Chatham EDC hosts nearly 300 for annual event

Chatham Economic Development Corporation hosts nearly 300 for 9th annual Opportunity Chatham meeting

PITTSBORO, NC – October 24, 2017 – Nearly 300 community, business and government leaders gathered Friday, October 20 in Pittsboro to learn and share about economic development efforts and progress in Chatham County.

The event was Chatham Economic Development Corporation's 9th annual Opportunity Chatham meeting, presented this year by MOSAIC at Chatham Park and Triangle Community Foundation.

Kyle Touchstone, president of Chatham Economic Development Corporation, gave an overall good report.

"We've heard that growth is coming to Chatham County," Touchstone remarked. "The reality is, growth is here."

Touchstone talked about ongoing projects in Chatham County, including Briar Chapel and its commercial development, Mountaire Farms in Siler City, Chatham Park, the Moncure Megasite and the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site.

The event was keynoted by Dr. Michael Walden, a professor and economist at North Carolina State University. Dr. Walden talked about economic trends, such as millennials moving to urban areas, and the strength of the Research Triangle region to adapt to shifts in the economy.

To close the event, Amanda Hoyle, a regional director for Metrostudy and former staff writer for Triangle Business Journal, moderated a panel of state and regional economic development leaders.

The panel included Napoleon Wallace, deputy secretary for rural economic development and workforce for the North Carolina Department of Commerce; Patrick Woodie, president of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center; Dan Gerlach, president of Golden LEAF Foundation; Ryan Combs, executive director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership; and Susan Sanford, executive director of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster.

The panel discussed their ongoing efforts to address economic issues, including workforce development, access to capital, regional collaboration and the Amazon HQ2 proposal.

A question from the audience about broadband access received an enthusiastic applause from the crowd.

"Broadband drives innovation and small business growth," Woodie said. "It's time to fill the gap in broadband access for our rural communities."

Opportunity Chatham sponsors were:

Presenting sponsors: Mosaic at Chatham Park and Triangle Community Foundation

Gold sponsors: Atlantic Power Solutions, Briar Chapel, Chatham Park, Durham Tower, ECS Southeast, Hobbs Architects, McGill Associates, McKim & Creed, MHA Works, NAI Carolantic Realty, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, S&ME and Sanford Contractors.

Silver sponsors: Aqua NC, Brookwood Farms, CenturyLink, Duke Energy, Messer Construction, Pittsboro Roadhouse, SEPI Engineering, Wilson Brothers and WithersRavenel.

Bronze sponsors: Central Carolina Community College, Central Electric Membership Corporation, Chandler Concrete, Chatham Hospital, Dewberry, First Bank of Pittsboro, Freese and Nichols, Landmark Builders, O’Brien/Atkins Associates, Orange Chatham Association of REALTORS and PSNC Energy.

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About Chatham Economic Development Corporation
Chatham Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency for Chatham County. The EDC is a 501(c)3 economic development non-profit that provides support to businesses throughout the county and markets Chatham County as the preferred location for emerging growth companies.

Alyssa Byrd, Director of Communication and Strategic Projects
Office: 919-542-8274
Direct: 919-542-8278

October 24, 2017