North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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a grant to repurpose a former RJR plant makes perfect sense, says Dan Gerlach, the foundation���s president. Since 2000, Golden LEAF has distributed more than $487 million of the $936 million the state had received through July 2011. Ashley is an example of a U.S.-based company that has learned to not only survive but also thrive with lean manufacturing and a growing retail network, the Ins and Outs We���ve Got of Business Covered! Gerlach says. ���They���ve been very successful in a very competitive environment. They really represent the new shape of the furniture industry, and I have a lot of confdence in the county���s economic developer and the county itself. It���s a signifcant commitment for us, but it���s an opportunity we don���t want to miss. The Triad has really been hit hard in the last decade. But in my opinion, this is part of a renaissance of manufacturing going on in North Carolina.��� Manufacturing in the state will never be what it was 30 years ago, he says, not only because so many jobs have gone overseas but due to automation and advanced-manufacturing techniques. The number of manufacturing jobs in North Carolina dropped from 822,800 in July 1990 to 440,900 in July 2012, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce���s Division of Employment Security. ���But it���s still an important part of our economy.��� T Johnston County is... your best route to business success. Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of US-70, I-40 and I-95 In close proximity to the nation���s largest research park, an international airport and three renowned research universities Able to offer a highly skilled and educated workforce Committed to growth, innovation and outstanding service 212 E. Market Street Smith���eld, NC 27577 Ph 919-989-5001 Fx 919-989-5178 Johnston e c o n o m i c County development ���Your Best Route to Success��� hough workers might have experience in manufacturing, even in making furniture, they don���t always possess the skills Ashley needs and, as Wanek says, trains for. Education is another piece of the puzzle. ���Other business people spoke very highly of the community college,��� he says. ���They have a good reputation.��� He liked that many workers had been trained for advanced manufacturing and that the local campus of Davidson County Community College will continue to expand that curriculum. ���They were impressed with the quality and availability of candidates,��� Bralley says. ���The community college has been a big catalyst for this. They have really helped get our workforce back to work.��� Wanda Ramos-McPherson, director of DCCC���s Business and Industry Customized Training programs, says the school partners with EDC leaders in Davie and Davidson counties as well as human-resources and plant managers to develop training programs suited specifcally to the needs of new and expanding industries. ���Ashley North Carolina EDG

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