|New fiscal year and opportunities|
|Business recruiting undergoes transition|
|Published Monday, July 7, 2014 2:36 pm|
With FY 2014-15 now underway, I’m particularly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, as well as the success we achieved during the last fiscal year.
Over the past 12 months, the partnership’s business development team presented our region’s assets to hundreds of company executives and site consultants in 10 cities and six foreign countries. We also attended nine conferences and trade shows, including CONEXPO, National Business Aviation Association, and POWER-Gen. Our efforts helped land projects that resulted in announcements of more than 3,700 new jobs and nearly $620 million in investments. These included companies like Ferti Technologies in Iredell County, Greenheck in Cleveland County, Medline in Lincoln County, MetLife and AIG in Mecklenburg County, and Giti in Chester County.
Looking ahead, the next year will likely be a period of transition as North Carolina restructures its Department of Commerce. It’s still unknown how the new Raleigh-based Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina will impact this region. Nonetheless, the Partnership remains the largest and most successful regional economic development entity in the Carolinas and the single best vehicle to recruit projects to Charlotte USA. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the N.C. Department of Commerce as we cooperatively execute on a shared vision to improve the economic vitality and quality of our region.
Currently, the partnership is working on dozens of qualified projects that touch on a variety of vibrant and growing industries, including aerospace, IT, back-office/headquarters, energy, logistics, and automotive/transportation equipment. These multiple project leads have resulted from years of consistent, focused recruitment efforts.
We also continue to bolster the region’s image and profile through our national and international public relations campaign. We’ve secured positive stories about regional businesses and economic trends in high-profile media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, China Central Television, and USA Today. Moving forward, we will maintain close communications with our stakeholders and share their stories with important news outlets to further strengthen Charlotte USA’s position as the premier location for expanding and relocation businesses.
Wayne Cooper, the honorary consul of Mexico, returned recently from a weeklong trip to Mexico, where he met with many important dignitaries, including Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, and Secretary of State Jose Meade.
Cooper was one of 101 honorary consuls from 61 countries who traveled to Mexico for the meeting, which was designed to strengthen relations with the participating countries. With Mexico being one of North Carolina’s most important trading partners, Cooper says the trip was a wonderful opportunity to network and tout the Charlotte region, particularly as an energy hub. Mexico is opening its oil and gas energy sector, much of which is based in Campeche, Mexico. This paves the way for investment opportunities and could further strengthen business relations between Charlotte USA and Mexico.
Statesville Regional Development Executive Director Michael Smith was recently elected North Carolina Economic Developers Association president for 2014-2015. He served as the group’s vice president in 2013-2014. Prior to joining Statesville Regional Development in 2006, Smith worked in Raleigh for seven years at the NC Department of Commerce. The North Carolina Economic Developers Association is the leading statewide association for professional economic developers and their allies. The association has nearly 600 members, who help recruit new companies to the state as well as support the growth of existing businesses and entrepreneurial ventures.
York Technical College recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first building and also broke ground on a new renovation and expansion. The college’s renovation of its original building includes modern new lab space and marks the first phase of a 20-year campus-wide expansion and transformation. York Technical College serves about 5,000 students in 85 credit programs and 2,000 continuing education students.
Carolinas Medical Centeris one of the 50 top-grossing nonprofit hospitals in the nation, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.The flagship hospital of Carolinas HealthCare System had a gross revenue of $4.25 billion in 2012, earning it a ranking of No. 21 in the report.
Carolinas HealthCare System dates back to the early 1940s, when it first opened as Charlotte Memorial Hospital in Dilworth. It was one of the region’s first hospitals to adopt a desegregation policy in the early 1960s, and it quickly grew and expanded. Charlotte Memorial Hospital changed its name to Carolinas Medical Center in 1990 to reflect its expanding services and role in the community. The Carolinas HealthCare System name was adopted six years later and it has since grown into one of the leading healthcare systems in the Southeast and one of the largest public systems in the country. CHS encompasses some 900 locations and more than 7,400 licensed beds in two states.
Information-technology services firm Versiant has moved from Fort Mill to a 10,000 square-foot facility in Charlotte’s Whitehall Corporate Center. Company officials say they were looking for a larger space where the firm could better host clients, which include Bridge Terminal Transport, Direct ChassisLink Inc. and SPX Corp. Versiant’s relocation illustrates Charlotte USA’s dynamic marketplace and the region’s ability to offer growth opportunities for a variety of firms and industries. The move also emphasizes the importance of being able to provide the right local and state supportive services to help both existing companies and the region continue to grow and prosper.
Ronnie Bryant is president and CEO of Charlotte Regional Partnership.
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