Michael Haley Shares Outlook for 2019

At the Raleigh Chamber’s 2019 Economic Forecast, we heard a clear message: Wake County’s fundamentals remain very strong—and are what we need to ensure community prosperity. 

As we heard from Charlie Dougherty, an economist with Wells Fargo, the region will continue to see robust employment growth in 2019. Dougherty noted that the Triangle “will continue to play a starring role in the national economic growth story, given the area’s booming tech and life sciences clusters which continue to attract new businesses and residents to the area.”  We must continue to build upon this momentum!

How do we continue to move this community forward? Wake County Economic Development (WCED) is addressing a number of factors that will impact our community’s economic momentum in 2019.

One of the main drivers for success in Wake County is our diverse talent and talent pipeline. WCED is collaborating with our talent pipeline partners—Capital Area Workforce Development, Wake Technical Community College, Wake County Public School System, NC State University, the private sector, and many others—to ensure our workforce system is properly aligned to the needs of our local businesses. This will enable our residents to have the right skills to compete for jobs being created in Wake County.

Innovation and a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem are also critical for our success. WCED and the Raleigh Chamber have entered into an outstanding partnership with Innovate Raleigh to support and grow our ecosystem. The success of the ecosystem is predicated on top talent, supporting and accelerating homegrown startups, increasing funding opportunities, and increasing the overall diversity and density of the ecosystem.

Equitable and inclusive economic development is an important element of our overall economic development strategy. WCED is working to ensure we are supporting businesses in under-resourced communities and working collaboratively to create new opportunities.

A mantra that we frequently say around our office is, “we play to a parade, not a crowd.” That means we must continuously market our community. Why? Seemingly every day there is something new – a new restaurant, a new direct flight from RDU International Airport, a new announcement about infrastructure, a new ranking. All these different quality of life and business environment actions are important decision factors for both talent and businesses.

As we heard at the Economic Forecast, the future for Wake County is bright in 2019. As a community, we must remain focused on advancing Wake County forward and not being complacent! We must remain a strong competitor in all aspects and continue to write this new chapter. Our team looks forward to another year of growth, change, and momentum.

For a recap of 2018, download a copy of our annual Economy & Business publication. Thank you to our EDGE investors for your generous support and partnership.


Michael Haley
Executive Director
Wake County Economic Development




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