03/13/19 – Local economic growth growing strong

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by admin

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March 13, 2019

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By: Guy Lucas

glucas@newstopicnews.com

 

The number of companies considering economic development projects in Caldwell County remains high even though there aren’t many vacant industrial buildings available, officials said Tuesday.

 

The Caldwell County Economic Development Commission is working on a total of 24 potential projects, and while they won’t all work out, that is a high number, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the EDC.

 

“Our pace is faster than in any year since I’ve been here,” she told the EDC’s board of directors.

 

In the past three years, the EDC worked with 15 companies on projects that created 617 documented jobs, she said.

 

By comparison, the 24 current projects – which range from ones that already have official approval and incentive offers to some that are in early stages of discussion – carry projections that they could create more than 1,800 jobs over three years if they all were developed.

 

The past years’ development has helped Caldwell County to have the fastest growth in the Hickory region in private-sector wages, she said, citing N.C. Department of Commerce figures.

 

From 2015 to 2019, the average private-sector wage in Caldwell County has increased by 21.7 percent, or growth of $6,948 to an average of $38,957 a year. That compares to Catawba County’s growth over the same period of 14.4 percent, or $5,322, and Burke County’s 8.6 percent, or $2,826.

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