Jobs & Economic Development

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Developing Jobs Right Here in Wake County.

During my tenure as a Wake County Board Commissioner, we have:

  • Brought thousands of new jobs to Wake County, including new employers like Infosys and Credit Suisse and supported expansion by existing businesses

  • Restructured Wake County incentive policy to provide additional focus on small and midsized local businesses

  • Hired new Wake County Economic Development personnel to focus exclusively on economic opportunity and increasing business investment in areas of economic need

  • Supported record expansion of flights to and from RDU, including new nonstop flights to Seattle, Paris and Austin

Supporting Facts:

  • With Research Triangle Park, three major research universities and a globally recognized center for entrepreneurialism and venture capital, the Triangle is uniquely positioned to attract and retain talented business professionals and entrepreneurs who are ready to grow an existing business or start a new one.

  • The fact that we were named as Forbes as #1 Best Places for Business and Career speaks to our ability to retain the best of talent while attracting new innovators and entrepreneurs.

  • With the current legislature’s policies and actions, our attractiveness as a progressive state to relocate has been significantly diminished

Taking Action:

Talk with our Business Owners and Leaders– Many times the best way to do things better is to ask the people who will be impacted most. Rather than spend time offering tax incentive to outside companies to move their employees here; let’s talk to existing employers about how we can help them be more successful. When’s the last time someone from Wake County’s Economic Development office came to you and asked what they could do to make your business life better?

Continue to Grow Incubators and Create Shared Learning Opportunities– There’s no doubt we are on a roll with a growing number of incubators such as the HQ in Raleigh and the American Underground in Durham. Citrix recently announced that they are teaming up with HQ Raleigh to create its own accelerator. This is the type of creative thinking and leveraging we need to be supporting.

Work with our Colleges and Universities– From technology transfer to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, there is no doubt that by working with our great colleges and universities, we can find new ways for sharing resources and collaboration towards more business development.

Concentrate on our Clusters– From clean energy, material sciences, life science, to creating a hub for craft beer and developing our own local food, it is clear that we have “clusters of innovation” right here in the Triangle. We need to start concentrating on leveraging these assets within clusters to find synergies, support spin-offs and create greater opportunities for collaboration.

Bring in the Arts Community – I’ve often said that the arts and innovation are two sides of the same coin. We need to do more to foster a vibrant arts community in our downtown area to provide more creative ideas. Think of the success of SPARKcon as a successful model of how to bring the arts more prominently into our thinking.