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Recap of Economic Forecast Breakfast

On October 18, BDI hosted an Economic Forecast Breakfast that featured a presentation by Wells Fargo Senior Economist Mark Vitner who shared some important insights. Vitner, whose commentary has been featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, is based in Charlotte and is responsible for tracking U.S. and regional economic trends. His presentation noted that the Burke County and Hickory MSA has lost a large number of jobs through the 1990’s and 2000’s and although progress is being made in the area the employment base is about 70% of what it was compared to our peak in the early 1990’s. Vitner also explained how the housing crisis is a major impediment to economic recovery, noting that for every home built three jobs are created and therefore if we are not building new homes we are missing a key to job growth. Overall Vitner noted that the economy is making some improvement but still has a long way to go. The breakfast, sponsored by the Committee of 100 and Wells Fargo, was held at the Community House and was attended by 60 Burke County residents and business owners. After a brief networking session BDI President Scott Darnell gave a presentation on Creative Economic Development and explained how BDI thinks outside the box to recruit new business and help existing companies grow and expand in Burke County. “Burke Development, Inc. continues to be engaged in a diverse economic strategy for the county,” said BDI President Scott Darnell. “We are taking advantage of the pockets of opportunities that exist throughout the county.” Philip Moore, Market President and Business Banking Manager for Wells Fargo Banking, was instrumental in recruiting the high-caliber keynote speaker. “The Economic Forecast Breakfast was an excellent opportunity for the business community to reflect on past and ongoing business development efforts, and to obtain a forward-looking view from one of the nation’s leading economists,” said Moore. “It is clear from the data Mark Vitner presented that there are some economic challenges ahead, but I am confident that the team at BDI has the expertise to continue executing a winning strategy for Burke County.” Moore is a former member of the Committee of 100 who was recently promoted to an office in Hickory, but still has strong ties to the area and a desire to help Burke County. “Philip has really boosted economic development efforts here,” said BDI Project Manager Misti Humphries. “We are very grateful for both Philip’s assistance with this breakfast and for the dedication that Wells Fargo shows to the Burke County community.”


Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

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