Southeast Launches New Strategic Plan

In the past three years, efforts by The Southeastern Partnership helped result in the arrival of 18 new companies to the region, the creation of 3,644 jobs and capital investment totaling $838 million. Those results were driven from a carefully considered strategic plan launched in 2014. In July, the region embarked on an even more ambitious strategy that seeks to build on those numbers.

The Southeast’s new strategic plan calls on the organization and its partners to bring at least 270 qualified business leads to the region’s economic development organizations, generate 126 unique client visits to the region and recommend 1,080 possible sites and buildings by mid-2020. Much as before, programs will include meetings with company executives, outreach to site-selection consultants, networking with industrial realtors, targeted email campaigns and participation at national and international industry events.

Close links with key partners like the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), the N.C. Department of Commerce, private allies, public partners and member counties remain a thread common to every aspect of the strategy. “Collaboration is engrained in all our programs and all our planning,” says Steve Yost, president of The Southeastern Partnership. The organization will continue to advocate vocally for improvements to the region’s economic infrastructure, inventory of high-quality industrial sites and buildings, workforce readiness programs and project financing resources. The 2017-2020 strategy also calls on the region to align with its growing healthcare sector to identify opportunities for economic synergies.

“The plan is pretty specific about what we need to do,” says Chuck Horne, a Southeastern Partnership board member who chaired the 15-member ad hoc committee that drafted the plan. “We set some lofty but attainable goals,” says Horne, an Anson County businessman. “The Southeast Region has had great success over the last three years, and we want to build on that.”