Piedmont Triad Partnership Honored for Third Time

May 2, 2008

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For the third consecutive year, the Piedmont Triad Partnership has been named one of the top 10 regional economic development organizations in North America by Site Selection magazine, a trade publication widely read by executives, consultants and economic developers.

“It’s affirmation that they’re doing things right. It’s just like a first-place ribbon,” said Christopher D. Lloyd, vice president and director of business expansion services at McGuireWoods Consulting in Richmond, Va. Lloyd’s company represented Honda Aircraft Co. in its site negotiations in the Triad for its headquarters and manufacturing operations for its lightweight HondaJet.

Don Kirkman, president and CEO of the partnership, said the award was really acknowledgment of the work of economic developers in each of the regions 12 counties.

“I think we are increasingly recognized nationally and internationally as a model for delivering comprehensive economic development services on a regional level,” Kirkman said.

Lloyd said the region is becoming fairly well known outside North Carolina for its business climate, affordability and work force. “That only happens because PTP is out there,” he said. “People don’t just stumble upon you.”

This year, the Davidson County Economic Development Commission was also named in the Top 10 rankings. Steve Googe, director of the organization, was out of the country on business and unavailable for comment.

Other states with honored economic development groups were Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

“The most competitive organizations shared several characteristics,” said Ron Starner, director of publications and general manager of Site Selection publisher, Conway Data, in a statement. “They provide market access to expanding companies, strong logistics support networks, highly qualified and abundant labor pools, competitive business costs and good old-fashioned ingenuity.”

The Piedmont Triad Partnership and World Business Chicago are the only two North American economic development organizations selected in the Top 10 in each of the last three years.

Kirkman pointed to several other recent nods the region has received:

  • The Piedmont Triad’s work with its Workforce Initiatives in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant won the partnership an opportunity to do a presentation on the grant programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, at a recent U.S.-Canada joint economic development seminar in Washington, D.C. The region was also highlighted at the February WIRED Biosciences Institute, hosted in Winston-Salem.
  • Representatives from the Piedmont Triad joined a panel discussion at the international Airport Cities World Conference & Exhibition in April in Dallas to discuss the “aerotropolis” concept developed by Jack Kasarda, a management professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dan Lynch, president of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, said the region’s developers are all proud to share in the Site Selection recognition. He said as PTP and its local partners move forward, “We need to remain keenly focused on marketing. We kind of get away from it a little bit. It’s very natural and that’s the challenge.”