Vance County - A Partner in Regional Cooperation
One of the attractions of Vance County is that it is part of a subset of the Research Triangle Region. Four of the “Halo” counties surrounding the Raleigh/Durham area- Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren Counties entered into an arrangement that germinated into Triangle North with a commerce/industrial park in each of the individual counties. The counties work in cooperation with each other in the development of each of the parks through a Board of Directors comprised of equal representation from each of the counties. My fellow economic development professionals participate on joint marketing missions where we promote the four parks as a group and refrain from promoting just the park in our own county. The idea is that the more options we place in front of a corporate site selector or consultant, the more likely they will consider the Triangle North sites. Another aspect of this arrangement is that the revenue stream from the sale of the sites within the parks as well as the taxes generated will be apportioned on an equal 25% basis among the four counties.
This unique arrangement has received the attention from the North Carolina Legislature which allocated funds for each of the four counties as well as the State’s Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce has advocated this concept to other counties around the state as a true example of regional cooperation.
In my thirty – eight years as a professional economic developer, and having represented communities in some seven states, I had never come across this level of regional cooperation. There are instances I am aware of where a City and a County have worked together, and in a few instances where two counties have banded together to develop and market an industrial park on property that spanned the two counties. But to the best of my knowledge this is the only example of four counties that came together in such a regional effort.
These counties understand that companies that locate in any one of their parks represent a win for each of them. The company will more than likely employ their workforce among the available labor force that is present in each county, they will buy goods and services within the region (which may have a positive impact on additional jobs & taxes in the retail and professional services arena), and hopefully the management of these new locations will buy homes and become part of the social fabric of the communities within the region.
In addition the location of a new industry will attract the attention of other companies within their industry, companies that sell or service them that would benefit from close proximity to them as well as the notice of others that are seeking potential locations.
It is also advantageous that these four counties are all serviced by Vance Granville Community College that provides the customized training and skills training in a mobile environment.
Vance County is proud to be part of both the Research Triangle Region and Triangle North.
Author: Stuart Litvin, Director, Henderson-Vance County Economic Development