.

Greensboro skyline
Scott Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons

Leaders in Greensboro are accepting submissions for a federal grant that will award one million dollars for an innovative plan.  The winning idea is supposed to help the city’s economy by designing a way to improve long-term job prospects.  Organizers admit they’re being purposely vague to see what kind of submissions they get to develop the city.  A panel of about 20 people that will ultimately chose the winning entry, met for the first time on Wednesday.

Research Triangle Park leaders have rolled out a new master plan to transform the business center into a more community-friendly atmosphere. 

Gurnal Scott: You may not realize that RTP has been around 53 years. Its foundation says it must look beyond its original vision of business innovation to grow in the next half century. CEO Bob Geolas says job growth is still a top priority.

The City of Greensboro is getting a one million dollar federal grant designed to generate economic growth. The grant is part of a program aimed at encouraging innovative ideas, strategies and perspectives for long-term job growth. Greensboro will hold a competition and request ideas for ways to bolster the local economy.

A data storage and development company in Research Triangle Park plans a major workforce expansion. 

Gurnal Scott: Governor Bev Pergue couldn't be happier about what NetApp is setting out to do.

Bev Perdue: Creating 460 new jobs and investing 75 million dollars for the next four years right here.

NetApp has a reputation nationally as one of the best places to work. Senior Vice President Denise Cox says that's mostly because they attract people motivated to succeed