As 2013 gets underway, we are glad to look back at impressive job announcements in the region for 2012. We tracked hiring news from such companies as BB&T, Ashley Furniture, Solstas Lab Partners, Ralph Lauren and Herbalife. From manufacturing to office operations, and from clinical laboratories to logistics, companies announced their intent to create more than 7,000 new jobs in the Triad last year. Here is a detailed list of 2012 new and expanding firms in the Triad,
Startups, spinouts and innovators from all over the Piedmont Triad are encouraged to apply online to compete for one of fifteen rapid-fire pitch spots during Capital Connects. Those selected will pitch their companies to an audience of angel investors, venture capitalists and other funders at the Capital Connects Triad Pitch Night from 5:00-6:30 p.m. on December 11, 2012 followed by a networking reception and awards presentation.
Online applications to compete are due by midnight, November 15, 2012 via http://capitalconnects2012.istart.org
." Judges are looking for young companies with innovative products or services that address big problems or opportunities. Companies must be headquartered or have a significant presence in the Piedmont Triad region. Additional eligibility and application process details are available at the application website.
This column by NCCGL Director Charles Edwards first appeared in the Greensboro News & Record, July 22, 2012
Greensboro earned the nickname “Gate City” in the 19th century because city leaders understood that building the city’s commercial and industrial base required a modern transportation system.
The burgeoning rail hub that connected the city to the rest of the world did just that. Textile and other leading manufacturers of the day located their headquarters and factories in Greensboro because they knew the goods produced here could easily get to markets up and down the East Coast and across the globe.
Current local and state leaders rightly follow that lead when it comes to the Piedmont Triad’s present-day transportation infrastructure. Five interstates — I-40, I-73, I-74, I-77 and I-85 — pass directly through our region’s cities. The next phase of Greensboro’s Urban Loop, the future I-840, is scheduled for construction next year.
A growing airport facility with three runways and a long-term, visionary plan for a 1,200-acre expansion make Piedmont Triad International Airport a crown jewel for future growth prospects. Rail still plays a major role in getting local products to East Coast ports. And you could say that Greensboro and the Triad region are the “belt-buckle” of the state’s transportation system.
This infrastructure plays a vital role in our region’s economy. Ten percent or nearly 70,000 people in our local workforce are employed in the logistics sector. Big names include FedEx, UPS, Ralph Lauren, Epes Transport and Old Dominion Freight Line. Many companies unrelated to logistics report that our location and expertise have been key factors in their decisions to locate or expand here.
With a perspective of working in logistics and transportation on five continents, it is abundantly clear to me that the foundation of this region’s logistics sector is strong. We boast easy access to air, road, rail and sea transport, coupled with a well-trained workforce.
However, a successful past does not guarantee a bright future. It will take a smart strategy and vibrant education plan to continue our reputation as a top choice for logistics and distribution.
As our forefathers did in building Greensboro’s rail hub in the 1840s, we will need to work together as a region to build on our existing capacity to develop a workforce and environment that will attract companies.
Such is the goal of the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics, based in Guilford County, and the reason NCCGL is so important to our region’s future economic growth prospects.
NCCGL is a collaborative effort under the management of GTCC in partnership with Davidson County Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Randolph Community College and the Piedmont Triad Partnership.
By the end of this year, the center will have a focused educational mission including a multischool curriculum for students seeking a career in logistics and transportation. A strong research and training component housed under one roof at the NCCGL will reinforce and advance the region’s existing logistics and transportation infrastructure.
This newspaper has reported on the return of manufacturing to the Triad. In parallel with developing our local skilled manufacturing sector, we need to remember the crucial step of getting those goods to the markets that will consume them. My goal for the NCCGL is to become the leading logistics center on the Eastern Seaboard, if not in the nation, and I am excited and optimistic about the possibilities before us.
The North Carolina Center for Global Logistics (NCCGL) named Charles H.W. Edwards as its new director. A joint U.S.-Canada citizen, Edwards has global professional experience in the transport and logistics industry with positions held in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Edwards started his new job on July 1.
The NCCGL is sponsored by the Piedmont Triad Partnership and is a collaborative effort under the management of Guilford Technical Community College in partnership with Davidson County Community College, Forsyth Tech and Randolph Community College. The NCCGL will have a focused educational mission as it develops a multi-school curriculum for students seeking a career in logistics and transportation.
The Piedmont Triad region is recognized as a prime location for world-class logistics companies that employee some 67,000 people or about 10% of the region’s workforce, and the sector is expected to continue to grow. Housing the logistics center within the higher education system will be a boon to the long-term economic prospects of the region’s growing logistics infrastructure.
“I am both honored and excited about my new role leading the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics,” Edwards said. “The Piedmont Triad is recognized as a prime location for leading logistics companies. Logistics binds business across the state and around the world and can be an economic engine for the region helping to prepare a workforce and attract jobs. I am looking forward to working with President Parker and the advisory board to establish the NCCGL as the source of logistics-focused workforce development and advisory services.”
“I would like to congratulate Charles on his new role,” said GTCC President Randy Parker. “He demonstrated a strong commitment to logistics education and research that exceeded my expectations and those of our partnering community college presidents. That’s exactly the kind of leadership the center needs to grown and succeed.”
In a joint statement, the leaders of the partnering community colleges – Mary Rittling, president of Davidson County Community College, Gary Green, president of Forsyth Tech and Robert Shackleford, president of Randolph Community College – praised Edwards hiring: “We look forward to working with Charles. We are excited about the possibilities for the NCCGL’s success as it leverages the logistics assets of the region for the benefit of our existing company base, and to recruit additional employers.”
“Today’s announcement is terrific news for the Piedmont Triad”, said David Powell, president and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership. “A strong research and training component like this will reinforce and advance the region’s existing logistics and transportation infrastructure. A strong and growing logistics sector is critical for our continued economic growth.”
Edwards received his undergraduate degree in Transport Geography from the University of Toronto. His graduate degrees include a MS in Urban and Regional Studies from the University of Reading and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business.
The North Carolina Center for Global Logistics is headquartered in GTCC’s Business and Industry Complex off Guilford College Road in Jamestown. Plans are to permanently locate the operation at the new GTCC Cameron Campus located on NC Highway 68 just north of Piedmont Triad International Airport. Funding for the center will be provided through a mix of funds generated by course offerings, and self-supporting activities such as consulting, membership dues, and grants.
An advisory board chaired by Mike Herman, president of Best Services, Inc., representing business, economic development and civic leadership will provide input on NCCGL’s annual program of work and curriculum offerings.
The PTP, one of seven regional economic development partnerships in North Carolina, is a private economic development organization representing the 12-county Piedmont Triad region. Guilford Technical Community College, the third largest of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges, serves nearly 45,000 students annually with curriculum and continuing education programs.
PTP NEXT, a region-wide volunteer organization committed to supporting the region’s high-potential entrepreneurial companies, today announced that Clemmons-based Arctic, Inc. (www.frostkills.com) is the winner of its second round of grant awards in the amount of $20,000.
Arctic, Inc. developed the patent-pending Frostbite ™ Weed Control System for selective control of common weeds without the use of conventional herbicides. The Frostbite System harnesses a "killing frost" to provide a fast, effective, organic solution to weed control that appeals to the growing preference for green products while offering significant advantages over traditional weed control methods.
“We are honored, humbled, and delighted to accept the award,” said Gina Stewart, CEO of Arctic, Inc. “The grant will allow us to address supply chain issues, secure technology and continue research on a distributor model. We are proud to call the Piedmont Triad home and hope this grant will allow us to create local jobs.”
Arctic, Inc. was chosen after a four-month application and selection process, which drew 28 applications from communities across the Piedmont Triad region. Criteria for the competition included:
- innovation-based entrepreneurial companies that are headquartered in the Piedmont Triad region;
- unique products, processes and/or technologies that address large, growing markets, a scalable business model and future job creation.
“Entrepreneurship – and private support for it – is vital to the growth of the Piedmont Triad’s economy,” remarked Coleman Team, PTP NEXT chairman. “For the second time in a row PTP NEXT received dozens of strong applications from innovative start-ups headquartered in our region. Arctic is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit we’ll continue to support in the years ahead.”
“The private-sector leaders that make up the PTP have a passion for entrepreneurship. PTP NEXT has been an exciting way for us to learn about and financially support these growing businesses,” said David Powell, president and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership which sponsors PTP Next. “We want to see the winners of these business competitions become successful, active contributors to our regional economy.”
The dogwoods aren’t the only thing blooming in the Triad. While we’re still dealing with the global economic downturn, there are encouraging signs of growth here in the region. From the tiniest nanotechnology to large-scale aircraft and furniture manufacturing, we may look back on early 2012 as the time the tide turned for our local economy. We take this memorial week as a chance to look back at the last five months of positive activity and indicators for the region. Here’s the “bouquet” of positive news we’ve gathered:
Stanley Furniture moving HQ to High Point - Stanley Furniture Co., Inc. will relocate its headquarters from Virginia to High Point, bringing its showroom, consolidated headquarters and 42 jobs to downtown.
Ashley Furniture to open facility this year in Davie, create up to 1100 jobs - Ashley Furniture announced it has selected a 640-acre site near Advance in Davie County for its new mid-Atlantic manufacturing and distribution facility, eventually creating up to 1,100 jobs.
Furniture company brings production to High Point - Sam Pasha Kural has found opportunity in his adopted homeland of America, and now that devotion to his business will lead to opportunities for job-seekers in High Point.
DataChambers expanding at Salem Business Park - IT services firm DataChambers will double its square footage at Salem Business Park in Winston-Salem where its headquarters is located, according to an announcement.
Inmar announces major expansion in Winston-Salem - A pledge to develop an enhanced level of information-technology education and training persuaded Inmar Inc. to expand in Winston-Salem and add 212 jobs, company executives announced.
kgb USA looks to add 170 jobs at McLeansville call center - A company that operates a call center in McLeansville is planning to add at least 168 positions by the end of the year.
Honda Aircraft Co. Announces Major Developments - Greensboro-based Honda Aircraft Co. reached a new milestone when it completed its fourth FAA conforming flight as part of a process to get new planes FAA certified.
Mass production of HondaJet expected later this year - Greensboro-based Honda Aircraft Co. will begin mass production of its $4.5 million business jet later this year and begin delivering the aircraft to customers in 2013.
Triad Manufacturing Still Growing - Cancel the obituary. Forget the funeral dirge. Send the undertaker home. The death of manufacturing in the Triad has been greatly exaggerated.
Market Reflects Industry Optimism - Hopes are high for exhibitors coming into town for spring market. Several exhibitors already are set up for what they hope to be one of the most successful markets since the recession.
Analysts Bullish on B/E Aerospace - Analysts at national brokerage firm Sterne Agee have raised their price target on aircraft cabin interior maker B/E Aerospace to $58 per share amid increased confidence in the company. The previous price was $49.
Buzz of construction still fills Winston-Salem Caterpillar plant - It's been about five months since Caterpillar celebrated the grand opening of its new Winston-Salem plant, and since then a staff of 212 employees has been hired and is now producing about two axles per day.
Gateway University Research Park: A Catalyst for Innovation in North Carolina - In 2008, in southeast Greensboro, a piece of nanotechnology made the transition from advanced research to commercial application. Facilitating the transition was Gateway University Research Park, a shining example of North Carolina’s research and development infrastructure and the state’s commitment to transferring ideas and technology from the lab to the commercial marketplace.
Triad construction employment jumped in February - Construction employment in the Triad jumped during February compared with the same month in 2011, with the Greensboro-High Point area ranking in the top 50 for growth in the country's 337 metro areas, according to the latest analysis from the Associated General Contractors of America.
Airport reports improved boardings - Passenger boardings have been up for the first quarter of the year at Piedmont Triad International Airport, and this week’s High Point Market may help push the gains into April.
Lenovo leaders to Show off Whitsett Expansion - The top North American executives for computer manufacturer Lenovo will show off the completed expansion of its Whitsett center.
The PTP recently hosted a group of journalists from scientific publications to tour some of the outstanding biotech and life sciences organizations in the Triad. It was a lovely day in May as we boarded a bus in Winston-Salem for our first stop at the Piedmont Triad Research Park.
Wake Forest BioTech Place is a stunning building. A former tobacco warehouse, the building has been transformed into a modern space designed to encourage collaboration among its tenants. The open atrium shown here is surrounded by offices and laboratories filling up with researchers and private companies. We met with Phil Shugart, President at Carolina Liquid Chemistries, who praised BioTech Place for its design and he explained its very direct benefit to his business, “Simply by meeting researchers in the hallway and striking up a conversation, we are currently developing two new products that will be submitted to the FDA later this year.” Mr. Shugart’s company develops chemicals that enable medical testing such as cholesterol, hormone, and vitamin levels. Carolina Liquid Chemistries was based in Brea, California but moved its headquarters here to Mr. Shugart’s home state in recent years.
Our next stop at BioTech Place was to witness the incredible work at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM). Dr. Benjamin Harrison walked us around the laboratory and showed us examples of how they regenerate organs such as the bladder, skin and ear. All of their work came back to the Institute’s primary mission which is to improve patients’ lives. The science and innovation on display was amazing and the teams are a wonderful testament to the benefits of collaboration among different types of scientists – medical, engineering, biological – to create the best solution to our current needs for human organs and tissue.
Our third stop was at Banner Pharmacaps which manufactures capsules for medicine and supplements. We donned our lab coats, booties and caps to maintain a sterile environment as we toured the facility and watched the gem-like red capsules of a daytime cough medicine travel through the line and get packed in boxes for shipment. Next time you have a headache, remember that every ibuprofen capsule (of any brand) is assembled right here in this High Point facility.
Our last tour was at the new building for the Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering located in the newly opened Gateway University Research Park. Professors and researchers were still unpacking their boxes as Dr. Jim Ryan gave us a tour of the building he had helped to design. Like WFIRM, scientists and engineers with a variety of specialties are encouraged to work together and consult each other in formal and informal ways. Dr. Ryan designed the building with offices and laboratories in separate areas so the students and teachers have more opportunities to meet and mix. A group of professors sat down with our visiting journalists and described the projects they are working on and how they make use of the highly advanced equipment now available to them at the JSNN.
This annual tour is meant for the journalists who will be writing about the exciting bio and life sciences activity in the Triad; but for those of us at the PTP who participated, it was a reminder of the amazing innovation and collaboration happening every day here in the Triad. It’s something to be proud of.
We'll vote with the Optimists on this one. Please enjoy this Commentary from Ted Abernathy, executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board
. Ted takes a look at the Piedmont Triad and the economic news that seems to be pointing in the right direction for the region.
Link here to the Commentary
The commentary is part of our "Seeing Around the Corner" series and this quarter's paper is titled "Better Information to Argue about the Economy." In the article, Ted explains that "There is enough economic information that no matter which lens you use to look at the conomy, you can make a compelling case." And that signs of improvement are definitely in the recent news of so many jobs announcements for the Triad.
Ashley Furniture, a manufacturer and distributor of home furnishings, will locate a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Davie County. Ashley Furniture expects to create 550 new jobs over the next five years and invest $80 million in land, buildings, machinery and equipment. The announcement was made possible in part by a state Job Development Investment Grant and a One North Carolina Fund award.
"As we see Ashley's global demand for its products increase, Ashley continues to make long-term investments in all of its facilities as well as the continued education of all employees to meet consumer demand. North Carolina's strong furniture manufacturing tradition, along with the cooperation of Governor Bev Perdue, the Department of Commerce and Davie County Economic Development Commission, has made this project possible." said Todd R. Wanek, Ashley's President and CEO, in his comments.
PTP president and CEO David Powell commented on the good news, “Today’s announcement by Ashley Furniture is another obvious illustration of the Piedmont Triad’s reputation as an attractive and affordable place to live and do business. I am pleased to see the recent growth in the furniture industry. Registrations for this week’s market are up ten percent over last year. Recent reports show that residential furniture orders jumping by 15 percent in December 2011 compared to the same month in 2010, the fourth double digit monthly increase in a row. Coupled with the Stanley Furniture announcement earlier in the week, it is gratifying that these expansions in a core sector have occurred in the Piedmont Triad where they belong.
“I would like to congratulate Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, for leading the effort that put together a creative community response to a critical economic development project.”
In the photo above, Senator Richard Burr is flanked by Ron Wanek (left), Chairman and Todd Wanek (right), President of Ashley Furniture, as well as officials from Davie County, as the company announces its new manufacturing and distribution center in Advance, NC.
The furnishings industry has been a major part of the High Point and Triad economy for decades. The global economy and the latest recession hit the industry hard, but things seem to be looking up this year for both the industry and the Market. Just last week, the Business Journal reported that another manufacturer, Stanley Furniture, is considering moving its headquarters to High Point.
Another illustration of the resurgence is the growth in attendance at this year’s high Point Market Week. Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority, said registrations for April’s High Point Market are running about 10 percent ahead of registrations at this point last year. Another good indication is that orders for new residential furniture jumped by 15 percent in December 2011 compared to the same month in 2010. That was the fourth double-digit monthly increase in a row, according to a survey by High Point accounting and consulting firm Smith Leonard.
The High Point Enterprise reported March 28th that “International Market Centers CEO Bob Maricich describes last week’s High Point Pre-Market as “Conservatively cautious good news” reflecting what he believes is continuing proof of the positive momentum occurring nationwide in the home furnishings industry. Registration for the semiannual trade show was up 9 percent from fall’s record-breaking numbers, with an estimated 150 retailers attending the event, said Kevin O’Connor, chairman of the High Point Market Authority board and CEO of Samson Marketing.”
Earlier in March, the paper editorialized about the positive outlook for this year’s Market, “And in more good news, a phone call from Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority, revealed that registrations for next month’s High Point Market, to be held April 21-26, are running ahead of registrations at this point last year. He also said recent markets in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Dallas have been good."
We all have high hopes that, like the national and state economy, the ship of the local furnishings industry has come about and is now slowly heading for smoother seas.
A recent front page story in the Greensboro News & Record featured the work of PTP and many other regional leaders to gain support for a “game-changing” mega-site development.
Reporter Don Patterson interviewed our own CEO & president David Powell among many others about the prospects of attracting an auto or aviation manufacturing plant. “We have to regain a significant amount of the ground we have lost,” Powell said. “A game changer would be a project that could potentially bring thousands of jobs.”
Another potential game-changer would be expansion at PTI which would benefit the entire region. “When the next HondaJet or FedEx comes along, we need to be ready for them,” said Kevin Baker, the airport’s executive director. “It would be terrible to have to turn away an important economic development project.”
The article outlines the economic impact of a large-scale manufacturing recruitment – both the costs in development and incentives, as well as the massive benefits of such an employer. The article cited a study by UNGC economics professor Donald Jud which reports that a 2,000-employee auto plant in the Triad would produce nearly 7,000 net new jobs for the region and nearly 10,000 for the state.
The News & Record article reflects the ideas laid out in an editorial Powell penned for the Business Journal last December and reflects a key strategy of the PTP organization, its board, and investors.
David Powell was keynote speaker at the NC CCIM "Triad Market Forecast" event in Greensboro on March 7th. There was coverage of David's speech touting the importance of creating the ideal business environment for a mega-site business such as an auto or aviation manufacturer in the Business Journal and by local News14.
On her third trip to the Triad in the past month to announce jobs, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced yesterday that Carolina Precision Plastics plans to invest $5.3 million during the next three years in Mocksville.
Local station WXII reported, "The project was made possible in part by a $250,000 grant from the One North Carolina fund. 'Our history of investing in education and workforce training have helped create a business climate that enables companies like Carolina Precision Plastics to expand and thrive,' Perdue said. 'We must continue to build an educated, skilled workforce in order for North Carolina to compete in this global economy.'
Carolina Precision Plastics, which operates as CPP Global, is a privately held company with manufacturing facilities in China, Connecticut and North Carolina. CPP employs 280 people at facilities in Greensboro and Asheboro." The average salary at the new facility will be nearly $40,000.
Yesterday's job announcement by Governor Perdue about Solstas Lab Partners expanding by 500 jobs over the coming five years was added to a happy recent trend in the Piedmont Triad region. "The Triad is hot!" exclaimed the Governor as she noted that it was the second time in a week she had visited the area to announce jobs. This week's other local job announcement featured a Hong Kong company, LF USA, which is a multinational consumer goods export and logistics group has opened an office in Greensboro that will house key functions including accounting and finance, treasury management, transaction services, logistics and customs compliance.
As stated in this recent news report, 2012 has kicked off in a positive way for the Piedmont Triad region with announcements from Krispy Kreme, Piedmont Propulsion Systems, Centerpoint Human Services, Gary George Designs, among others. As PTP Board President Kelly King has said at a recent meeting of local economic development leaders, "Our best days are ahead."
Super Bowl 46 may have been a great football game between the Patriots and the Giants, but some other exciting competition came to the Triad's Elon University for the FIRST Tech Challenge among high school students. As the Greensboro News and Record
reports, the students designed and built computer-guided robots to solve a problems and accomplish tasks.
(an acronym of “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”) was founded by Dean Kamen, best known for inventing the Segway among many other medical and mechanical devices. The mission of FIRST is "to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."
The mission and vision of the FIRST organization mirrors the Piedmont Triad's local TriSTEM organization which also focuses on encouraging science, technology, engineering and math studies through coordination between private business and public education.
Today, the News & Record
included a "Counterpoint
" article from David Powell which addresses a New York Times front page article
published January 8th. The NYT titled its article, "Private Sector Gets Job Skills; Public Gets Bill" -- but they failed to close the feedback loop on the process. When a company like Caterpillar employs workers who were trained at Forsyth Tech -- yes, the company benefits -- but so does the community.
As David explains, "It’s no secret that our area of North Carolina is going through a major transformation. We once led the world’s tobacco, textile and furniture industries. Today, many of those jobs are simply gone. To transform a workforce quickly, an effective solution has been to help connect willing workers to new skills training and to the companies that need those skills. We consider an investment in training programs to be an investment in the people of North Carolina. And make no mistake, we invest for our own benefit. Well-trained, well-paid residents generate more tax revenues, alleviate public burdens and raise the overall well-being of a community."
responding to the article and published in the NYT from Fred Dedrick, Executive Director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions also addresses the skills gap in a manufacturing base that is undergoing a transformation, "This is critically important now given the accelerating pace of technological change. There are few places for adults to get this type of skills training at a reasonable cost. Partnering with employers to design industry-specific training is the best way to ensure that workers and communities can participate in America’s manufacturing revival."
This morning, NPR ran the first of a two-part series on the transformation of factories and factory work in America. While this evolution is taking place all across America, this report focuses on Greenville, SC where textile once ruled with low-tech, manual factory work.
This is an important story for the Triad as well. It highlights the importance of education and skills training for a new generation of jobs. If our workers are going to be ready for these 21st century jobs, they need training and skills to work with what is often highly technical machinery.
Have a listen to the report
and we'll post part two tomorrow.
Our executive vice president Penny Whiteheart appears in this news broadcast from Fox News 8
, the affiliate in the Triad region. The story focuses on the jobs outlook for 2012 and Penny lends the Partnership's perspective that 2012 is looking up from the past three years and that sectors such as aviation and logistics have strong potential.
Everyone here at the Piedmont Triad Partnership wishes you a very productive and prosperous 2012!
As a leadership organization, the Piedmont Triad Partnership celebrates job announcements in the Triad by such companies as Honda Aviation, USAirways, Solstas Labs, and Ralph Lauren. From aviation to logistics and from manufacturing to life sciences, companies announced their intent to create more than 4,600 new jobs in the Triad this year. (For a detailed list of new and expanding firms in the Triad, please visit: http://www.piedmonttriadnc.com/documents/files/jobs2011.pdf
In addition to new job announcements, companies like Caterpillar, FedEx Ground, Save-A-Lot and Pepsi, amongst scores of others, opened facilities that created hundreds of jobs in the Piedmont Triad.
“The jobs news in 2011 for the Piedmont Triad is certainly good news considering the slow national recovery out of the Great Recession,” said David Powell, President & CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership. “2012 can be a year of more positive change for our region. The good news is that we have the fundamentals in place to make this happen in the Triad. The region is known as an attractive and affordable place to live and do business. And our local economic development community is in good shape. We have momentum.”
Why did these companies choose the Triad over other regions?
Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO: “After a rigorous evaluation of various site alternatives, we concluded that we could best serve our customers and complement HondaJet dealer service facilities by placing our MRO facility here in North Carolina, where we are delighted to begin writing this next chapter of our growth. This will also reinforce Honda’s contribution and support to continue developing the aviation and aerospace cluster in the Piedmont Triad Region.” (http://hondajet.honda.com/news/article.aspx?ArticleType=pressrelease&CatType=news_detail_103.xml
George Clopton, Ralph Lauren Corporation’s Vice President of Distribution Operations “We have enjoyed a great partnership with the City of High Point over the years. We expanded several times and have had great growth and opportunity, and we found this to be a wonderful place to do business.” (http://www.highpointnc.gov/edc/board_of_directors.cfm
Tom Chappell, North State Aviation Vice President Business Development “Each state offered advantages and different local incentives that we used as a comparison. We were primarily looking for a suitable facility and a strong local workforce. We also wanted a geographical location where companies could minimize ferry time to a maintenance facility.” (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=mro&id=news/avd/2011/03/02/15.xml
The Piedmont Triad has become a bigger player in aviation over the last decade, and it looks like our position in the industry may grow in the coming year. News from HondaJet at PTI and Piedmont Propulsion Systems at Smith-Reynolds indicate that both are planning to expand in 2012. This is great news for the region and an affirmation of the Partnership’s strategy and focus for meaningful job growth.
The Business Journal reports that “Next year, Honda will continue the momentum with the construction of a $20 million maintenance, repair and overhaul facility to prepare for the production of its $4.5 million lightweight business jet, slated for delivery to customers in 2013.” Some reports also suggest that Honda may be expanding its line of jets to add larger plane models in the future.
The Winston-Salem Journal editorialized today that the city council should approve some incentives for Piedmont Propulsion Systems as they seek to expand their operations at Smith-Reynolds. The incentive package they seek is relatively small, some $30,000 over five years. As the paper opines, “In a time of million-dollar incentives packages, Piedmont Propulsion is not asking for that much, and it's promising a worthy return. Having a larger tenant at the airport would bring in more business, not to mention offering much-needed employment.”
Moving forward is crucial for our region. As a community we need to support this growth, not only with public support, but also with a continued focus on preparing a skilled workforce ready to fill the jobs that will come. With this type of concentrated effort, the Piedmont Triad’s position as the superior aviation industry location will really take off.
How many of you have Legos on the holiday list for a child in your life? Get them
today! You never know where it may lead. On Saturday, for more than 200 middle school kids from Forsyth County, it led to "Robot Run" the 2011 Forsyth County Invitational Tournament
for First Lego League
teams. The winner this year, against tough competition among seventeen middle schools around the county, were the Mustangs from Meadowlark Middle School.
News14 broadcast this piece
which shows the fun and excitement of the event held at Forsyth Technical Community College.
Programs like First Lego are crucial to the Piedmont Triad Partnership's goal of preparing a 21st century workforce in the region. Our support for TriSTEM, along with the support of many private businesses for STEM programs, are what will help the Triad attract and retain highly skilled, well-paying jobs.
And it's fun!
2011 was a big year for the Forsyth program with the number of teams applying to compete exploding from 4 last year to 44 this year. Extracurricular activities like First Lego are proven to increase passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As Tamisha Clark, a volunteer coordinator commented, "The enthusiasm from the kids (and adults) was addictive. What a way to show our commitment to STEM and to the future leaders of our community."
Melissa Carroll, who was involved with teams from Hanes Middle School added, "There are so few places that allow kids to show their interest in science and technology, therefore this is an outlet that is very needed. Our Hanes teams had a wonderful time on Saturday."
So did the Meadowlark Middle School's winning team, shown below with their Lego trophy.
Lexington, which has been hard hit by the recession, saw the grand opening Wednesday of a Save-A-Lot distribution center. The Save-A- Lot center will employ 50 people over the coming months, but the leaders in Lexington see it as a positive step and have hopes for expansion. The company has 1,300 food stores in 39 states now, including 30 in North Carolina, but hopes to grow to 2,400 stores by 2015. Company officials said each new store typically equals a new employee at the distribution center, so the more stores that open in the Carolinas, the more jobs that will be created in Lexington.
The opening of another distribution center in the Piedmont Triad is a testament to the strong position of the Tirad as a great choice for companies seeking sites for logisitcs and distribution.
Though we go unmentioned in this article
in Forbes online magazine, North Carolina once again ranks near the top for "Best States for Business".
The Caterpillar opening last week was an uplifting win for the Piedmont Triad, not just in terms of the direct and indirect jobs that it created, but also as a confirmation of the region’s long-term approach to fostering job growth.
The rain was coming down hard as I drove into the parking lot for the Caterpillar Grand Opening lunch, so it was a welcome sight to see a number of the plant’s new employees waiting with golf umbrellas to escort us into the building. From the first, you could see that Caterpillar was taking great care with its visitors – a good sign for any company that serves customers.
After checking in, I walked down the length of the building as a line of Caterpillar employees in royal blue shirts, big smiles and pride in their eyes welcomed the visitors to the impressive facility. The first impressions were the sheer size of the axles that they will manufacture here and the spotless conditions of the plant. One Caterpillar employee from their Illinois headquarters commented, “People think of manufacturing as a dirty job, but you could eat off these floors, and if you come back in six months, you still could.”
Rusty Davis, the plant's operational manager, was master of ceremonies for speakers representing local and state government as well as education. Mr. Davis praised Forsyth Technical Community College and its president, Dr. Green, for their graduates who made up the first batch of employees. Later, both the Caterpillar group president, Steve Wunning, and the president of FTCC referred to the committed partnership between the school and Caterpillar. Dr. Green confirmed that FTCC was “in it for the long haul.”
It is this just this type of partnership between the private, public and education sectors that we at the Piedmont Triad Partnership believe will make the difference for our region’s future. Fostering job growth and attracting new companies to the region with a positive business climate, targeted education programs, and a dedication to collaboration among all parties supporting development.
The focus on industries like technology and manufacturing can leave out important economic drivers like the health providers in a region. This post will look at two of the Piedmont Triad’s major medical centers, Moses Cone Health Systems and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, to assess their economic impact on the region. While the numbers cover different time frames, the total economic impact for the two medical systems is estimated to run over $6 billion per year.
Last week, Cone Health officials reported the results of an economic impact study commissioned by the health system and conducted by Don Jud, a UNC-Greensboro economist. Measuring direct and indirect impact, the health system has a $2.2 billion impact on the economy. The study found that Cone Health directly and indirectly supports more than 18,000 jobs in the region and that the gross domestic product of the region is estimated to be $1.2 billion higher because of Cone Health. The study took into account the indirect effects from the medicine practiced at its facilities and construction projects like the emergency department expansion. "Cone Health creates opportunities for skilled, clinical and professional talent, and next to having good quality schools, access to top health care is the most critical predictor of employer recruitment and retention," said Cone Health President and CEO Tim Rice.
Based on the 2009 report by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has a total economic impact of an estimated 4 billion a year. The total is based on the annual budget and number of employees, and includes indirect impacts like income taxes paid by employees, and sales, income and other business taxes paid by companies that do business with the medical center.
As it did in 2004, North Carolina ranked 10th in the nation in 2008 for the economic impact of its medical colleges and teaching hospitals. That equates to more than $15 billion a year in direct and indirect benefit to the state, according to the economic impact study released by the AAMC. "U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals are substantial economic engines in terms of jobs, state tax revenues, and economic growth," said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. "While the recent recession has certainly challenged every sector of our financial system, AAMC-member institutions continue to be strong economic drivers for their communities, their states, and the nation.
Flying into Las Vegas, the airport tarmac was a crowded line-up of planes, but none of them was ready to take off. Dozens of small, sleek jets lined the airport grounds for the National Business Aviation Association's 64th Annual Meeting & Convention. Several business leaders from the Piedmont Triad attended the conference to have meetings with key companies – both those located here and potential newcomers.
The PTP’s own David Powell attended the conference with representatives from the triad region’s economic development community, and saw benefits for the region through meetings with industry players. “It was great to be at this event and to talk about the aviation industry’s success right here in the Triad,” said David. “Like the recent expansion of HondaJet, aerospace companies are looking to the Triad as an optimal location for all aspects of the business – from manufacturing to piloting and repairs.”
The event brought more than 26,000 people together in Las Vegas. A spike in international registration, which was up more than 23 percent over that for last year’s Convention, with nearly 4,000 representatives from 88 different countries present at NBAA2011.
The PTP NEXT Business Competition Review Committee has selected ten Piedmont Triad companies and one out-of-state company with plans to relocate to the region as semifinalists from a total applicant pool of 71 companies. These promising companies are competing for grant awards of up to $50,000. Key factors for judging the grant include scalable growth, innovative products, services, processes and/or technologies, and the impact of the grant on the company’s success.
“We were impressed with the caliber, diversity and geographical spread of these young, innovative companies in the Piedmont Triad,” remarked David Worth, PTP NEXT chairman. “We want to support a culture of innovation that will drive economic development. These entrepreneurs have the creativity and skill to solve problems using a wide variety of technologies – from medicine to manufacturing and everything in between.”
“The 11 companies moving to the final round reflect the culture of entrepreneurship we need to grow in the Triad,” said David Powell of the Piedmont Triad Partnership. “We want to provide promising companies like these with access to grants and support to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in the Piedmont Triad.”
PTP NEXT semifinalists have provided in-depth proposals; a subset will be invited to present to a review team of investors, successful entrepreneurs, and industry experts on November 11, 2011. Grant awards will be announced by mid-December.
Check out the news stories at the Business Journal and WFDD.
reported this morning that High Point will retain its title as the Furniture Capital of the World, and that the twice yearly Furniture Market will also stay on top. International Market Centers (IMC) invested about $1 billion to consolidate the largest showroom buildings in High Point with the World Market Center in Las Vegas. The move set off months of fear and speculation over the future of the Triad's lucrative annual furniture market. Take a listen to the report again at 5:30 PM today on WFDD or download the podcast.
When you think of Lexington and Mocksville the first things that typically come to mind are mouth-watering barbeque and world-class furniture. But did you know that the two cities are also known for their award- winning wines?
Last week in Raleigh, two Piedmont Triad wineries, Childress Vineyards
in Lexington and RayLen Vineyards & Winery
in Mocksville, walked away as the big winners at the 12th Annual NC State Fair Wine Competition. Childress was awarded 34 medals, receiving the most awards at the competition. RayLen won the prestigious N.C. Winegrowers Cup, or the Best in Show, for its Cabernet Sauvignon.
The North Carolina wine industry is booming, even in the current economy. According to information released from the Governor’s office, the industry employs nearly 8,000 people and has an economic impact
to the state of $1.28 billion, a 58% increase in five years.
Sounds like it's time to visit the NC wine country and sample
some of the state's finest vintages!
Honda Aircraft Co., headquartered at the Piedmont Triad International Airport, has announced its expansion plans that will bring more than 400 new jobs. The expansion will include a HondaJet service center to conduct major maintenance and repair, a parts warehouse and a center where the company would manufacture components such as wings, doors and windows.Honda Aircraft Co. plans to begin production of its $4.5 million HondaJet next year.
David Powell, Piedmont Triad Partnership president and CEO, has thrown his support behind the decision by Honda Aircraft Co. to expand. “Honda's decision to expand its operations in Greensboro is significant not only for the hundreds of jobs produced, but because it is a strong testament of the region's reputation as a growing hub in the aviation industry,” said Powell in a statement. “We expect to continue to build on our assets in aviation to move the regional economy forward."
The aviation industry is one of the critical business sectors targeted by the Triad's economic development strategy. With this type of collaboration among public and private organizations as well as the education community, the Triad has a bright future in aeronautics. The most recent move by Honda supports the Piedmont Triad's shared vision of the future.
For more coverage of the announcement, please visit these local news sources:
WXII News 12
The Triad Business Journal
The Port of Virginia at Norfolk
recently announced the expansion of a new double-stack rail service that expands The Port of Virginia's reach into central North Carolina, “an important and growing Southeastern market.” The rail project will be inaugurated in mid-October, port and railroad officials confirmed recently.
Jerry A. Bridges, the VPA's executive director was quoted, "Many North Carolina-based cargo owners have expressed a very genuine interest in this service because of the economics of bringing their cargo through our port and into this market by rail. This service diversifies and enhances our reach into what we see as an area with a lot of potential."
It’s reported that the new rail capacity will serve Greensboro with a focus on the textile, furniture, retail, chemical and agriculture industries. The service is already supported by two ocean carriers that have committed to its use and it is generating interest from other carriers as well.
The Port of Virginia considered the Triad, and Greensboro in particular, a center for imports and exports of those cargoes in central North Carolina. The announcement is a boon to the Triad’s position as a top choice for distribution and logistics – a reputation already well-established by local businesses like FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
The Piedmont Triad Partnership is now reporting on three popular social networks. You can link to our pages and follow us on Twitter by clicking the icon on our home page, or by searching for “Piedmont Triad Partnership” on LinkedIn
, and for the handle @ptpNC
on Twitter. These networks are a great way for you to keep up to date on news and important issues to our region – and for you to add to the conversation with comments, postings and tweets.
The past week brought good news for the area’s growing logistics industry with the soft launch of a new FedEx Ground facility in Kernersville. The sorting hub is a major facility for the southeastern operations of FedEx Ground and is located at the Triad Business Park in Kernersville. Material-handling equipment in the building will initially be able to sort 15,000 packages an hour. That number will rise to 45,000 packages an hour when it is operating at full capacity. A grand opening is planned for October 12th.
As reported in the W-S Journal: Gayle Anderson, president and chief executive of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, said the opening of the hub is important for the entire Triad, “It's really important as we position, not just Winston-Salem, but the whole Triad region as a logistics center or a logistics hub." she said. "Having that substantial of a presence with FedEx just adds to our credibility."
Bob Leak, the president of Winston-Salem Business Inc., said the region is a great place for companies with logistics and distribution needs, as FedEx Corp. has two major operations in the region. In addition, to the new sorting hub, the company has a $300 million cargo hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport.
Learn more about why the Triad has been selected by such logistics leaders as FedEx, UPS, and the USPS.
PTP NEXT is an exciting business competition and grant initiative led by a region-wide, volunteer organization. The competition kicked off this year in July and 71 pre-proposals have been received for the first phase of the competition. David Worth, the 2011 Chair of PTP NEXT reports that the first round went very well – a positive sign for the entrepreneurial spirit of the region. Worth says, “The next phase is our full proposal round and we think over 30 of 71 applications will move forward.” Pre-proposal applicants will be notified of their status by September 30th and the final winner will be announced November 28th.
The table below outlines the pre-proposal applications by industry. Visit their websites to learn more about PTP NEXT
and its partnership with NC IDEA
and the PTP.
|Software & Hardware
The High Point Enterprise
is reporting that the Pre-Market has been going very well with increased attendance. The Pre-Market event gives retailers a chance to preview products in advance of the High Point Market, and it gives manufacturers a chance to see which lines are most attractive to retailers. The active participation in this year’s Pre-Market gives the industry some optimism about the High Point Market
in October and sales for the coming year. The furnishings sector
is a vital part of the Triad region’s history and current economy.
This month saw some happy news for the region and our goals for expansion in logistics and distribution (not to mention quality of life). Governor Perdue announced that construction on the last legs of the Greensboro beltway will be funded and expedited, and that work on the Winston-Salem Urban Loop is funded and scheduled to start in 2014. The Governor cited the recent successes for the region in the logistics sector, and emphasized the importance of the state’s road network to our economic development. She credited Triad economic development coups such as FedEx Ground, Caterpillar and Honda Aviation as being drawn to the region because of its modern and expanding roadways.
In theTriad Business Journal
, local economic development leaders shared their praise, "This is huge," said Pat Ivey, the division engineer for DOT in Winston-Salem. "We are finally getting this project off the ground. And it is a very usable section of roadway."
Here at the PTP, we promote logistics and distribution as a major specialty and competitive advantage for the Triad. Public support, evidenced by this expedited roadwork, means that we in the economic development community can confidently tout our region as a superior choice with common, supported goals.
See how the Triad fits
at the crossroads of the United States east coast with easy access by road, rail and air to the rest of the country and the world.
As you can see, we have a new logo for the Piedmont Triad Partnership. The symbol is a graphic take on the map of our 12-county region and mirrors our unified organization. We also have a new tagline “Access More.” The line communicates the ability to Access More logistically, economically, educationally, geographically and culturally. Our new marketing reflects a renewed, united approach to competitive economic development – one that puts the Piedmont Triad at the top of the list for business.