It was another exciting year for Wake County Economic Development! We enjoyed many successes across key focus areas and initiatives. This past year included continued growth in key industries like IT/technology and growth in others such as financial technology (fintech). The team hosted several new events, met with multiple foreign delegations, completed a survey focused on workforce development, welcomed an equitable economic development manager and a new executive director for Innovate Raleigh, and traveled across the U.S. sharing the Wake County story.
We’re looking forward to the opportunities already emerging for FY 2018-2019.
Highlights from the report include:
Job Creation & Investment
During the past year, Wake County announced 7,958 jobs and $271 million in investment. Target industries such as IT/Technology, Life Sciences, Cleantech, and Advanced Manufacturing continue to be strong industries for Wake County, but other industries like Financial Technology and Headquarter Location/Shared Services continue to rise a well.
Public Relations & Marketing
The Raleigh-metro story continued to gain incredible momentum in 2017-2018. As part of the national media campaign (in partnership with the City of Raleigh), a total of 22 articles were written on the Raleigh-metro (roughly 2 per month) totaling an ad equivalency of $1.2 million. The team also completed a successful media tour with local tech company, Bandwidth, which resulted in three live broadcast segments.
Regional Competitiveness & Cooperation
Remaining competitive as a region takes the effort of multiple partners and organizations. Over the past year, partnerships with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) and Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) were a critical priority for key initiatives such as, delegation visits, trips to SelectUSA, BIO, and meetings with site selectors.
Talent Attraction & Development
Attracting and developing talent, along with creating a framework to gather insights from local talent and employers was an important part of WCED’s success in 2017-2018. The “Workforce Skills Analysis” was completed and results were shared at the inaugural “Triangle Talent” forum. The Work in the Triangle website, along with the weekly virtual career fair for #TriangleTuesdays also grew in popularity with current and new users.
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Innovation and entrepreneurship in Wake County continued to be a major focus for WCED. After completing a successful Innovate Raleigh Summit on Nov. 9, 2017, the team welcomed a new Executive Director, Bridget Harrington.
Quality of Place & Sustainability
After almost two years of planning, WCED hired its first Equitable Economic Development Manager, Danya Perry. In less than a year, Danya helped lead the inaugural Raleigh Chamber Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Conference, along with multiple other initiatives supporting prosperity for Wake County residents.