Economic partnership celebrates development success in Henderson County


The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development held its annual event at Jeter Mountain Farm on September 30 to celebrate the past two years of economic development in the county.

The event helps network community business leaders while recapping economic development success, according to a press release from HCPED. The evening was also a nod to National Manufacturing Week, which took place in early October.

Since the last celebration in 2019, Board Chairman Nathan Kennedy shared how much the partnership has accomplished:

  • Made in Henderson County Apprenticeship Cohort 2 & 3: 18 new apprentices
  • Workforce strategies: relocation guide, Work Ready Community and coordination of continuing education with BRCC
  • More than 25 marketing activities carried out
  • Events: NCDOT transport meeting, academic resource meeting, investor update meetings and industry forum
  • Big Adventures Expanded, R&D Plastics moved to Henderson County, Mavidon moved to Henderson County, Low Impact Technologies located in Henderson County, TecniKable opens in downtown Hendersonville, Carolina Ground opened, Project Maverick has found a location to launch its new vent, and Jabil Healthcare is the main tenant of Garrison Industrial Park – committing more than $ 38 million and creating 150 jobs

As the Partnership works behind the scenes to fulfill its mission to create and maintain quality jobs in Henderson County, its work over the past two years has focused on additional pillars of economic development: product development. and labor, the statement said.

“A lot of people don’t understand the complexity of economic development and why we focus primarily on advanced manufacturing. The work of HCPED creates a strong and resilient economy, which directly translates into a better quality of life and meaningful employment for residents, ”said Nathan Kennedy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of HCPED.

Since 2006, the limited partnership has helped complete more than $ 935 million in new capital investments.

“The way we look at new investments is, for example, that an investment of $ 40 million equals 40 million dollar homes. But most homes occupied by families have a high cost to service, ”Brittany Brady, President and CEO of the Partnership, said in the statement.

“The manufacture of buildings and equipment has a much lower cost of services. Due to the high investment and low cost, there is more taxpayer money in the community to pay for the services with ultimately a much lower tax burden on the citizens. ”

Manufacturing accounts for 30% of tax revenue generated in Henderson County, but manufacturing does more than just invest in a community through capital investments – it invests through jobs, the statement continued.

On average, the manufacturing wage is $ 15,000 higher than the average private sector wage. These higher salaries help citizens have a better quality of life, according to the HCPED.

Manufacturing is not insular; for every manufacturing job created, there are 1.8 to 2.6 other jobs created elsewhere in the community.

The partnership took a moment at the event to celebrate the five companies that grew or moved to Henderson County in fiscal 2021. These announcements exceeded $ 45 million in capital investment and the creation of more than 210 jobs. This translates into 420 additional indirect jobs in the community.

As new business sites grab the headlines, the partnership facilitates relationships with more than 130 manufacturing companies already in the community, ensuring Henderson County remains a good place for business and can provide the connections and resources needed to help the industry succeed, HCPED said.

As the Spring Industry Forum pointed out, for manufacturers to be successful, they need linkages with utility partners, state resources through the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership, such as the international trade and import / export assistance, as well as labor partners.

The Partnership did not avoid the difficult discussion about the job. Demographic drought is being felt across all industries, even with unemployment figures in a pre-pandemic state.

“Many factors have an impact on work; people have left the workforce and there are simply fewer people returning to work. However, we live in a community that is ready to work together to help employers during this time, ”said Laura Leatherwood, President of Blue Ridge Community College.

Manufacturing today is different from what it was 10 years ago, according to the HCPED, and many existing companies have career paths in place to allow for advancement. The Partnership keeps career listings live on

“There is no quick fix to solving the workforce problem, but The Partnership has been proactive this year in strategizing around creating a workforce. and talent recruitment, ”the statement continued.

“The Made in Henderson County Apprenticeship Program had nine apprentices in the program in 2021. Year four of the program will kick off with tours around National Manufacturing Week and additional marketing around National Manufacturing Week. apprenticeship in November. “

“We had great success from 2016 to 2021, announcing over 797 newly created jobs – any community would envy that success. However, the story that remains untold is that once a business takes hold of a site, you have created an internal problem that requires a one-stop solution: where will you locate your next industry and how can you locate it. -develop a retention and recruitment strategy, ”said Beau Waddell, former chairman of the board of directors of HCPED.

As The Partnership continues to provide the employer with resources and data to help with their hiring decisions, the HCPED says product development is the next hurdle in securing a manufacturing future.

In 2020, the Partnership is entering new territory with the creation of the Garrison Industrial Park. “If you don’t own the land, you can’t control the land and you can’t guarantee the investment,” said Chip Gould, former chairman of the Economic Investment Fund.

“It is important for communities to ensure that the lands they have zoned and designated for industrial purposes develop for industrial purposes in order to capture the highest and best use. “

Henderson County Economic Investment Fund, HCPED’s 501c3 sister organization focused on product (site / building) and workforce development, has started conversations with Henderson County and the city from Hendersonville to ensure that the garrison site, adjacent to the Appleland Industrial Park near Upward Road and the surrounding industry off Crest Road, would develop industrially.

The Garrison Industrial Park became a reality in November 2020 when the three secured an agreement to purchase the land and soon welcomed new tenant Jabil.

Due to efforts to move mountains around in product development, Henderson County and the City of Hendersonville were named HCPED Partners of the Year.

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