Burlington’s first economic development director gets to work

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- The City of Burlington has hired its first-ever economic development director. Monday was Peter Bishop's first day on the job and he's already getting to work. Bishop met with a local company looking to expand and add more jobs to the city.

"I would look at myself more as a conductor who is helping orchestrate development," Bishop explained.

Before moving to Alamance County, Bishop spent nine years as the economic development director for Currituck County. In just one year there he landed more than $350 million in investment and added more than 300 full-time jobs.

"There's no real secret to it, it's being prepared. You have to know your community, know your properties, know your property owners and get to know what the company wants, what the individual wants," Bishop said.

Bishop says Burlington's prime location on the interstate, a skilled workforce and number of historic properties will make it successful, but the job doesn't come without challenges.

"There definitely needs to be a better inventorying of available property and better communication of those opportunities to both internal and external investors," he said.

In his first 30 days, Bishop says he'll start on a comprehensive economic strategic plan that will combine all aspects of the community and how they play into the local economy.

Bishop says one of his top priorities is to better market the city and its assets to the business community.

"You try to be a problem solver for those individuals. They're looking for a new investment opportunity? I'm going to solve that problem by giving them new investment opportunities," he said.