The Southeast Compass - Fall 2012

From the President: Southeast Poised for International Business

When shopping around for a new car or home appliance, most of us base a considerable part of our decision on feedback gleaned from other consumers. We look not just for favorable reviews, but for testimonials from people with needs and tastes similar to our own. Foreign companies use similar methods when identifying American communities they’d like to invest in. Right now in Southeastern North Carolina, there are 58 foreign-owned firms operating some 75 separate facilities. More than half these operations involve manufacturing. Read More>>

Job Growth Follows Films Manufacturer to Columbus County

Patience plus just the right, ready-to-go building were potent factors in the arrival recently of MaXPro, Inc., to Columbus County’s Southeast Regional Industrial Park. The company, a maker of specialty window films for construction and automotive markets, began up-fitting a 45,500-sq.-ft. spec building in September, according to Gary Lanier, director of the Columbus County Economic Development Commission. Read More>>

Chemtex International Moves Forward with BioFuels Facility in Sampson County

Innovation often comes with many moving parts. But it also has multifaceted rewards. Take Chemtex International, a global leader in renewable processes whose plans for a 20 million gallon per year bio-refinery near Clinton will build lucrative ties between the region’s agribusiness and alternative energy economies. The company’s vision, known as Project Alpha, taps Southeastern North Carolina’s farmers in cultivating energy-rich grasses like miscanthus and switchgrass. Read More>>

Workforce Needs Assessment Finalized

Researchers at Regional Technology Solutions, Inc. (RTS) have finalized an exhaustive report on the Southeast Region’s vast human resource assets. The 95-page document, “Workforce Needs Analysis & Strategic Plan for the NC Southeast Region,” is the product of nearly 18 months of extensive surveys, interviews, data gathering and public forums. The analysis includes a list of recommendations for enhancing the pipeline of young workers with science, technology, engineering and math (i.e., “STEM”) aptitude; improving entrepreneurial support systems; utilizing exiting military specialists in the region’s private economy; and boosting both horizontal and vertical integration of local economic and workforce development programs and resources. Read More>>

Southeast Partnership Wins Biotech Center Grant

North Carolina’s Southeast’s vision for bringing 21st Century jobs and companies to the region is taking a major step forward with help from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Regional Development Grant Program. The Center is awarding $30,000 in funding to “Biorenewable Biotechnology Asset Inventory – Southeastern North Carolina,” an initiative that will boost understanding of the region’s alternative energy potential. Read More>>

 Graduate Intern Boosts Research Capacity

Since its founding in 1994, North Carolina’s Southeast has maintained valuable strategic partnerships with area universities. But more recently, the collaboration has yielded unique new technical and research support through a graduate internship program. Lauren Brown, who began working as an intern at North Carolina’s Southeast in June, is the first in what is hoped will be annual internship placements at the regional partnership. Brown, a student in UNC Wilmington’s Master of Public Administration program, has proven pivotal to the formation of an international strategy for the 11-county region.
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AT&T Event to Showcase North Carolina Heritage

Diversity has long been an ingredient to Southeastern North Carolina’s economic and social fabric. So it’s fitting that a key regional business ally is celebrating the contribution of leaders from all racial backgrounds to the state’s history. AT&T Corporation, a strong supporter of North Carolina’s Southeast Partnership, will soon unveil “The Heritage Calendar: Celebrating the North Carolina African-American Experience.” The calendar is part of a history education project AT&T is leading that is designed to honor the diverse array of women and men who have made a lasting difference in the lives of North Carolinians. Read More>>