NC Leaps to No. 3 on Top State for Business List

North Carolina has jumped six spots to No. 3 on CNBC’s 2019 ranking of America’s Top States for Business released today.

“Our rise on this well-regarded business ranking is a strong indicator of North Carolina’s immediate and long-term promise for businesses, their employees and their families,” said Christopher Chung, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “We are a state with a fast-growing talent pool, a business-friendly climate and diverse industries that support widespread prosperity.”

 

CNBC’s coverage of this year’s ranking says that “no state’s economy is on more solid ground than the Tar Heel state.” North Carolina was No. 9 on the annual survey in 2018 and No. 5 the prior two years.

North Carolina’s well-rounded economy is seen across several measures, according to CNBC’s coverage.

“The housing market is healthy and state finances are sound,” CBNC says. “The state attracted some $2.6 billion in venture capital in 2018, the sixth-highest figure in the nation. It is also attracting skilled workers, who are moving to North Carolina in droves.”

Home prices in the state rose nearly 7 percent in 2018, with foreclosure activity down and less than 10 percent of mortgages underwater, according to RealtyTrac/Attom Data Solutions information reported by CNBC.

To determine the rankings, CNBC graded all 50 states on 64 different measures of competitiveness in 10 broad categories.

North Carolina finished among the Top 10 states in four of the categories: economy (No. 1), access to capital (No. 6), workforce (No. 7), and technology and innovation (No. 9).

North Carolina received an overall score of 1,586 out of a possible 2,500 across all categories, just three points behind No. 2 ranked Texas (scoring 1,589 overall). Virginia ranked No. 1 in the 2019 survey (scoring 1,610).

Click here for more coverage of CNBC’s 2019 ranking of America’s Top States for Business.

Small Business Success: The Mad Bean Coffee Shop Continues to Grow

Since opening in 2015, The Mad Bean coffee shop in downtown Madison has seen continual growth and become a true entrepreneurial success story.

From humble beginnings as a traditional coffee shop and gathering place, to installing a full-service deli, then a move to its current home at 103 E. Murphy St., the shop has expanded again to include a new mobile coffee and smoothie bar.

The mobile bar made its debut at the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League mountain bike race at Farris Memorial Park in May.  Demand for The Mad Bean’s coffee drinks and smoothies was so great that owner Daniel Joyce saw a prime opportunity to add a mobile unit and thus the coffee and smoothie bar was created.

Joyce says the Mad Bean’s mobile bar has already been booked for events throughout Rockingham County and beyond.

A native of Madison, Joyce took a step closer to fulfilling his life-long entrepreneurial vision in 2015 when he opened The Mad Bean coffee shop.    Joyce grew up in Madison and always wanted to do something to help revive the historic downtown.

“I wanted to provide a place for people to come and hang out, plus enjoy a great cup of coffee.  We strive to have an atmosphere that radiates with local art, live music and an eclectic style,” said Joyce.

The Mad Bean is a full-service coffee shop and deli, featuring an array of coffee blends and crafted drinks, teas, smoothies, soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods.  It also hosts regular open mic and trivia nights as well as live music.

Originally located at the corner of Market and Murphy Streets, the Mad Bean moved into an historic building in 2018, which is its current location.  The former Madison Wholesale Grocery building highlights the rustic, vintage feel of the Mad Bean and provides room for future growth on the second floor.  And Joyce already has plans for transforming that second floor into a separate venue for dining and entertainment that will be announced in the near future.

The Mad bean is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. serving breakfast and lunch with expanded summer hours for dinner on Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Check the Mad Bean’s Facebook page for more information about events.

Unifi Expands Fiber Line Made From Plastic Bottles

Unifi’s Repreve Bottle Processing Center in Reidsville is where the innovative line of yarn made from recycled plastic bottles begins.  At this state-of-the-art recycling center, PET plastic bottles are chopped, washed, dried, and made into flake.  The flake is then made into chip, which gets heated, extruded and spun into fiber.

Unifi opened the Reidsville recycling center in 2106 and it has the capacity to produce 75 million pounds of flake each year.  This week, the company announced an expansion of its Repreve line with the new Repreve Our Ocean product made from ocean-bound plastic bottles.

Below is an article about this new endeavor:

From the News & Record
By Richard M. Barron

Greensboro-based Unifi is setting out to save the oceans one plastic bottle at a time.

The textile company, which makes synthetic fiber for yarns and a wide range of other products, has started creating products from recycled plastic bottles collected near beaches in countries that may otherwise dump them into the ocean.

The Repreve line of products was in the news a couple of years ago when Unifi said it was making the fiber out of recycled bottles from Flint, Mich., where residents were using millions of water bottles after the city’s water system was contaminated by lead.

The new line, Repreve Our Ocean, is using bottles collected from “countries or areas that lack formal waste or recycling systems,” the company said in a news release.

A Unifi spokeswoman said that entrepreneurs in such countries will likely collect and sell the bottles if they know there’s a customer like Unifi.

Since 2007, the company said, it has recycled more than 15 billion bottles for the Repreve product. Its goal is to recycle 20 billion by 2020, according to its website.

Unifi said that 8.8 million tons of plastics are dumped into the oceans every year, which is equal to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. The company said that at least 80 percent of the plastic comes into the oceans from land.

“Repreve Our Ocean is a premium collection of fiber and resin sourced from bottles at high risk of entering in the ocean,” Jay Hertwig, group vice president of global branded sales for Unifi, said in the news release.

Hertwig said the program is a way for Unifi and the companies that make clothing and fabric out of the fiber to make a statement to consumers about the companies’ approach to protecting the environment. Materials and fabrics made from Repreve are manufactured by other companies into everything from car seats to athletic tops.

“Forward-thinking brands that want to take a stronger stand in addressing ocean pollution and want to make an even more specific statement about protecting the environment now have a brand new option,” Hertwig said in the release. “Repreve Our Ocean is made for the good of tomorrow, and this premium product will appeal to consumers that want to do all that they can to help protect the environment for the next generation.”

The ocean program is the latest attempt by the textile maker to stay relevant in a world that has been harsh to U.S. textile companies.

Unifi has thrived in a tough marketplace by coming up with such products as Repreve and then finding creative ways to sell them. Repreve has become such a success that other companies are licensing the name to make other products from the polymer that Unifi creates at its recycling plants.

Video: View the Improvements Taking Place at Rockingham County, NC’s Shiloh Airport

Here’s a video update about all the great improvements currently happening at Rockingham County NC’s Shiloh Airport (KSIF).   Projects include $3.6 million to repave the runway and strengthen it to double the weight-bearing capacity.  Shiloh Airport is one of 72 publicly owned airports in North Carolina.  Thanks to Rockingham Update​ for this video.

Local Developer Invests in Madison Industrial Center

The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism is pleased to announce that local developer, Eddie Smith with Venture Logistics in Mayodan, has purchased the Madison Industrial Center and plans to invest approximately $155,000 to upfit the building.  Smith plans to lease the space to clients for distribution operations, which will create about 16 jobs.

The 156,445-square-foot building is located at 301 Highway Street in Madison, NC.  Built in 1951, the building previously housed a Unifi operation.

“This building has quite a significant history in Madison, dating back to the textile mill Madison Throwing Company.  We wanted to spruce up the appearance and do what we can to help expand that part of town and provide jobs,” said Eddie Smith, owner of Venture Logistics.

“We are grateful to see an empty building being put back to use and we look forward to working with Eddie to bring new jobs to Madison,” said Kevin Baughn, manager of the Town of Madison.

“It’s always great to see companies investing in our vacant industrial buildings.  We are excited to see Eddie and Venture Logistics breathing new life into this property.  It is a welcome extension of Madison’s industrial footprint and we hope it will help spur more growth in that area,” said Leigh Cockram, director of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism.

Quality of Local Workforce Attracted Pella Corp.

From RockinghamNow
By Joe Dexter
May 13, 2019

On the first day of the job, Rockingham County Economic, Small Business and Tourism Director Leigh Cockram, was given notice that her office would be taking part in a prospect visit the next day.

Little did she know that some of her first hours on the clock, spent on preparing for the heavily classified visit, would help lead to a firm commitment from Pella Corporation just three months later.

After several visits, the well-respected window and door creator set its sights on investing $20 million locally, with the promise of turning an unoccupied building on Rockingham Drive into a new production and distribution center capable of handling their growth in the southeast.

In turn, the company is committed to creating 125 well-paying jobs almost immediately.

Already, the Iowa-based Corporation has posted Reidsville openings on their company website.

The positions include information technology, engineering, maintenance, finance, human resources, production and operation positions.

“This is an economic developer’s dream,” Cockram told RockinghamNow following Tuesday’s announcement. “To meet with someone in the beginning of February and to have an announcement now and then to know that they are actually going to hire people as soon as possible — with the goal of having manufacturing take place in October — that rarely happens.”

Ultimately, after also looking at other parts of the country, CEO Tim Yaggi told reporters Tuesday that Pella found Reidsville to be quite appealing and a great location from as a distribution gateway to southeastern customers.

On Tuesday, Cockram and several other local officials discussed the importance a local collaborative effort between several partnerships that played a role in helping give Pella all the information needed to make the right decision.

One of the biggest selling points was the area’s commitment to workforce development — a campaign that the county, municipal, education and community college sectors have all poured their heart and soul into.

Cockram said that it was workforce that was “absolutely top of mind” for Pella.

A statement backed up by Yaggi, who said his corporation believes in Rockingham County’s employment base.

“We think we will have a great quality workforce and that the community has similar values to Pella Corporation,” Yaggi said. “We take care of each other, we operate with team work and integrity and we think we will find that here amongst the workforce.”

Reece Pyrtle, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners, called the announcement a “win for all.”

He said the announcement says a lot about the local community and the investment they made at the polls last May — approving a ¼ cent sales referendum aimed at providing revenue for workforce development initiatives at Rockingham County Community College.

“This (announcement) is going to be part of the end product,” Pyrtle said. “We are going to have people looking at Rockingham County, saying that their community is making an investment into tomorrow and we want to be part of tomorrow.”

Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker welcomed Pella to Team Reidsville on Tuesday. He said that Rockingham County has proven to be a great place for corporations to do well, with a team of people that works together.

“We have added over 950 jobs in the last three years in Reidsville,” Donecker said.

As far as fit, Reidsville Industrial Alliance President Steve Scott told RockinghamNow that the incredibly well respected national corporation is widely known for its strong corporate engagement with local citizenry.

He said that a company of Pella’s stature will benefit the community tremendously.

“We are actively encouraging corporate involvement in Reidsville and Pella will fit in perfectly from that standpoint,” Scott said. “They intentionally choose to make an impact. That matters. It is what we want Reidsville to be known for; active, engaged, corporate leadership.”

Scott said that the Pella announcement is further proof the impact that Love’s has made on the economic front, in the very short time it has been open.

He cited the recent investments that Pella, and fellow companies Sanritsu, Albaad and Speedline LLC have made in the vicinity of the travel stop.

“These companies are investing enormous sums of money here while creating nearly 500 jobs,” Scott said. “These types of companies must have Industrial infrastructure in place before they can consider a community. Love’s Travel provides our industrial community the means to easily and efficiently ship and receive goods. Transportation companies want to run trucks into our community because they have a place to stage before or after loading and unloading. For Reidsville to grow, this issue had to be addressed. It was addressed. The results are coming in and we are seeing huge returns in Reidsville.”

Scott said that Pella choosing Reidsville for its new southeastern hub will further help the Reidsville community to continue fight off misnomers surrounding the local industrial climate.

“The common narrative of negativity, that is far too often spread throughout the region with no regards to facts, about our community, can be defeating.” “The true reality is that the City of Reidsville is working incredibly hard to create a terrific industrial climate. This climate is one of aggressive community engagement and growth,” said Scott.

The President of longtime local metal distributor Tri-State Steel, said he gets phone calls regularly from outsiders wanting to come Reidsville.

He added that he firmly believes the current climate is attractive to outsiders wanting to come here.

“…Reidsville is winning and shows no signs of growing tired of winning,” Scott said. “This is a community accustomed to championships and we are carrying that pride into the industrial climate here.”

As for the county as a whole, officials also shared some words for potential industry and business partners, looking for a new home.

For Chairman Prytle, the dedication of Rockingham County citizens and their leadership, is a huge selling point to potential clients.

He used strong recent improvements in workforce development, beautification and quality of life components as prime examples.

For Cockram, the message is simple.

Come and be a part of something special.

“This is just the beginning of many announcements,” Cockram said. “If you haven’t seen the infrastructure that is being implemented or being put into place in Rockingham County from the Northern Guilford Area with interstate infrastructure — you’re missing out. What it does is provide us with the ability to be a suburb of a larger city, so you can come to Rockingham County where there is a lower cost of doing business and a labor force that is ready to go.”

Gov. Cooper Announces Pella Corp. to Locate in Rockingham County, NC

Window and Door Manufacturer Pella to Bring New Manufacturing Facility, Jobs to Rockingham County

Governor Cooper lauds move to bring 124 new jobs to Reidsville

REIDSVILLE: Pella Corporation, a leading manufacturer of window and door products for residential and commercial use, will create 124 jobs at its new manufacturing facility in Rockingham County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest nearly $20 million in the new operation and hiring will begin in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“In North Carolina we’re proud of our manufacturing expertise and our skilled workforce that helps companies thrive here,” said Governor Cooper. “We’re excited to welcome Pella to Rockingham County and know they will find talented North Carolinians ready to get to work.”

Founded in 1925, Pella is a family-owned company known for designing and building innovative window and door products. The company is headquartered in Pella, Iowa, and employs more than 7,000 people.

“We are known for our core values including total integrity in everything we do, teamwork and respect, and giving back to our communities. After an extensive site selection process, we are confident that the Reidsville community not only has a quality workforce but is also well aligned with these values and will help us continue to live up to our reputation as a great place to work.” said Tim Yaggi, CEO, Pella Corporation.

“Once companies like Pella understand the advantages that North Carolina offers to manufacturers, they’re eager to locate here,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “We’re seeing more manufacturers locating and expanding here every year, enjoying our business-friendly climate, East Coast location and a workforce ready to roll up their sleeves.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC) led the state’s support for the company’s expansion.

Pella will create a variety of positions in Rockingham County, and the average salaries will be $41,648, above the county average of $35,401.

Pella’s expansion in Rockingham County will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project will grow the state’s economy by an estimated $247 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,214,000 spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

“This is a day for celebrating in Rockingham County,” said President Pro Tempore Senator Phil Berger. “North Carolina is growing, and these jobs will provide an opportunity for many residents and their families to have a better quality of life.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for our community,” said Rep Jerry Carter. “We welcome companies like Pella and know they will find success here.”

Partnering with N.C. Commerce and the EDPNC on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Piedmont Triad Regional Workforce Development Board, Rockingham County Schools, Rockingham County, and the City of Reidsville.

 

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Runway Improvements in Progress at Shiloh Airport

Several improvements are taking place at Rockingham County, NC’s Shiloh Airport (KSIF).

First, the airport is currently completing a $3.6 million project to repave the runway.  That project was funded by a N.C. Board of Transportation in the summer of 2017.

Those funds are being used to rehabilitate and strengthen Shiloh Airport’s runway. The existing runway has been ground, removed, and the new sub-surface and surface installed.   The previous runway was over 30 years old with numerous deep cracks in the surface and separation in places.

Additionally, in December 2017 Shiloh learned that it was one of 11 airports in North Carolina to receive state funding to make improvements.  The airport is receiving $266,400 for apron rehabilitation from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division. The apron is the area of an airport where planes are parked, refueled and boarded or unboarded.

This improvement will increase safety and allow Shiloh to better serve the pilots, passengers, and businesses that use the airport.  Local airports are a critical part of the transportation system and these projects will improve the link between our state and national and global markets.  Shiloh is one of 72 publicly owned airports in the state.

The photos below show the early stages of the runway grinding and repaving, which is currently in progress:

 

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY LAUNCHES OUR PLACE MAGAZINE

Rockingham County’s Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism and the Rockingham County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) are pleased to launch Our Place–your guide to life in Rockingham County, NC.

Our Place is a glossy, county-wide magazine that features more than 80 pages of articles, photos, information and ads that highlight the people, places and things that make Rockingham County a good place to live, do business and visit.

Our Place is designed to give people a quick glimpse of our entire county,” said Robin Yount, tourism manager.  “It informs readers of the many good things happening in Rockingham County.  It covers everything from our cities and towns, to education, our economy, small businesses, recreation, the arts, and so much more.”

The magazine is free and will be distributed throughout Rockingham County in local businesses, hotels, Chambers, shops, restaurants and governmental offices.  It will also be mailed in visitor packets to people requesting information about Rockingham County.   Copies will also be available at all NC Welcome Centers, including the Piedmont-Triad Visitor’s Center on U.S. 29 in Pelham and in the Rockingham County Visitors Center, which is located in the Center for Economic Development ,Small Business & Tourism at 425 NC 65 in Wentworth..

Our Place is a joint project of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism and the Tourism Development Authority (TDA).  The magazine was produced by BH Media Group’s Custom Products and Publications Division with special assistance by the Rockingham Now office.

For more information or to receive a copy, contact 336-342-8138 or email: ryount@co.rockingham.nc.us.