GREENSBORO — Business and economic development leaders signaled they are “all in” for regionalism, announcing last week that several transformational assets in central North Carolina will be branded under the “Carolina Core” umbrella.
A corridor between Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and Fayetteville, the Carolina Core brand was introduced by regional leaders last year to promote and develop four megasites of 7,500 +/- acres of certified land, industrial sites, urban research parks and mixed-use opportunities that are designed to bring advanced manufacturers to North Carolina with room grow their business, their workforce and build up surrounding communities.
Officials say that the area positions North Carolina to meet future statewide industrial and manufacturing demands “with a skilled workforce born of a rich manufacturing heritage and fueled by the innovation mindset of more than 30 colleges and universities in the region… in the middle of a state that is consistently ranked as one of the best places to do business in the nation with low costs, competitive incentives and first-rate infrastructure to access the world.”
Leaders also unveiled last week the official Carolina Core highway signs that the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will install along U.S. 421 in the coming months. Officials say they hope to continue the growing momentum in the Carolina Core to collectively market key assets in the region to increase economic competitiveness on the national and global stage.
“Since rolling out our vision for the Carolina Core last year, we have experienced unprecedented regional cooperation and support from the business community, economic development leaders, and public officials,” said Stan Kelly, President and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership. “Now, a family of assets is adopting the same last name, signaling a big step forward for regionalism. This is evidence that the region is truly embodying the notion that we are stronger together and a win for one is a win for all.”
Taking the Carolina Core initiative to the next level, leaders announced that several key large transformational sites in the region, including the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site, Moncure Megasite and Whitaker Park, will be adapting their logos to co-brand with the Carolina Core. The refreshed logos will be leveraged through signage on the individual sites, in marketing materials, and on their websites. The Piedmont Triad Partnership is also working with other key assets in the region, including the aerospace megasite at Piedmont Triad International Airport, to co-brand with the Carolina Core.
“The Carolina Core gives us an opportunity to differentiate our region in a crowded, highly-competitive economic development landscape, both nationally and globally,” said Jim Melvin, President of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation. “Regionalism is stronger than I have ever seen before in central North Carolina and this announcement furthers our collective efforts to raise the profile of the Carolina Core to attract businesses and new jobs.”
In another step toward regionalism, NCDOT Board Chairman Mike Fox was on hand for today’s announcements to unveil the official Carolina Core highway sign. Fox indicated that motorists will begin seeing signs along U.S. 421 in the next 30 days.
“NCDOT fully supports the Carolina Core vision and is happy to build on the region’s momentum by installing new highway signage along U.S. 421,” said Fox. “The Carolina Core concept is consistent with NCDOT’s support of economic development in North Carolina. Located in the heart of North Carolina and centrally on the east coast, the Carolina Core’s transportation network is a competitive advantage that will help set the region apart from the competition.”
Last week’s announcements complement several other major regional developments in the Carolina Core. In February, the Carolina Core launched a new website (nccarolinacore.com), collaboratively marketing the assets and megasites in the region to the public. Leaders in the region are also working with local, state, and federal officials to designate U.S. 421 as a future Interstate. Additionally, regional economic development groups are collectively enacting an aggressive marketing plan to drive leads and business investment through site selection consultant visits and a print and digital advertising campaign.
Since launching the regional initiative, economic momentum in the Carolina Core is building with more than 8,500 jobs announced in 2018. The group has a stated goal of attracting more than 50,000 jobs to the Carolina Core over the next 20 years.