GREENSBORO, N.C. — Economic Development leaders in the Triad say 2013 was a good year and they expect the new year to be even more promising in terms of jobs.
Dan Lynch, president of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, said many of the job announcements we heard this past year will start to manifest as paid positions in 2014.
“We had a lot of manufacturing announcements this year with Proctor and Gamble and Lenovo. We continue to see Honda grow so as we move into 2014 we see a lot of upside,” Lynch explained.
Earlier in 2013, United Healthcare announced they will bring over 500 positions to Greensboro, and BB&T will grow by 1,700 employees in the next three years.
“Here to date there’s been a good recovery, but for the most part it’s been a jobless recovery,” Lynch said. “With the markets increasing globally and here in the U.S. hopefully we’ll see that job growth continue and pick up a little bit.”
In High Point, OFS Brands furniture announced in March they’d expand in southern High Point and create nearly 200 jobs.
President of the High Point Economic Development Corporation Loren Hill said projects that made the news in 2012 continued to add jobs and new capital investments in the city in 2013.
Two industrial parks are in “various stages of planning,” he explained, saying one will change the landscape soon.
“The developer of that park has pledged that in the first quarter construction will begin on a major facility,” Hill said.
Herbalife announced nearly 500 jobs and started construction on a new facility in Winston-Salem.
In Rockingham County, the town of Mayodan got national attention after Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced plans for $26 million investment in a gun making facility that will create 450 jobs by the end of 2017.
Former AOL CEO Steve Case invested $20 million in Lolly Wolly Doodle, an online children’s clothing company based in Lexington.
In Mt. Airy, Awesome Products will invest $20 million in Surry County and bring 140 more jobs to their all-purpose cleaning products business.
Lynch said unemployment is also starting to pick up. “The unemployment rate is closer to 8 than it is 9. We fully expect that to drop below 8 this coming year so I think things are looking much better.”
Cities in and around the Piedmont also lost more than a thousand jobs. Notable layoffs and job losses occurred at Energizer, Henredon Furniture, Cone Health, RF Micro Devices, Randolph Hospital, UNCG, and NC A&T State University.