For Immediate Release
BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (July 13, 2018) – During the June Board of Directors meeting, the BDI action plan and strategies were reviewed. Feedback was given from the Board to evaluate areas of strength as well as areas needing attention as plans are developed for the upcoming year. Alan Wood stated it had been a very successful year for the organization and sited accomplishments which included the following projects:
- Continental facility expanded and will add a new product line that will result in the creation of 160 new jobs and a $40M investment in equipment and facility upgrades. The state supported the project with a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG).
- ZRODELTA will open a company headquarters in Rutherford College creating 151 jobs and investing $34M over the next five years. Ammunition and firearms will be manufactured and distributed from the 120,000-sq. ft. facility. The company received a $500,000 Building Reuse Grant to renovate and up-fit the building for their needs.
- Sunrise Global Marketing LLC, manufacturers of Greenworks Tools, the leader in battery-powered outdoor power tools for DIY-consumers and landscaping professionals, will locate a distribution facility and bring 187 new jobs and a minimum of $8M investment to Burke County.
- The City of Morganton was awarded a $230,000 building reuse grant to support the renovation of One North Square. A Caring Alternative, a comprehensive care agency providing behavioral health and substance use disorder services, will expand in the 24,170-sq. ft. building and add 23 jobs.
- VEKA, a global leader in the vinyl extrusion industry, will locate a new facility in Burke County. Over the next four years the company will create 102 jobs and invest $18M. VEKA, Inc. is one of North America’s most respected suppliers of vinyl window and door profiles. They will receive a $500,000 performance-based grant from the One N.C. Fund, which provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs.
- Total jobs announced: 623
- Total Projected Capital Investment: $102.9M
In June, Alan Wood, President and CEO of Burke Development Inc. was elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Economic Development Association. NCEDA is the state’s leading membership organization for economic development practitioners and their public and private partners and allies. Earlier in the year, he was awarded recertification by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) is a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skill in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to professional growth.
Burke Development, Inc. began its Thrive’22 Campaign in November and has exceeded the $1M goal in commitments from partners. The five-year, private sector campaign will support BDI’s program of work and goals to grow the economy and create a bright economic future for Burke County. The increase in BDI’s budget, which is primarily funded by the public sector, will support the creation of over 1,520 new jobs (1,000 direct and 520 indirect) and over $90M in new capital investment over the next five years.
Burke County received a $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist with the assessment and cleanup of Brownfield sites. “These funds will help us redevelop vacant and unused properties, which is a key piece of BDI’s plan of work,” said President and CEO Alan Wood. “This is another important step toward having more marketable industrial sites in our community, which is vital if we’re going to retain existing companies that want to grow or attract new businesses to our community.”
BDI officially launched its workforce development initiative, “Work in Burke”, in November 2017. The program, which is run in partnership with local business and industry, Western Piedmont Community College, Burke County Public Schools, Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board and others, educates young people and their parents about the jobs available in Burke County, as well as the training and education opportunities available. It encourages individuals to make informed decisions about their post-high school plans and emphasizes the importance of postsecondary education, lifelong learning and gaining a diverse range of marketable skills. BDI was awarded three different grants to assist with Work in Burke – a $75,000 grant from the newly created “Maximize Carolina” program, a $24,500 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and a $180,000 allocation from the North Carolina General Assembly. BDI was recently notified that they have been awarded a second Maximize Carolina grant to expand Work in Burke and carry it into its next phase of work.
In addition to this work, BDI also held a Housing Summit in August to facilitate conversation around the need for housing in Burke County. From that event a leadership team emerged that has continued meeting and contracted with a consultant to conduct a Preliminary Housing Assessment, which was funded by the Burke County Board of Realtors.
As the Board and staff of BDI prepare for the 2018-2019 year, much of their plan of work will remain the same. There will be a slightly larger focus on product development as there is currently a lack of available and marketable properties, which are necessary if the County is to remain competitive.
Alan Wood stated, “While it has been a great year with many positive accomplishments, we cannot become complacent. Our focus will shift to product development with emphasis on identifying areas of potential growth and assessing upgrades to marketable sites. We must continue to develop partnerships to address the challenges to our current workforce needs and to develop a pipeline of skilled workers for the future.”
About Burke Development, Inc.
Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.