Randolph County Attractive to Business & Industry

June 2, 2010

ASHEBORO — Randolph County has the capability to attract many diverse manufacturers and business fields to boost its overall economy and the lives of its citizens. That’s the findings of the Competitive Assessment and Target Industry Project study initiated by the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation and presented Tuesday to more than 40 local governmental, business, industry and community leaders. InSite Consulting, of Greer, S.C., a site selection consulting firm chosen to under take the study, gave an overview of its findings during an hour and a half session held at Randolph Community College’s Asheboro Campus.

InSite co-owners Tonya Crist, managing partner, and Rob Cornwell began the study in January and wrapped it up on Tuesday with their presentation. Their analysis, based on projected industrial and manufacturing growth in both the United States and North Carolina plus the county’s strengths, revealed three primary target sectors for Randolph County to pursue: Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing. Food manufacturers including snack foods, coffee and tea and other food products manufacturing.

Businesses dealing with the distribution and logistics of handling wholesale products. Secondary target sectors were identified as: Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing.

Waste management and remediation services. Professional, scientific and technical services. The study also recommended that more industrial parks be developed, rather than individual sites.

Suggested were the Interstate 85 area of Archdale/Trinity and a second one, possibly in Asheboro, with water and sewer availability as well as good transportation access. It was also proposed that the Liberty Business Park be renamed and rebranded as a renewable energy/recycling-related park to potentially attract green companies.

Officials were also told that the Randleman business park is doing well, but has limited acreage. Three existing industrial parks have brought 3,300 jobs to the county with the largest percentage of these in the Asheboro and Archdale areas. The study also recommended that a step-by-step target marketing plan be developed. EDC President Bonnie Renfro said, at the conclusion of the session, that such a plan, along with a budget, is being developed.

Incoming EDC Board Chair Laura Wilson of Pyramid Services noted that two of the four goals for the upcoming year will address the study’s findings and there will be increased community involvement. (Plans to implement the study’s recommendations will be presented at the EDC annual meeting planned for June 24.) “There is a great deal of community interest in what EDC is doing,” Wilson said about the increased involvement brought on by the project. The study included focus group discussions and interviews, involving more than 55 professionals, and a 3-page external survey distributed to nearly 150 stakeholders. Community perceptions about Randolph County, revealed in the study, include a changing economic base, need for industrial sites and buildings, transportation assets, regional universities, airport access, lower taxes compared to the surrounding area, and great training support from Randolph Community College. “We have a lot of strengths to build upon,” said EDC Chair Dale Lambeth of Randolph Electric Membership Corporation. “Randolph County has a lot to offer. Working together is noted as one of our strengths.” InSite Consulting officials agreed that the cooperation which exists between the county and municipalities is one of Randolph’s strongest assets.

Source: [readon1 url="http://www.courier-tribune.com/local_news/story/2010/06/02/randolph_attractive_business_industry"]Source: Courier Tribune[/readon1]