North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2016

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33 North Carolina Economic Development Guide from the city of Wilmington and New Hanover County awarded over fi ve years. Grants like these are available statewide. For Sealed Air, North Carolina will reimburse up to $36.7 million over 12 years pursuant to its JDIG program, which links award amounts to the grantee's payroll. The state's One North Carolina fund is providing a grant of up to $2.5 million, based on hiring and investment thresholds. Both programs are administered by the N.C. Department of Commerce. Mecklenburg County is matching the One North Carolina award. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saf o says Castle Branch's decision confi rms Wilmington can compete with any destination for information-age jobs. "This is a company whose scope is global, and these jobs could have gone anywhere in the world." The company's choice is a dividend on local leaders' planning and investing in recent years. "Our ef orts to maintain the high quality of our schools, recreational amenities and public services clearly make an impression on companies of this caliber." Saf o also credits the professionalism and dedication of the region's economic- development representatives. The city of Wilmington, New Hanover County and neighboring Pender County contract with Wilmington Business Development, a membership-based nonprofi t that recruits businesses and supports existing companies as they expand. "WBD was very ef ective in pulling together the support we needed from state and local governments," Martin says. "There's no question the organization made a major dif erence. They did everything we asked them to do, and they did it well." The N.C. Community College System will support Castle Branch's expansion with custom workforce training. "UNC- Wilmington provides us with a reliable stream of well-trained young workers, and Cape Fear Community College also is a valuable resource for our company," Martin says. "We work with both those institutions because they provide the one resource our company relies on, which is really good people." With a business-minded government, youthful workforce, fun and sun on the coast and more, Wilmington is appearing on more companies' radar screens. "People from major metro areas around the country are looking at Wilmington and saying, 'wow — what a great place to live,'" Martin says. "There's something very special going on here, and businesses are beginning to recognize that." At fi rst glance, the restored 200-year-old farmhouse doesn't look like a place where something special in economic development could happen. But Spring Hill House was a fi tting backdrop in April 2015, when CBC Americas Corp. announced Wake County would be home to

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