North Carolina’s Southeast Hosts Commerce B&I Team

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Top personnel from the N.C. Department of Commerce (DOC) joined local and regional economic developers in the Southeast for a half-day briefing and discussion of job creation programs, available locations and business recruitment strategies. The meeting took place on January 30, 2012, at North Carolina’s Southeast’s offices in Elizabethtown. Dale Carroll, DOC deputy secretary and COO, and Susan Fleetwood, director of DOC’s Business & Industry Division, led the state’s delegation. The briefing provided “a great opportunity for timely updates on regional assets and detailed information about workforce development, infrastructure and available real estate in each of the 11 counties,” Mr. Carroll says.

Chuck Heustess, economic development director for Bladen County, says he and his counterparts took advantage of the opportunity to showcase new economic assets and plans in the region. “We had time to talk in-depth about our product and how it might work for their clients,” Heustess explains. Results have been noticeable: an available 30,000-sq-ft industrial building in Bladen County that Mr. Heustess highlighted to DOC visitors has already yielded leads, he says. “You can do business long distance, but it’s always nice when you can engage Commerce developers on the ground and discuss the assets and opportunities we have,” says Heustess. DOC officials presented data from 2011 and shared trends they have been witnessing in industrial project activity.