Economic Development

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.

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