News & Rankings

Economic Development November Recap

Municipal Updates


Apex and AT&T Identify "AT&T Fiber Ready Site"
The Town of Apex and AT&T entered into a promotional agreement in early November that identified a specific business corridor as an "AT&T Fiber Ready Site." The agreement is a cooperative effort by the Town of Apex and AT&T to ensure that the area will be equipped with advanced broadband services (fiber) for business and industry.


Apex Businesses Land on TBJ's Fast 50 List for 2015
The Triangle Business Journal's Fast 50 list for 2015 included three businesses with a presence in Apex: ATI Industrial Automation, Prime Mortgage Lending, and BioResource International. ATI Industrial Automation is currently expanding its local footprint by 60,000 square feet and plans to add up to 30 employees in 2016. Prime Mortgage Lending Inc. credited a strong sales team and plans to add 20 - 25 new employees and increase production by 25 percent in 2016. BioResource International will add an additional five employees to its team in 2016 with plans of further diversifying products and services.


Town of Apex Participates in GIS Day 2015
On Nov. 18, the Town of Apex participated in GIS Day 2015. Town of Apex staff explained how GIS is positively impacting development while also teaching residents about issues such as the bond referendum for transportation needs and improvements in Apex that was passed in the recent election.




Cary Receives Recognition for Safety, Best Place to Live 
In November, Cary was ranked as the #4 Safest City in the Nation according to SmartAsset. The study took a holistic approach, looking at a number of different metrics. Violent crime was a primary factor, but SmartAsset also looked at other measures of safety, such as motor vehicle accidents, drug use, and excessive drinking. The violent crime rate in Cary is the sixth lowest of any major U.S. city, at just 84 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Compare that to Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina, where the violent crime rate is 648 per 100,000 residents.


Additionally, Cary was ranked sixth on 24/7 Wall St.'s "America's 50 Best Places to Live." The study looked at data on U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. The results were then based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability. 



STOCK America Announces Expansion in Garner
STOCK America, a leader in innovative sterilization solutions, will expand to a new location in Greenfield North Business Park in Garner. The new location will result in the consolidation of company offices in the U.S. and will serve as the headquarters for the company.



Hinton Oaks Business Park under Construction 
Hinton Oaks Business Park is under construction near I-540 in Knightdale. It will include just under half a million square feet of new industrial space. Architectural Granite & Marble opened recently, and a 120,000-square-foot speculative flex space building is under construction. Future phases are available to meet client demand.



Morrisville Companies Land on Deloitte Fast 500 List
Eight North Carolina companies appeared on Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list. Of these eight, three of the companies are located in Morrisville: Issuer Direct Corporation, MaxPoint Interactive, and Netsertive. Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth over a three year period.





NC Rail Road to Build $8M Bridge in Morrisville
The North Carolina Rail Road Co. has partnered with the town of Morrisville to build a new $8 million bridge over Crabtree Creek. The new bridge will replace the existing bridge, which has stood since 1927. The town has approved a $1 million contribution to help with the project, as well as build a greenway pedestrian path beneath the new bridge. View the full Triangle Business Journal article here


Forty540 Office Park Ready to Break Ground 
Developers for the proposed Forty540 office park on Slater Road overlooking the I-40 and I-540 interchange in Morrisville say the project will be ready and underway before the end of the year. The first office building for the park is planned to be a five-story, 200,000-square-foot Class A office building with design elements similar to the buildings in nearby Perimeter Park. 


Morrisville Road Projects Moving Forward
Town officials for Morrisville say road construction planned to begin this spring and continue for the next five years will drastically improve drive times once it's complete. Work has already begun on building a bridge over Morrisville Parkway near Park West Village, so traffic will no longer be held up by trains. That work will require a six-month road closure in 2016. Read more here



New & Expanding Companies

Carvana | Raleigh | Software/IT | New  
Technology firm Carvana wants to change the way you buy cars in Raleigh—aiming to eliminate the middleman, aka the dealership, completely. Carvana, which calls itself “the first complete online auto retailer,” bringing free, next-day delivery of automobiles to Raleigh residents, is already available in five other markets, including Charlotte, Atlanta, and Austin. Today, four people work out of the Raleigh location. Within the next two years, the company hopes to increase the local team to 25 and to move into a new local headquarters campus. The Raleigh launch means that residents within a 100-mile radius of the city can log onto the Carvana website and purchase a vehicle entirely online. That includes financing vehicles, purchasing, and trading in cars.

Cisco Systems, Inc. | Research Triangle Park | Software/IT | Expanding 
Cisco continues to grow. With 4,800 employees, the site in RTP is one of three “mega-sites” around the world. The company has had steady growth and will continue to hire.

FilterEasy | Raleigh | Start-Up | Expanding 
FilterEasy, the company that ships air filters to homes as a subscription service, is growing and hiring for a variety of positions, including project manager, senior accountant, and graphic designer. 

IMLeagues | Raleigh | Start-Up | Expanding
With 95 percent of all intramural programs and hundreds of fitness centers and clubs using its platform, this Raleigh startup led by a pair of brothers is in need of a product designer and software engineer to continue its development and growth.

K4Connect | Raleigh | Start-Up | Expanding
With nearly $2 million in new funding and a large contract with a Pennsylvania chain of senior living communities, K4Connect is building up a team to bring to market its technology that connects devices, systems, and applications in one mobile app to give seniors and people with disabilities more control over their homes and lives.

Merz North America | Raleigh | Biotech/Pharma | Expanding 
Merz North America, which recently moved the company's North American operation from Greensboro to Raleigh, has 278 employees. Despite the fact that Merz's current campus can house 330, the company wants to acquire more space in the Triangle. Last year, growth was at 32 percent. This year, the company expects to grow by 19 percent.

Workplace Options | Raleigh | Insurance | Expanding 
Dean Debnam, CEO of Raleigh-based Workplace Options, has acquired two more office buildings at the Highwoods Office Park in north Raleigh adding nearly 80,000 square feet of office space. It's anticipated that the company will need to hire up to 70 people. Workplace Options currently employs about 400 people in Raleigh, plus another 300 people at its offices across the U.S. and around the globe.

New & Expanding Metrics Since Jan. 2015

  Jan. - Nov. 2015
New & Expanding Company Announcements 88
   Jobs 2,829
   Investment $445 million


Since the beginning of 2015, 88 companies have announced relocations or expansions in Wake County. This accounts for the creation of 2,829 new jobs and investments of more than $445 million. Of those announcements, 43 (48 percent) are in Wake County Economic Development's cluster industries.  

Project Metrics

Total Projects Received Since Jan. 2015 96
   Potential Jobs 25,520
   Potential Investment $5.7 billion
Client Visits 28
Active Projects 44
   Potential Jobs 9,618
   Potential Investment $1.8 billion


Since Jan. 1, 2015, Wake County Economic Development has received 96 new projects from companies considering relocations or expansions in Wake County. These projects would total 25,520 new jobs and approximately $5.7 billion of investment if each were to successfully locate in Wake County. WCED has also hosted 28 client visits to the area. Currently, Wake County Economic Development is working on 44 active projects. These projects would total 9,618 new jobs and approximately $1.8 billion of investment if each were to decide to locate in Wake County.  

Recent News and Events: 

Talent Attraction & Development 

Veteran's Transition Day  
For the past three years, Cisco has hosted a "Veteran's Transition Day" on its RTP campus and other U.S. locations. This year, in partnership with the North Carolina Veteran's Enablement Consortium, the event was moved offsite and hosted at the McKimmon Center on the campus of NC State University, attracting nearly 150 veterans. The day-long event brought together programming, exhibitors, and networking all for the purpose of helping transitioning veterans tap into workforce resources. Some of the local employment resources highlighted were NC4ME (North Carolina for Military Employment),, and HR professionals sharing resume and interview tips. 


Marketing & Public Relations 

Forbes Contributor Series: "How Successful Startups are Scaling Up" and "How Adolescent Entrepreneurial Hubs Have Been Growing Up"   
Forbes published "How Successful Startups Are Scaling Up" by Council for Entrepreneurial Development President Joan Siefert-Rose. The article provides context for how entrepreneurs can successfully make the transition from startup to scaleup-one of the most challenging times for technology-based companies seeking to become successful businesses. Raleigh-basedWedPics is one of the featured case studies for how startups can overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities in order to successfully scale. According to Rose, some key attributes that have allowed WedPics and other startups to scale include seeing challenges as opportunities, developing talent, being nimble, and executing on their visions.

Forbes also published "How Adolescent Entrepreneurial Hubs Have Been Growing Up " by Council for Entrepreneurial Development President Joan Siefert-Rose. The piece outlines emerging entrepreneurial hubs in the U.S. and how they stack up against each other, specifically looking at CED's research to compare Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver-Boulder, Raleigh-Durham, and Seattle. One of the key findings highlights Raleigh-Durham as having logged the fourth-most IPOs out of the group, despite having one of the smaller populations. According to the article, cities like Raleigh, Austin, and Denver routinely show up near the top of lists of great places to live, and the groundwork has been laid for these entrepreneurial hubs to gain visibility for what they've accomplished and what they can offer. 

This Forbes contributor opportunity is a result of Wake County Economic Development and the City of Raleigh office of economic development's national storytelling campaign. The goal of the series is to showcase Raleigh, Wake County, and the Triangle's thriving startup scene. 

WRAL TechWire publishes "Outside RTP and downtown Raleigh, innovation still occurs in Wake County" 
Cities and towns across the Triangle have designed and launched initiatives to support, spur, and house local entrepreneurs, supplementing the entire ecosystem as it continues to grow and develop into a robust innovation center in the Southeast and in the nation. The Town of Cary, for example, supports two initiatives: the Cary Innovation Center and CoFounder's Lab. HOTTovation, a program run by the Morrisville Innovation Foundation, began in Morrisville in 2013. Read the full articlehere

WCED Launches Tumblr Page 
Wake County Economic Development launched its official Tumblr page in November. The site will be used to promote the area to a younger talent demographic and use visuals to market the county's assets. View the page here


Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Internet Summit 2016 
Wake County Economic Development and the City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development exhibited at Internet Summit on Nov. 18 and 19 at the Raleigh Convention Center. Internet Summit, the Southeast's premier digital strategies forum, included attendance from 2,500 top national brands, agencies, technology companies, media, and startups. WCED and the City of Raleigh partnered with the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative and E-Clinic, HQ Raleigh, and 10 local high-growth tech startups to showcase some of the many reasons why the community continues to grow as a center for entrepreneurship and innovation. Find out more here

Recent Rankings:  

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

  • #3 Best City for Veterans | Raleigh, NC | WalletHub | November 2015
  • #6 Best Place to Live | Cary, NC | 24/7 Wall St. | November 2015
  • #7 Best City in the World to Launch a Career | Raleigh, NC | HubSpot | October 2015


Wake County Labor Market Statistics: 


Labor Force & Employment


Employment Rate Nov 2015 

Since October 2014, Wake County's labor force has increased by 20,929 and employment has increased by 19,688. This represents growth of 4.1 and 4.0 percent, respectively. The number of those unemployed-displayed in the graph above as the differential of labor force and employment-has decreased by 5.5 percent. 



Unemployment Rate

 Unemployment Rate Nov 2015



Wake County's unemployment rate (the proportion of those unemployed relative to the labor force) has increased from 4.4 percent in October 2014 to 4.5 percent in October 2015. This represents a 0.1 percent increase.


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