The Southeast Compass Winter 2009

Even In Uncertain Times, Opportunity Never Sleeps

The nation’s worst economic downturn in three decades is not deterring North Carolina’s Southeast from the task of bringing new jobs and investment to the region. In fact, a reordering of the global economy spells exciting opportunities, regional leaders believe. “While economic times are challenging, we believe the fundamental economic changes now underway in the United States and abroad do offer some specific opportunities for Southeastern North Carolina,” says Jane W. Smith, chairman of North Carolina’s Southeast Commission. Read More>>


New Businesses Continue Arriving Despite National Headwinds

As a sign of the Southeast Region’s unique appeal to modern industry, three companies established operations here during in late 2008. The three, which together account for $3.5 million in capital investment and the creation of 72 new jobs, each found their way to the region with help from North Carolina’s Southeast Commission. Read More>>


Two-County Industrial Park Already Drawing Looks

In late 2007 and early 2008, North Carolina’s Southeast facilitated meetings among several organizations to discuss the potential for creating a multi-county industrial park close to the Port of Wilmington. Leaders in Brunswick and Columbus counties are now working in earnest to iron out legal and administrative hurdles in order to move ahead with development of a unique two-county industrial park. North Carolina law requires multi-jurisdictional parks to be owned by either units of government or non-profit entities, explains Justin S. Smith, director of the Columbus County Economic Development Commission. “We’re organizing a non-profit board that will control the industrial park,” says Mr. Smith, who presented sketches and design plans of the park at an intergovernmental meeting held in late November. Boards of commissioners in both counties have now approved articles of incorporation and bylaws for the park’s governing entity, he adds. Read More>>


Davenport Brings Legal, Biotech Savvy to NCSE Board

The newest member of North Carolina’s Southeast Commission’s board of directors brings a rich professional background to the organization’s leadership. Fred Davenport, who was appointed to the board last year by then-Governor Mike Easley, is a prominent attorney with a decades-long record of accomplishments in business law, as well as unique high-level executive experience with one of the region’s premiere life science companies. “Fred has an excellent business background and will add a lot to our board,” says Jane W. Smith, chairman of North Carolina’s Southeast Commission. Read More>>


Annual TAG Planning Session to Include Top State Execs

North Carolina’s top workforce and economic development leaders will join county and regional business developers at North Carolina’s Southeast’s annual Technical Advisory Group (TAG) planning session on February 25-26, 2009. Newly appointed Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and North Carolina Community College System President Scott Rawls will join the TAG’s discussions of regional job growth and industrial investment strategies. Also on hand will be Tom Eager, chief executive officer of the North Carolina State Ports Authority, which will host the two-day session at its offices in Wilmington. Dr. Woody Hall, a professor of economics at UNC Wilmington, will offer the group an update of business trends and his forecast of what lies ahead. Read More>>


Savannah Model Illustrates Southeast’s Distribution Potential

A generation ago, there was only the dream of transforming the quiet coastal lands around Savannah, Georgia, in to a Mecca for retail distribution. Today, anchored by names like IKEA, Best Buy and Pier One, the region is home to more than 15 million square feet of quality distribution center space – and counting. Read More>>


Scotland County Hands Icard the Economic Development Reigns

As a constituent liaison for Congressman Robin Hayes for three years, Greg Icard helped connect Scotland County residents to the answers they needed from the federal government. Now, as Scotland County’s economic development director, Mr. Icard will take the lead in linking the county itself to its economic future. Read More>>


NCSE Marketing Team Reaches Out in Penn., Ohio

With difficult economic times prompting many economic developers to slash programs and hunker down, regional recruiters in the Southeast are vigorously reaching out to prospects and clients in other parts of the country. In December, armed with leads generated by North Carolina’s Southeast, regional representatives visited companies in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Read More>>