The major collaborative effort to co-brand four megasites in central North Carolina – two of those in Guilford County – and bring more jobs and economic development to the region, took another step forward on Tuesday, May 22, when partners in the “Carolina Core” initiative hosted a delegation of the state’s top-ranking economic development officials for the day.
The visiting group included leaders of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) – which attempts to promote economic growth across the state. It also included members of the EDPNC business recruitment, business development and research and marketing teams.
Others on the tour included representatives of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the High Point Economic Development Corporation, Winston-Salem Business Inc. and the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.
The main purpose of the tour and meeting all rolled up into one was to familiarize the group with the megasites and other attractive assets in the Carolina Core area.
The four megasites that will be branded and marketed under that common name include Piedmont Triad International Airport’s new 800-acre aerospace site with runway access, the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite with over 1,900 acres available for future tenants, the Chatham-Siler City Advance Manufacturing Site that offers more than 1,800 acres of available land and the roughly 2,500-acre Moncure Megasite near Research Triangle Park.
Stan Kelly, the president and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership said after the extended tour that it provided North Carolina’s top economic development officials with a lot of information.
“Today we had the valuable opportunity to give our state’s top economic officials a first-hand look at all the assets in the Carolina Core project,” he said, adding that the EDPNC, along with other economic development groups, have been valuable partners in creating the Carolina Core vision.
The daylong event began with a breakfast and briefings in the Bailey Power Plant at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem. Then the group visited downtown Greensboro, BB&T Point stadium in High Point and each of the four megasites along the US-421 corridor.
Christopher Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, said later that he found the experience very valuable and also said the effort should make the region more attractive to businesses.
“The Carolina Core is a strategic approach to economic development that erases traditional borders and focuses on the region’s cumulative competitive assets that are desirable to prospective businesses,” he said.
Chung added that the tour and meeting, “helped further bring the Carolina Core vision to life” and also provided a valuable opportunity for the group’s sales and marketing teams.
He also said that this “helps us at EDPNC to better promote the Core in our interactions with prospective businesses.”
Last month, the North Carolina Department of Transportation installed new Carolina Core highway signs along the US-421 corridor. Leaders in the region are also working with local, state and federal officials to upgrade that highway to an Interstate. Also, local economic development groups are collectively enacting an aggressive marketing plan to drive leads and business investment to the region using site selection consultant visits and an advertising campaign.
The Carolina Core project is part of an effort to meet the Piedmont Triad Partnership’s goal of attracting more than 50,000 jobs to the included area over the next 20 years.