Growth Happens HereJun 01, 2018 08:30AM ● By Jason Huddle
Growth Happens Here
That’s a tagline Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation (EDC) uses to promote Cabarrus County and the realm of business opportunities here.
Robert Carney Jr. serves as executive director of the EDC, whose role is to both entice new businesses into locating here and partner with existing businesses in expansion and services like workforce assistance and the grant process, among others.
So, what employers make up the top 10 in Cabarrus County (as of August 2017) and what types of jobs do they offer? Not surprisingly, Atrium Health leads the way, employing 4,500 people. S&D Coffee & Tea is next, with 1,100; Amazon: 1,000; Speedway Motorsports Inc.: 1,000; Shoe Show: 750; ACN: 600; Corning Inc.: 600; Hendrick Motorsports: 600; Great Wolf Lodge & Resort: 500; and Sysco: 500. The EDC points out that this list does not include governmental or school system jobs.
While Atrium employees come in the form of administrative, maintenance, marketing and medical personnel, a job at S&D could be as a coffee packer, sanitation associate or project engineer. Companies like Amazon, Shoe Show, Corning and Sysco encompass manufacturing but the size of all 10 companies obviously dictates inner workings like human resources, retail, tourism, automotive fleets, IT, payroll, etc.
To get a more current economic overview, Carney supplied Cabarrus Magazine with the EDC’s 2017 Year in Review. It says, “The EDC responded to 135 RFIs (requests for information) and helped announce 1,232 jobs and new tax investment of almost $500 million. In addition, through our existing industry program, we made 149 visits (unique and follow-up) with industry.”
Activity in 2017 included expansions of Intertape Polymer Corp. ($13.5-million investment) that brought in 10 new jobs and Corning ($109-million investment), creating 200 new jobs. New projects were Concord Airport Business Park, JJ Haines, Amazon, TPA Group and Classic Graphics. Combined, they contributed $125.9 million in investment.
Thus far in 2018, iFLY Indoor Skydiving has secured a location in Cabarrus County. Located in the Concord Mills corridor, it will open later this year. Its $10-million investment will bring about 26 jobs to the county. And PreGel America is expanding; its investment is $14.4 million.
In addition, permitted new investment totaled $33.4 million in January compared to $8.2 million a year ago. February 2018 totaled $13 million compared to $3.9 million a year ago.
The EDC has compiled categories of target industries it feels would be a good fit in Cabarrus County. They include aerospace, back office (administration and support personnel who are not client-facing), food & beverage, logistics and motorsports/automotive.
One of the EDC’s services is workforce development. In light of that, according to its website, it heads up or partners with the following initiatives:
• Cabarrus Industrial Council: “An open forum to identify industry concerns or share ideas that you believe would be helpful to your peers in manufacturing and distribution. Cabarrus Industrial Council meets on a quarterly basis.”
• The North Carolina Manufacturing Institute: “Conceived in the summer of 2014 during meetings with leaders from Rowan and Cabarrus counties from both chambers of commerce, economic development authorities, the Centralina Workforce Development Board and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. In 2016, Iredell County and Mitchell Community College joined as partners.
“The North Carolina Manufacturing Institute is a response to employers’ need for solving talent recruitment issues in order to grow and remain competitive. This initiative builds a clear and achievable pathway for people to acquire those skills in order to access good jobs in local communities. Manufacturing firms will benefit from partnering with the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute through access to a pipeline of screened, trained, certified production technicians who can help them achieve their business goals.
• Public High School Career Academies: “Cabarrus Economic Development serves on the advisory board of the Advanced Manufacturing & Automation Academy at Jay M. Robinson High School. This involvement has increased our exposure to the various academies and joint conversations between industry needs and educators.”
• Go Bold: “Go Bold exists to encourage women in Cabarrus County to learn about challenging and rewarding career opportunities that they may not have considered. We know that local employers have job openings and they are looking for diversity in their workplace. They want to hire talented women in full-time roles, offering good wages and benefit packages with potential for advancement.”
For more information about Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation, call 704-782-4000.
Article By: Kim Cassell
Photos Courtesy: Atrium Health and S&D Coffee