Hickory, NC, December 07, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- The Catawba County Economic Development Corporation held its annual planning meeting recently with its Board, Staff, Elected officials, and other Community Leaders. The intent was to assess and review recent economic development initiatives, to gauge new opportunities, and to determine priorities for 2009 considering National, Regional and Local issues. The EDC’s mission is to build a diversified economic base throughout Catawba County by recruiting new business and industry and supporting/growing existing industry.
Tony Rose, EDC Board Chair, said “While we were very successful in 2008 in announcing and creating new jobs across the economic spectrum, we have to continually recruit for new opportunities and look for ways to assist our existing industries stay and grow.” Some of the successes we should look forward to, Rose said, “include over 450 jobs at Convergys, 820 jobs at Williams-Sonoma, 25 at Turbotec, 31 at von Drehle, expansions at Technibilt and Poppelmann Plastics, and the opening soon of the Target Distribution Center with its 580 jobs”.
EDC Priorities for the coming year include maintaining the intensity and focus from the primary 2008 priorities, particularly the Data Center Initiative and Multi-Jurisdictional Park Development, and the filling of the ADEVCO and CenterPoint speculative buildings, and, new for 2009, the following priorities:
· Target and Recruit Renewable Energy Subsectors: Develop a strategy to target and effectively recruit specific renewable energy subsectors specifically matching our strengths (i.e., manufacturing), and compatible with our existing industry supply chain
· Strengthen Presence and Awareness of Economic Development News and Events: Coordinate means to regularly disseminate economic development news to a broad audience using new and established media, strengthening public awareness of the EDC/benefit of economic development and strengthening the understanding of the EDC as the voice for economic development; thereby assuring that economic development news is communicated and furthering the public’s awareness of the entire economic development effort
· Leverage Existing Industry Services to Focus Targeted Recruitment: Further integrate existing industry services with targeted industry recruitment to create new business for small, medium, & large Catawba County companies
· Encourage Supportive Legislation: Utilize the EDC Board and other means to develop, modify and encourage compatible State and Federal legislation facilitating target industry sectors & the County’s competitiveness as a whole
· Assess Development of Business Parks: Analyze and assess the need, costs, and benefits of the EDC developing the ability to establish and develop competitive business parks and sites for future needs and determine viability versus the current multi-jurisdictional approach
· Promote and Support Manufacturing: Maintain, grow and market a proud/positive manufacturing mindset within the general population, the existing and future workforce and the community leadership
· Expand Current Committee of 100: Encourage continued support of existing industry to invest in bringing jobs to the County through the use of current and past EDC Board/Committee of 100 members for testimony and contact