North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2015

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Orange County N O R T H C A R O L I N A T h e P e r f e c t M i x F o r B u s i n e s s T h e P e r f e c t M i x F o r B u s i n e s s 131 W. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, NC 27278 | 919‐245‐2325 | www.GrowInOrangeNC.com Orange County Economic Development Orange County, at the Crossroad of I‐40 & I‐85 and Home of UNC‐Chapel Hill, offers Designated Economic Development Districts along the Interstates for Business Growth, Attractive Incentives for Employers, and a Distinct Mix of Skilled & Educated Workforce. Durham & Raleigh Greensboro & Charlo�e C h a p e l H il l Hillsborough E V E R Y T H I N G F O R S M A R T G R O W T H ! Available Sites a half-dozen employees at its 10,000- square-foot warehouse in Hickory. Staffs, regardless of size or job, need to be fi lled. Raker cites Asheville-Bun- combe Technical Community College and others like it in the region that offer customized job training, which provides skilled workers, especially to the outdoor- gear companies that manufacture in the region. "[They] can pre-train and prequalify employees. There's a great manufactur- ing workforce in this region because it has been such a large part of our economy for so long." Outdoor-gear companies are succeeding in western North Carolina because of cooperation and synergy. That's fueled by the spirit of residents. "[The atmosphere is] almost conta- gious," Johnston says. "It's fertile ground for new products, and the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit is coupled with the infrastructure to manufacture products, which makes it unique." In 2004, author Richard Florida, in his book reative Class, named the region's largest city — Asheville — one of the nation's most progressive and avant-garde cities and a magnet for entrepreneurs. Others are taking a similar interest. In October, the global Outdoor Industry Association brought its Annual Rendezvous to Asheville. Attendees discussed topics such as selling simulta- neously online and retail and how innovators embrace change. Natalie DeRatt, a native of Sheffi eld, England, is a sprinter who came to the University of North Carolina at Asheville on an athletic scholarship in 2006. She is now marketing manager at Eagles Nest Outfi tters, the hammock-maker that started in 1999 with two brothers selling their wares at outdoor concerts. The company moved to a 17,000-square-foot plant in 2010, where it employs about 25 full- and part-time workers. "It's a vibrant place to be," she says of the region. "There's lots of enthusiasm and motivation — and inspiration."

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