News & Rankings

Economic Development March Recap

New & Expanding Companies 


Carusele | Cary | Marketing | New 
Ignite Social Media has launched Carusele, a standalone content marketing subsidiary. Through its network of content producers, Carusele creates branded social content and then actively manages it through a media approach that combines paid and organic syndication and aggregation to targeted audiences. "Carusele creates a simple way for marketers to buy engaging social media content with defined audience reach much like they do with broadcast, print, and digital media," said Jim Tobin, president of Ignite Social Media and Carusele. The company has nine full-time employees and is based in Cary, with a satellite office in Fayetteville, Ark.


Comstar Supply | Raleigh | Advanced Manufacturing | New 
Comstar Supply is opening a 10,000-square-foot office and warehouse in Raleigh on April 1. Comstar CEO Chad Punchard said one executive from the area will relocate to Raleigh and become a general manager. At least three additional hires are being made immediately. "It's an awesome opportunity for us," Punchard said. "Raleigh for us was a perfect storm. Some of the announcements Google has made and other tier-one customers that we work with, as well as the market down there ... it's just a great thing for us." Google Fiber recently chose the Triangle as an area it wants to expand in, but Punchard said that really isn't the reason why he chose Raleigh as the first expansion city. "Google Fiber just reinforced some of the reasons to go there," Punchard said. "We needed to have a significant presence in the Southeast ... we're securing presence in the territory."


Practichem | Raleigh | Advanced Medical Technologies | Expanding 
Practichem has grown from two to 13 employees since it moved to the Raleigh area in 2013 and is continuing to hire. The company launched its first innovative product in February: the Arista SLICE, a compact Web-based biochromatography instrument. It is relatively small in size, Web-powered, easy to use from any laptop or tablet, has a touch-screen interface, and is energy-efficient. The software allows for easy collaboration and is attractive due to its smaller size.


Wake County Municipality Highlight:


During the last 30 years, growth in Raleigh and the surrounding Research Triangle region has consistently and significantly outpaced that of the nation. Fueled by an impressive mix of education, ingenuity, and collaboration, North Carolina's capital city has become an internationally recognized leader in life science and technology innovation. It also happens to be a really nice place to live. 

Read more >


Recent News & Events  


Business Attraction & Target Industry Clusters


WCED Attends CED Life Sciences Forum

WCED was a sponsor of the two-day CED Life Sciences Forum held March 3 --    4, and Ashley Cagle and Morgan Servie from the WCED team participated. The conference attracted nearly 1,000 participants representing industry, research, investor, and business organizations, and enabled Triangle life science entrepreneurs to connect with hundreds of venture capital and strategic investors from around the country. 


Data4Decisions Takes Place at the Raleigh Convention Center

WCED was a partner of the 2015 Data4Decisions Conference & Exposition, March 24 --  26, at the Raleigh Convention Center. The conference highlighted Raleigh, Wake County, and the Research Triangle region as major data analytics thought leaders. Data4Decisions offered businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals the opportunity to examine the tools and knowledge necessary to effectively use data and make better decisions. 


WCED Launches Site Assessment Program

WCED has launched a site development program in response to the need among local communities for assistance with product development. As part of the program, WCED has issued a request for information on sites within the county that are 11 acres or larger to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each. The ultimate goal is to help these sites become client-ready.


Talent Attraction & Development 


WCED Travels to South by Southwest

Jennifer Bosser and Morgan Servie participated in the 2015 South by Southwest Interactive Trade Show and Job Fair event in Austin, Texas, from March 12 --  18. WCED and the City of Raleigh's office of economic development went to SXSW to exhibit at SXSW's Job Market in order to promote job opportunities with technology companies in Raleigh and the Triangle. The goal of the trip was to raise awareness of the Triangle as a highly desirable destination for talented professionals by showcasing the region's quality of place and highlighting the area as a great place for entrepreneurs and businesses to start up and relocate. The team promoted the Work in the Triangle web portal and the city's new interactive website featuring startups. 

  • To read WCED's press release about the event, click  here
  • To listen to a podcast featuring WCED's Jennifer Bosser and the City of Raleigh's Derrick Minor, click here
  • To read an article by ExitEvent on highlights from the event, click here


Work in the Triangle Partners with NCTA to Host 

Triangle Job Fair 

Work in the Triangle, in partnership with the North Carolina Technology Association and Council for Entrepreneurial Development, hosted the sixth "Come Tech Out the Triangle" Job Fair on March 25. Co-located at the Data4Decisions Conference, the job fair connected employers to the region's top tech talent. Wake County's major employers, including Credit Suisse, DB Global Technology, IBM, and Metlife, recruited for more than 1,000 jobs.


WCED Joins Leadership Team for Wake County Public School System's Career and Technical Education Strategic Plan

Jennifer Bosser, assistant executive director of WCED, and Emily Atkinson, vice president of Government Affairs at the Chamber were invited to serve on the Leadership Team for  Wake County Public School System's Career and Technical Education Strategic Plan. The Greater Raleigh Chamber hosted the first in a series of meetings on March 25 with the Wake County Public School System and Capital Area Workforce Development Board to assist in developing and implementing a comprehensive program curriculum focused on information technology in Wake County Public Schools. The goal of the program is to develop and retain a globally competitive workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary for high quality, sustainable North Carolina jobs. The Leadership Team is using the Pathways to Prosperity initiative, designed by Harvard University, in the development of the Strategic Plan. Pathways to Prosperity is a grades 9 --  14 educational initiative that integrates rigorous career-technical and academic curriculum at both the high school and community college levels. The goal is to provide a comprehensive program of study that includes all requirements for the completion of high school and post-secondary education and provides relevant value in the labor market. 


Marketing & Public Relations 


Regional Cleantech Press Tour Coverage Leads 

to Four Published Articles

As a result of Wake County Economic Development, the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, and the City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development's cleantech press tour, four articles have been published highlighting the region's cleantech assets. 


  • Features Two Articles on Raleigh's Eco-Conscious Technology covers a broad scope of environmental news and social responsibility issues targeted to a mainstream audience. The online publication receives 4.3 million unique monthly visits. Lloyd Alter, writer and managing editor of Mother Nature Network (, published an article titled, "Smart streetlights do a lot more than just save electricity" on March 4. The story features Sensus, Raleigh, and the Research Triangle region, highlighting the smart streetlights Sensus is building in the Triangle and the opportunities that can result from this technology. This story showcases Raleigh, Wake County, and the region as an innovative community that is leading the way to a more energy-efficient and "smarter" future. "The podcar is back" was also published by on March 10. The article highlights NC State University's ecoPRT as being an innovative transit solution that grew out of Raleigh's NC State University. 


  • Smart Grid Today Spotlights the City of Raleigh & PowerSecure 

Smart Grid Today reports on emerging trends, applications, and policies driving the modern utility industry. The publication is read by electric utility executives, state and federal regulators, and a wide variety of experts and technology chiefs. The online publication reaches about 20,000 unique monthly visitors. The site published a story called, "Raleigh renewables chief takes long view on solar" on March 16. The article details Raleigh's renewable energy plan and cites City of Raleigh Renewable Energy Coordinator Robert Hinson. Smart Grid Today also published an article on March 19 titled, "PowerSecure DG does 'painless' DR, peak shaving." The story spotlights PowerSecureas a key player in smart grid innovation worldwide while highlighting its homegrown headquarters in Wake Forest, North Carolina. These stories are part of WCED and the City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development's national media campaign


WCED Featured in News & Observer Op-ed

The News & Observer featured an op-ed piece by WCED Executive Director Adrienne Cole and Brooks Raiford, president and CEO of the NC Technology Association. The article focuses on talent as a key driver in Wake County and the region's continued tech sector growth and success. To read the piece, please visit: "Helping talent drive Triangle tech growth."


CNNMoney Features Story on Local Startup, PredictifyMe spotlighted local startup PredictifyMe in an article titled, "This startup could help thwart school bombings." The story talks about how the company got its start and how its data analytics technology will help protect schools in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Lebanon against bombing attacks. The article highlights the company as Raleigh-based and how the Research Triangle region is using data analytics in a unique way to solve complex social issues. CNNMoney reaches a very large audience of 14.6 million unique monthly visitors. The publication targets investors, entrepreneurs, and C-level executives-----   a great audience as we look to position Raleigh, Wake County, and the region as a great place for business and entrepreneurship. 


WCED Releases Wake County Public School System Brochure

In early March, Wake County Economic Development released the Wake County Public School System brochure, highlighting Wake County's high-performing and fast-growing school system. WCPSS is consistently recognized as one of the top-performing school systems in the nation. To download the brochure, please click here.

New & Expanding Metrics Since January 2015 


Jan. --  March 2015

New & Expanding Company Announcements







Since the beginning of 2015, eight companies have announced relocations or expansions in Wake County. This accounts for the creation of 133 new jobs and investments of more than $13 million. Of those announcements, six (75 percent) are in Wake County Economic Development's cluster industries.


Project Metrics  

Total Projects Received Since Jan. 2015


     Potential Jobs


     Potential Investment


Active Projects


     Potential Jobs


     Potential Investment


Client Visits



Since Jan. 1, 2015, Wake County Economic Development has received14 new projects from companies considering relocations or expansions in Wake County. These projects would total 6,532 new jobs and more than $2.6 billion of investment if each were to successfully locate in Wake County. WCED has also hosted six client visits to the area. Currently, Wake County Economic Development is working on 43 active projects. These projects would total 9,643 new jobs and more than $3.7 billion of investment if each were to decide to locate in Wake County.

Recent Rankings  


For a full list of rankings, please download the Raleigh/Wake County Rankings Flyer.


  • #1 Hot Spot for Tech Startups Outside Silicon Valley 
    (Raleigh, NC)

  • Top 5 Hottest U.S. Housing Market 
    (Raleigh, NC) Builder

  • Top 6 Great Small Cities for Food Lovers 
    (Raleigh-Durham, NC) The Wall Street Journal

  • #8 Top U.S. Biopharma Cluster

  • #10 City for First-Time Homebuyers 
    (Raleigh, NC) SmartAsset


Wake County Labor Market Statistics  


Labor Force & Employment




Since January 2014, Wake County's labor force has increased by 18,535 and employment has increased by 20,820. This represents growth of 3.7percent and 4.4 percent, respectively. The number of those unemployed----displayed in the graph above as the differential of labor force and employment----has fallen by 8.7 percent.  



Unemployment Rate



Wake County's unemployment rate (the proportion of those unemployed relative to the labor force) has fallen from 5.3 percent in January 2014 to 4.6 percent in January 2015. This represents a 0.7 percent decrease.  


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