The Bladen Journal
ELIZABETHTOWN —North Carolina’s Southeast, one of the seven regional economic development partnerships in North Carolina, has unveiled its strategic marketing plan for 2010-2011.
NCSE’s mission is to provide strong economic development leadership in southeastern North Carolina through innovative marketing and collaborative regional initiatives that will create new jobs, generate capital investment, and secure new business locations. Within this mission is a long-term goal to help the southeast region become as globally competitive as possible in the area of quality job growth.
NCSE is cognizant of the slow economic recovery and is designing innovative economic development approaches to help the region. Since 1996, NCSE has generated or assisted in the location of 103 companies, more than 8,000 jobs, and more than $900 million in private investment to the southeast region. NCSE serves the following counties: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, New Hanover, Pender, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland.
In addition to its on-going economic development marketing of targeted industry sectors and clusters within the region, NCSE will be launching several new initiatives in the region, including:
— Regional Workforce Analysis: This study will analyze the region’s strengths and weaknesses within existing and targeted industry sectors, such as biotechnology, food processing, distribution, energy, and other sectors. It will also explore the current standing of the manufacturing base in the region for the purpose of indentifying job growth areas. Manufacturing pays the highest wages of any sector in the region, and 11 percent of the workforce is engaged in manufacturing.
The study will also provide a basis to strengthen NCSE’s marketing for quality job creation and provide guidance to other organizations that conduct training and education, including the area workforce boards, the community colleges, the Career Technical Education programs for K-12 schools, and the three public universities in the region.
— Targeting aerospace and aviation companies: NCSE has just started an analysis of the region’s potential to attract aerospace and aviation companies. Transportation proximity to the new Boeing Aircraft assembly plant in South Carolina provides an opportunity to market the region to supplier companies that will service that facility with parts and components.
Additionally, over the last several years, North Carolina has achieved major accomplishments in becoming a location for companies in this industry sector.
— Recruiting and assisting renewable energy companies: NCSE is already seeing strong interest from renewable energy companies that are eying the region for potential facilities. These companies are exploring several areas of development of renewable energy, including biomass, bio-fuels, wood pellets, solar panels, and wind turbine components.
This is a young industry sector, but one with job growth potential in the region.
NCSE’s marketing plan was developed by the NCSE board of directors and its Technical Advisory Group, which includes local economic development organizations in the region, the community college system, the three public universities in the region, private sector allies, and other organizations, a total of more than 30 organizations.
“North Carolina’s Southeast provides a unified and innovative approach to marketing the southeast region to several industry sectors, and this is very helpful to the region’s counties in creating new jobs and developing opportunities to talk to companies about possible locations here,” says John Swope, executive director of the Sampson County Economic Development Commission and also chairman of the Technical Advisory Group.
Since its creation by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1993, North Carolina’s Southeast has served as the region’s lead economic development organization, filling gaps that exist between the state and local development entities and complementing government resources with private dollars and expertise.
For information on North Carolina’s Southeast, visit www.ncse.org.
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