Renewed push for regionalism from Triad cities

While cities across the Triad do compete to attract new businesses and corporations, economic developers say they are pushing a concept of regional promotion more than ever before.

Loren Hill, president of the High Point Economic Development Corporation explained, “The city boundaries matter to us who are in the local jurisdictions, but they don’t matter to a company. They’re looking for a regional workforce. They’re looking for the regional assets that will make their company do well here.”

Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point leaders created an extensive brochure in a variety of languages that highlights the regional assets the three cities offer. The numbers are much more impressive as a total, they said.

“We had a company in from California last week. I invited Loren Hill from High Point and Bob Leak from Winston-Salem. We talk about our population at 1.7 million total. We talk about our 16 colleges and universities across the region. More than 60,000 college students,” said Dan Lynch, President of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance.

“Companies aren’t interested in geopolitical boundaries. They want the best workforce, the best site or the best building,” Lynch insisted.

Bob Leak with Winston Salem Business, Inc. agreed. “I think what’s new is that we are taking a much more active role in marketing ourselves. We’ve all been part of the Piedmont Triad 12-county region for a long time, but now we’re focusing on the urban core,” he said.

The three sometimes travel together to represent the region and often talk to international companies about possible expansion.

They pointed out, wherever a company ends up within the region is good for the overall tax base and total number of employment opportunities.

“What we hope to do is just simply introduce people who aren’t familiar with our area to the benefits of doing business here,” said Leak.

1 Comment

  • Piedmont Together

    We at Piedmont Together are so pleased to see an article discussing the economic benefits of regionalism. Our organization believes regionalism will provide solutions for several issues facing Piedmont communities. In addition to jobs, we also look at regionalism as a way to better the Piedmont Triad’s transportation, housing, health, and built and natural environments. While this article is focused on urban centers joining forces, we account for all 12 counties in the region—urban and rural—in our comprehensive regional development plan. A component of the comprehensive plan is a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region that will be released within the next few weeks. If you’re interested in regionalism, learn more about Piedmont Together at piedmonttogether.org.

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