Caldwell ED 2023: Pioneering Progress and Strengthening Foundations

Caldwell ED 2023: Pioneering Progress and Strengthening Foundations Main Photo

9 Jan 2024

Reflecting on the strides made and the milestones achieved in 2023, Caldwell County Economic Development stands proud, having charted a path of transformation and growth. Throughout the year, Caldwell ED spearheaded several initiatives, realigning strategies, fostering collaboration, and propelling Caldwell County towards a future brimming with economic opportunities.

Revamping Leadership and Strategy: Economic Development Board Realignment

One of the cornerstone achievements was the move to restructure the Economic Development Board. The dissolution of the old ED board and associated non-profits was pivotal. In its place emerged a robust framework of new by-laws for the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), comprising 17 seasoned members. The fusion of expertise from former ED board members and Sales Tax Reinvestment Committee members injected vitality into the committee's vision.

Strategic Vision for Growth

Setting a clear trajectory, the ED crafted a comprehensive strategic plan for economic development in Caldwell County. This blueprint was a guiding beacon, outlining ambitious, achievable goals to catalyze sustainable growth. In the digital realm, the ED embraced innovation by launching a cutting-edge website and establishing a solid presence on LinkedIn. The revamped digital platform, powered by Golden Shovel and boasting over 400 followers, amplified Caldwell County's appeal to investors and entrepreneurs seeking regional opportunities.

Preserving Knowledge, Strengthening Teams: The Document Management Project

Recognizing the value of preserving institutional knowledge, the ED undertook a monumental Document Management Project. Collaborating with the county's IT team, historical ED files were meticulously scanned and stored, ensuring seamless access to critical information.
Team expansion was a crucial component of the ED's progress. Hiring three highly skilled individuals and restructuring roles fortified the team's capabilities. This strategic alignment enabled a dedicated focus on existing industry retention and expansion—an essential pillar for sustainable economic vitality.

Financial Triumphs and Job Creation

One of the pivotal highlights of Caldwell County's Economic Development in 2023 was the prudent management of crucial funding sources, heralding a significant boost to the region's economic vitality.

The recalibration of the Sales Tax Reinvestment Fund marked a pivotal achievement early in the year. Successfully DE-obligated since January 2023, $1,645,875 was reallocated strategically to fuel targeted economic development initiatives.

Moreover, the Caldwell ED facilitated the closure of two impactful Local Jobs Grants, propelling employment opportunities within the community. FleetGenius, generating 38 new jobs, and MDI, contributing 236 new jobs, underscored the commission's commitment to fostering local employment and growth.

In addition to these local triumphs, the Caldwell ED closed the loop on two commendable NC Department of Commerce – Building Reuse Grants. These grants, secured for Exela Pharma Science and Harmony Timberworks, fostered economic expansion and revitalized key sectors within Caldwell County.

Celebrating Milestones and Promoting Caldwell County

Moreover, the ED orchestrated a triumphant 30th-anniversary celebration of the Caldwell Commerce Center. This event marked a milestone and garnered positive publicity, showcasing Caldwell County's thriving business environment. 

Honoring Excellence: Pursuit of Order of the Long Leaf Pine Recognition

In tribute to exceptional service and dedication, Caldwell Economic Development orchestrated coordinating and submitting an esteemed application. This application sought to bestow the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine recognition upon a retiring staff member, Bobby White. This honor, considered the pinnacle of acknowledgment for North Carolina citizens, symbolizes a profound appreciation for exemplary contributions and unwavering commitment to the community.

Commitment to Innovation and Future Development

The commitment to infrastructure development was evident through successful grant acquisitions, notably the ARC Grant for Evergreene Industrial Park. Coordinating transformative studies, like the Foothills Regional Airport Feasibility Study and Targeted Marketing Analysis and the Caldwell County Industrial Feasibility Study, further exemplified the ED's commitment to progress and innovation.

Driving Local Initiatives: Empowering Community Connections and Innovation

The Caldwell Economic Development spearheaded three impactful local initiatives to foster community engagement, bridge educational gaps, and ignite innovation within Caldwell County:

  • Workforce Wednesday: Bridging Careers and Classrooms
    Anchored by Workforce Wednesday, the initiative aimed to forge robust connections between professional careers and classroom learning. This initiative empowered educators with practical insights and real-world knowledge by bringing them into industrial settings, ensuring a seamless transition from academia to the professional landscape.
  • CaldWELL-Made Video Series: Showcasing Local Excellence The CaldWELL-Made video series celebrates the diverse talents and success stories within Caldwell County. This initiative spotlighted local achievements through compelling visual narratives, fostering pride and recognition for the community's ingenuity and accomplishments.
  • Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) - Pioneering Rural Innovation
    Engaging in the Rural Innovation Initiative Assessment Phase under the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), Caldwell ED laid the groundwork for pioneering strategies to support tech startups and the tech economy. This initiative, slated for strategy development commencement in January, envisioned innovative pathways to spur tech development and economic growth in Caldwell County.

The groundwork laid in 2023 sets the stage for continued prosperity and growth. The Caldwell ED remains steadfast in its dedication to nurturing a vibrant economy, fostering partnerships, and embracing innovation to propel Caldwell County, North Carolina, toward an even brighter future.

Grateful for All Members

The Caldwell County Economic Development (CCED) team would like to thank all of the businesses and nonprofits in our service region for their dedication to the communities of the northwest section of North Carolina in 2023. If you are a business, investor, or site selector interested in Caldwell County, we are here to provide information, answers, and assistance. Whether you need demographic data, help locating a property, or a community connection – reach out to us today!