The Piedmont Triad Partnership, a regional economic development group with a goal of promoting a 12-county area in central North Carolina including Guilford County, laid out its “Carolina Core” regional branding effort in August, and now it’s gearing up for a big rollout of the initiative meant to draw a lot of attention to the central part of the state.

Area economic development officials say people should start hearing the phrase “Carolina Core” a lot once the branding effort hits the streets after the start of the New Year.

The effort is an attempt to link and market four megasites in central North Carolina under the single brand – Carolina Core.  The megasite at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) is in that mix.

Koury Corp. President Steve Showfety, who is the chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, said the campaign will become high-profile in early 2019.

“We are one of the anchor facilities here at our airport and they’re going to be promoting that to a much greater extent on a public basis after the holidays,” Showfety said.

Recently, former Senior Director for Triad Aerospace Development Jim McArthur left that job – which included the responsibility of promoting the airport’s megasite – and went to work for Duke Energy.  Showfety said that hopefully McArthur’s replacement will be named soon since the new director will play a big role in promoting Carolina Core.

McArthur was from Mississippi but one source said most of the applicants for the job opening created by McArthur’s departure are from North Carolina.

The megasites in Carolina Core include PTIA’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 also in Chatham County.

Showfety said that the four sites form a “megasite corridor” that should be very appealing to major companies looking for new sites for expansion. He said he and staff at PTIA are working with PTP officials to see that the coming rollout is successful.

“We’re working closely with them in the branding initiative for our megasite and it’s under review by the staff how we can best weave into the messaging that will be part of the Carolina Core economic development initiative,” Showfety said.

Promotional materials from the Partnership state that the Carolina Core is “a corridor between Winston-Salem and Fayetteville at the heart of North Carolina with four new megasites of 7,200 acres of certified land that offer advanced manufacturers room to grow, as well as many other industrial sites, urban research parks and mixed-use developments.”

According to the Piedmont Triad Partnership’s materials about the Carolina Core initiative, those four sites provide “a skilled workforce born of a rich manufacturing heritage and fueled by the innovation mindset of more than 30 colleges and universities in the region,” and it also notes, “We are in the middle of a state that is consistently ranked as one of the best places to do business in the nation with low costs, competitive incentives and first-rate infrastructure to access the world.”