View this email in your browser
October 9, 2017
Contact: Scott Dadson, Executive Director
828-287-2281, ext. 250


Governor Cooper Proclaims Manufacturing Week in North Carolina

This week is Manufacturing Week in North Carolina!

Governor Roy Cooper issued a proclamation yesterday (Oct.2) to bring attention to a business sector that employs 460,000 people in the state, represents 20 percent of the state's total economic output and offers young people a challenging and rewarding career path.

"North Carolina understands and values manufacturing," said Governor Cooper. "Manufacturing jobs are key to our current and future economy and we need to invest in helping workers and students learn the high-tech skills needed to pursue careers in 21st century manufacturing."

"Students and their parents are learning that a manufacturing career is much different than in the past," said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. "Today's advanced manufacturing facilities are clean and high-tech, and offer good jobs to those with the right skills. The state's education system offers many opportunities for people to keep their skills sharp throughout their life."

Governor Cooper and Secretary Copeland will participate in several events to recognize manufacturing this week, and many North Carolina manufacturers and supporting organizations will stage open house and other events leading up to the national Manufacturing Day celebration on Friday.

Governor Cooper will visit Pfizer's manufacturing facility in Sanford tomorrow (Oct.4) to participate in a Manufacturing Week event celebrating Pfizer's gene therapy plant in Lee County. Genetic research developed at the University of North Carolina plays a key role in the company's expansion plans and demonstrates the importance of universities and industry working together to transfer technologies developed in research labs to businesses for commercialization and manufacture.

Governor Cooper will also tour Montgomery County Community College tomorrow, as several high schools, local manufacturers, and industry vendors come together for tours and on-campus demonstrations to highlight the school's manufacturing centered training programs.

Thursday (Oct.5), Governor Cooper will address members of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) in Raleigh about how to help North Carolina students develop the knowledge and skills needed to compete for good jobs, including in manufacturing. Also on Thursday, Secretary Copeland will offer remarks during the opening ceremony for GF Linamar's new manufacturing plant in Mills River. Secretary Copeland will also offer remarks at a ribbon cutting ceremony for Alamance Community College's new Advanced Applied Technology Center on Friday, October 6.

The National Manufacturers Association, the country's largest trade organization for manufacturers, has published a database of manufacturing events being held in North Carolina this week. The database is available online.

Read Governor Cooper's entire proclamation for Manufacturing Week.

High turn-out for the Isothermal Regional Economic Development Strategy Roll-Out and IPDC Board Meeting!
On Wednesday, October 4th at the Universal Advanced Manufacturing Center in Marion, around 70 stakeholders from across the Isothermal Region (all 4 counties were well represented) attended the roll-out of the Isothermal Regional Economic Development Strategy.  Fred Baisden, IPDC Chair kicked the meeting off and introduced Napoleon Wallace, Deputy Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Commerce.  Wallace provided insight on the department’s work and mission and shared some rural development wisdom with local leaders. 

Walter Dalton, ICC President gave an great overview of the SET V planning process, Scott Dadson, IPDC Executive Director described the strategy in detail and McDowell County leaders (Ashley Wooten, Bob Boyette, Chuck Abernathy, and Chuck Gossett) shared their experience developing and maintaining the Universal Advanced Manufacturing Center.  After the roll-out, the IPDC Board held their third meeting that “moved around the Region”.    

Thank you to everyone who attended this event.  Keep an eye out for details on our November  meeting which will be in Polk County!

The Isothermal Regional Economic Development Strategy and Scott’s presentation can be found at
Awards in Rural Excellence
Nominate a deserving rural town, leader, or entrepreneur

Join us November 16-17 in Raleigh for the 2017 Rural Assembly! Claiming our Future: Inspiring leadership, driving change is two days full of content and conversations focused on how rural communities can build the foundation for a better and brighter tomorrow. 
Each year the Rural Center recognizes individuals, organizations, and towns that have demonstrated visionary leadership, impacted the economy, and built strong community partnerships. 
At this year's 2017 Rural Assembly, we will recognize excellence in four categories: leadership, entrepreneurship, small business lending, and small town growth and vitality. 
A description of each award is included at the 2017 Rural Assembly website along with a link to the nomination form. If you know of a deserving individual, organization, or town for one of the awards, please submit a nomination form by October 20,  2017 to
Make a Nomination
Southeast Equine Research Project in Polk County

In January 2017, the Office of Outreach and Engagement at NC State University signed a contract with Isothermal Community College to facilitate a community-based visioning and feasibility assessment for a future center that would help the region leverage the vibrant equine-based economy.  For more on this exciting partnership here in the Isothermal Region, check it out here.

LUCA Training North Carolina

In preparation for the 2020 Census, local governments are invited to review the US Census Bureau list of addresses for their area through the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program.  LUCA training sessions will be held across the North Carolina to demonstrate the LUCA process, and local government management are encouraged to attend the most convenient session.  Workshops are presented by the US Census Bureau Atlanta Regional Census Office staff and hosted by North Carolina Councils of Government, affiliates of the North Carolina State Data Center network.  All sessions will begin at 9:00am.

October 30, 2017
Isothermal Planning and Development Commission

111 W. Court Street
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Other dates and locations are listed here:
Cleveland County's Economic Development Strategy Is Talent Driven

"About a year ago, Kristin Reese, Executive Director of Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership (CCEDP) and several local leaders initiated discussions around the topic of talent recruitment. Similar to what many of you have experienced in your own community, local manufacturers voiced concerns about the inability to find workers. Cleveland County’s unemployment rate had plummeted from 16% to 4% due the success of the county’s recruitment program ($6B investment and 4,500 jobs in 10 years) and overall strong economy."  See more about what is going on in Cleveland County here
Taxable Wage Data Tells Mixed Story for Rural NC Economies
The growth or decline of jobs, often bench marked by the unemployment rate, is the default measurement of economic well being. However, income from jobs is another excellent way to assess economic change. The source of this data is the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and accessed from the D4 data portal from the NC Department of Commerce.
The Tableau visualization below measures percentage change in taxable wages with 2000 as the benchmark year. Every subsequent year up to 2016 is measured as a percentage change from 2000. All years are in 2016 dollars.

The top graph summarizes the change for (from top to bottom) the six urban counties, the state average, the 14 suburban/regional city counties, and the 80 counties the Center defines as rural. In 2016, rural counties collectively were still six percent below the taxable wage level of 2000. However, the trend has improved from the 16 percent decline in 2011. This six percent decline is a total of $350.5 million.
Rural North Carolina is diverse. The bottom visualization is designed to select an individual county and compare its trend line against the average for its county classification. Therefore, if you select Richmond County you will see its trend as compared to the total of all rural counties. It is worth noting that some rural counties close to growing metro regions are doing well, counties such as Johnston and Franklin for example. 
The geographic distribution of change in taxable wages since 2000 tells a story of the financial impact resulting from the decline in manufacturing. The western Piedmont counties of Wilkes, Caldwell, Rutherford, and others had a strong base of manufacturing jobs. This is also the case for Montgomery, Richmond, and Scotland counties.
The Charlotte and Triangle regions did well, as we have come to expect. It is interesting, however, to see the influence of retirement/second home destinations of most of the southwest mountains and the coast. Most interesting of all is the positive growth in the counties in the middle of the eastern region: Sampson, Duplin, Bladen, Wayne, Lenoir, and Wilson counties. 
Taxable wage levels are improving in rural counties, but if you look at the change from just before the Great Recession we see a very mixed picture. Thirty-three counties had positive wage growth between 2007 and 2016, but 47 rural counties had an aggregate decline of $289.7 million. Jobs alone are not an adequate measure for determining the long road to economic recovery. 


Main Street Program Creates Jobs and Investment in North Carolina Communities

The North Carolina Main Street and Rural Planning Center reports its programs supported 2,000 new jobs, 319 new businesses and more than $200 million in private investment in the state's fiscal year 2016-2017. These results tally performance in the 64 locales designated as Main Street communities and the 23 Small Town Main Street communities.
Currently, designated Main Street communities range in population from 1,730 to 87,130. All were under 50,000 in population when they entered the program. These communities feature a Main Street director, a board of directors and a host of community volunteers.
Since the inception of the program in 1980, North Carolina Main Street communities have exceeded more than $2.6 billion in downtown public and private investment, created over 22,000 jobs and opened 5,410 businesses.
Main Street communities reported the following statistics from their 2016-17 work:
  • $189,562,163 in downtown public and private investment
  • 1,804 new jobs
  • 281 new businesses
  • 235 building renovations
  • 322 facade improvements
  • 114,968 volunteer hours with a value of $2,643,122
"Main streets and downtowns serve as hubs for life and business in a community," said Secretary Tony Copeland. "The NC Main Street and Small Town Main Street programs support these areas by getting them what they need to prepare and compete for business and new jobs for their residents."
"Main Street is the foundation that creates the environment for economic development activity in downtown districts throughout the state and the country, especially in small to medium-sized communities," said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Commerce Main Street and Rural Planning Center. "We are so pleased to see the tremendous investment, business development and job creation that was made in our Main Street and Small Town Main Street districts. These numbers demonstrate the success that the Main Street program has here in North Carolina."
Read more.
About IPDC Home Page
Area Agency on Aging
Workforce Development
Section 8 Housing
Planning and Technical Assistance
Housing Programs
Regional Data Center
IPDC Board of Directors
IPDC Board Meeting Schedule
Member Governments

Find us on Facebook

Isothermal Planning and Development Commission
111 West Court Street Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: (828) 287-2281
Fax: (828) 287-2735

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Isothermal Planning and Development Commission · 111 West Court Street · Post Office Box 841 · Rutherfordton, NC 28139 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp