North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2016

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11 North Carolina Economic Development Guide Southeastern North Carolina counts Port of Wilmington as its largest economic asset. State incentives strengthen its attraction for new businesses. Photo courtesy of N.C. State Ports Authority. "We're not just leveraging the resources of one sector," says Christopher Chung, who was named partnership CEO in January 2015 and attended Yost's Elizabethtown meeting. This isn't his fi rst swing at public-private economic development. He spent eight years leading a similar organization in Missouri. He built that from the ground, and in less than four years, recruited $1 billion in investment, more than 10,000 jobs and nearly 80 corporate operations. One was from Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp., which has a large presence in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. The partnership constitutes a structural change that Gov. Pat McCrory wanted since he was elected in 2012. He directed John Lassiter, who served on Charlotte City Council and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board while McCrory was the city's mayor, to research and develop the transformation. "There's been a real high level of admiration around the country when they saw we committed to this model and hired one of the fi nest economic developers in the country to lead it," says Lassiter, who owns a legal-staf ng service in Charlotte and chairs the partnership's board. "It told folks in the economic-development community that we're serious, we're open for business, and we're prepared to put North Carolina at the forefront of every economic-development activity in the next few years." The partnership of ers greater fl exibility and responsiveness than Commerce could be by itself. It uses statewide resources to direct companies to the best Tar Heel

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