The Southeast Compass - Winter 2013

Presidential Perspectives: Lessons from Ancient Greece

Archimedes once famously said, “Give me a place to stand and I can move the world.” The ancient Greek physicist (287-212 B.C.) was describing the compounding strength of a well-placed leverage point. Anyone who’s had to change a tire on a two-ton SUV can appreciate the concept of leverage. The multiplying power of a lever can also be seen in regional economic development. In linking together financial, technical and leadership assets from a diverse spectrum of allies and partners, North Carolina’s Southeast is able to consolidate relatively modest resources and convert them into big results. Our organization serves as a key portal for input from public, private, philanthropic and academic interests in the region. Read More>>

Annual TAG Planning Session Explores Keys to Economic Readiness

Local economic developers representing all 11 Southeastern counties joined 15 partners and allies for a planning session in Fayetteville, hearing presentations from noted experts on a wide range of topics. N.C. Southeast’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) organizes the event each year. Presenters at the February 13-14 gathering included Jay Garner, founder of Atlanta-based Garner Economics, LLC, a leading location advisory firm. Mr. Garner’s presentation, “Are We on the Same Page? What Makes Good Communities Great,” provided insight on how economic development professionals can best position their communities and regions for successful interaction with site consultants, who typically handle higher-dollar site searches. Read More>>

Southeast Development Leaders Join National Defense Gathering

Economic developers from around the Southeast were on hand at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) in October. The 62-year-old organization held its 2012 meeting at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. “There was a strong list of exhibitors there, and we made some very good contacts,” says Russ Rogerson, Executive Vice President for The Economic Development Alliance of Fayetteville & Cumberland County. Mr. Rogerson attended the event along with other county and regional developers from the Southeast. They joined officials of the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance in staffing a kiosk at the North Carolina pavilion. Read More>>

Elite Designation comes to International Logistics Park

The 1,100-acre International Logistics Park of North Carolina boasts a lengthy menu of assets. The industrial-zoned property straddles Brunswick and Columbus counties, sitting aside a four-lane US highway. It is equipped with fiber, water and sewer, with natural gas lines nearby. Tier 1 designation offers industrial tenants located there significant tax savings. The Port of Wilmington and Wilmington International Airport are within a half-hour drive. Read More>>

Columbus County Becomes Home to 7MW Solar Energy Farm

Guidance from North Carolina’s Southeast led to the recent completion of a solar energy installation near Whiteville that is producing enough power to serve electricity to 750 homes. Construction on the 7MW Whiteville-Bowman Farm began last August, taking 14 weeks to complete. It is the latest project of Strata Solar, a Chapel Hill-based solar power producer. The property sits adjacent the county’s Southeast Regional Industrial Park, making it a potential lure to companies interested in minimizing their carbon footprint. “A company that wants to have a small carbon footprint could easily locate next door,” says Gary Lanier, director of the Columbus County Economic Development Commission. Read More>>

For the Southeast, FABTECH is a Chance to Showcase the Region – and Learn

Like most manufacturers, metalworking companies saw sharp declines in orders during the Great Recession. But after a wave of consolidations in the industry, plus the absorption of excess capacity and the adoption of new technologies, metalworking has begun showing promising signs of re-birth. Industry experts reinforced this view at FABTECH 2012, held last November in Las Vegas. The large number of attendees and exhibitors at the annual event was alone evidence that the cluster may be entering an exciting new phase of growth. North Carolina’s Southeast was among the participants at the show with a five-person delegation from the region. Read More>>

Richmond County Names Martie Butler to Economic Development Post

When officials in Richmond County needed to hire a professional to serve as their lead interface with its industrial community, they were able to turn to a familiar face. On January 14th, Martie Butler began her tenure as Management Analyst/Economic Development for the county, a role that will focus primarily on providing support for existing corporate residents. Since 2007, Ms. Butler had served as an economic developer for the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville. Her duties there centered on monitoring and serving companies across the 11-county Southeast Region, which includes Richmond County. Read More>>