From the President: “The Power of Connection”

About 220 miles separate New Bern from Wadesboro, and the two communities differ in many ways. Still, regionalism provides natural links that create a common denominator. Both are part of the Southeast Region and share a vision for leveraging distinctive assets and amenities in shaping a destination for 21st century industries and companies.

Every Southeast community has something to offer success-minded businesses. Start with our growing workforce, which is trainable, mobile and loyal. Our workforce is extremely productive and their skills sharpened by exceptional regional educational assets in the form of our engaged K-12 schools, business-friendly community colleges, and future-minded public and private universities.

Moving those workers around the region is a web of four-lane highways and three Interstates, which also supports a supply-chain that facilitates the transfer of raw materials, components and finished goods. Class A rail service, supported by the North Carolina Railroad Company, links companies in the region to their markets, augmented by our industry-focused short-line railroads. Modern aviation facilities, including four commercial airports, serve corporate travelers and cargo shipping needs throughout the Southeast.

Financial institutions from community lenders to major national banking names work to ensure the capital needs of businesses of every size in the region. The same is true for energy providers, from membership coops and municipal power agencies to the nation’s largest investor-owned utility. Each connects companies, institutions and people to affordable and reliable electricity and natural gas. Our regional medical centers provide a seamless continuum of care for the nearly 1.8 million people who call the Southeast home.

But the ultimate glue that binds communities in the Southeast are leaders who share a common drive to bring 21st century prosperity to every corner of the region. They come from both government and business, and they are as diverse as the towns and counties they represent. They have chosen The Southeastern Partnership as their venue of choice for embracing the possibilities that today’s economy brings. Their leadership is complemented by a talented group of local economic development professionals dedicated to advancing the economic and fiscal objectives of their communities, and creating job opportunities for all.

Our diverse communities set the Southeast apart. So too do the connections that bring us all together.


Steve Yost