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Chatham Economic Development exceeds annual projections for new jobs

Posted Monday, March 26, 2012

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Pittsboro, NC - The Chatham County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) brought good news to the Chatham County Board of Commissioners (BOC) on March 19, reporting that it had already exceeded all annual projections for job creation by new businesses and expansion of existing businesses.

Since last July, five new companies have announced that they will add more than 450 jobs in the county. The expansion of nine existing companies will add another 220 jobs.

“With this growth, we will see new capital investment of more than $150 million” said Dianne Reid, president of the EDC.

“It is great to see that the county’s focus on being more jobs friendly is having such positive results.” said Brian Bock, chairman of the BOC. “The goal of Chatham being a county where more of our residents can live, shop, and work is quickly becoming a reality. That is extremely exciting.”

The past year has seen continued growth for the EDC as an organization. “We have involved 180 volunteers around the county in various aspects of implementing our strategic plan and developing a new brand identity for the county. We have a new logo, but that is just one visual piece of having a consistent, clear message representing ourselves,” Reid said.

The EDC has been involved in and supportive of the county’s new pre-application meetings for people considering the expansion or startup of a business. Reid said, “It helps send the message that we want to work with you and help you bring your business here or grow your business in Chatham County. We have received nothing but great feedback on the value of these meetings, which help business owners address potential issues early in the process.”

As an example of recent job growth in Chatham County, Reid pointed to Acme-McCrary, a textile producer based in Asheboro. The company expanded its distribution and warehouse operations to the former Joan Fabrics building in Siler City. The move yields a $500,000 company investment, retains 42 existing Siler City jobs and creates 100 new jobs in Chatham County.

A new business to the area is Value Outsourcing Solutions (VOS), which moved into a vacant 280,000-square-foot building in Siler City earlier this month. VOS offers services for a wide range of companies, such as order processing and fulfillment, packaging and product assembly.

The EDC continues to help startup companies with support for entrepreneurs. “As of Jan. 31, we had worked with 81 people trying to start new businesses and offered them an array of support services. So far, they have created 45 jobs. These are often the small businesses that provide unique, high-quality goods and services that we value as part of our quality of life,” Reid said.

The NC Department of Commerce has reported promising trends, including foreign manufacturing companies expanding into the state. In all of 2011, 75% of new projects that came to the state were in the manufacturing sector.

“The state report shows a large number of expansions by existing companies,” said Reid. “Key factors reported in site selection were availability of existing buildings and labor force, but also convenient market location. We are well positioned in Chatham for all of these criteria. Businesses can get their goods to 60% of the United States population overnight.”

Reid said, “The past few years we have all been working hard to lay the groundwork through strategic planning and it is starting to pay off. It is so rewarding to see good things starting to happen across the county. Stay tuned folks.”

For more information on the EDC, visit: www.chathamedc.org

 
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