North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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doing great. I know why. It's near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. I told him about Fayetteville, where the Army has Fort Bragg, Jacksonville, where the Marines have Camp Lejeune, and the other communities that host military installa- tions. Those are perfect places to fnd a workforce, because people leaving the military are disciplined and trained for jobs such as machinists. Making those connections and compiling those options are part global view and part local apprecia- tion for what exists across the state. Decker: A company that's looking to relocate or start here has done its home- work. It knows where it wants to locate. But there will be times when we can suggest sites. We use educational oppor- tunities, community-college resources and even existing industry to tailor those suggestions. Food processing is an example of that last variable. We look at where North Carolina crops are processed, harvesting opportunities to bring processing here. If you know your assets, you can capitalize on them. What is the partnership's role in long-term support for companies? Lassiter: It will depend on company needs. Specifc solutions will be created. We'll continue to have an aggressive small-business operation that provides help from vendor assessment to fnancing access. We see the partnership connecting folks who want to do business together. That could be creating relationships with suppliers or technology and data-service providers. Cultivating growth strengthens the community. Workforce training will be most of what's done for large compa- nies. One complaint I periodically hear from manufacturers is workers aren't trained as quickly as the factory foor changes. If we better marry those, companies will grow faster and larger. And it will make North Carolina a better option for companies looking to reshore production. Decker: As in any business, we want to recruit customers and take care of existing ones. We want all businesses to create jobs and grow. The partnership's business- development team is focused on recruit- ment, and its business-services team is focused on existing customers. It's a concerted effort. Many economic-development projects use code names and private meetings, but the partnership is subject to open-meetings law. Will that affect recruitment? Lassiter: That part of recruiting compa- nies won't change. It's protected under the open-meetings law. Code names and 14 N o rt h C a r o l i N a E Co N o m i C D E v E lo p m E N t G u i D E ate par eamlines economic-development effor man J

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