News & Rankings

Economic Development April 2016 Recap

Featured News

Site Assessment Program Prepares Land for Industrial Development
In February, Wake County Economic Development launched into the second year of our Site Assessment Program. The Site Assessment Program was created to help Wake County municipalities prioritize their development goals and ultimately have a more robust selection of sites to meet the needs of companies looking to locate in the Wake County area. Read more.

Municipal Updates


Southern Peak Brewery Opens in Apex 
In early April, Southern Peak Brewery opened its doors as Apex's second brewery. The brewery features a seven-barrel brew housealong with a taproom for tastings. Brueprint Brewing Company, the first established brewery in Apex, celebrated its second anniversary with an open house.

Wake Up Apex Event Hosted by Apex Chamber of Commerce 
On April 21, Mayor Lance Olive presented the State of Apex at the bi-annual Wake Up Apex, hosted by the Apex Chamber of Commerce. Olive discussed multiple topics including residential development, economic development, the proposed fiscal year 2016/17 budget, and new parks and recreational initiatives.


Bond Brothers Brewing Grand Opening
Bond Brothers Beer Company officially held its grand opening on April 2. A few thousand people turned out to taste 10 beers on tap, hear bluegrass band Chatham County Line, and enjoy an accompanying food truck rodeo. Bond Brothers is downtown Cary's first full brewery, open seven days a week, and features spacious outdoor patio seating as well.

SAS Ranks No. 6 on Forbes 2016 "America's Best Employers" list
SAS Institute, based in Cary, was ranked sixth on Forbes 2016 "America's Best Employers" list. Read the full article here.  


Garner Receives Approval for First Brewery 
The Garner Planning Commission approved Garner's first brewery, Brice's Brewing, which will be located in the Lincoln Business Park. Final approval for the business will go before the council in the upcoming weeks.

Garner Industrial Site Receives Certified Site Designation 
The Garner Industrial Site in Greenfield Park South has been adopted into the North Carolina Certified Site Program. The site consists of approximately 151 acres located along U.S. 70 and Raynor Road. Read the official press release here.

Wake Forest 

Jason Cannon Named New Economic Development Director for Wake Forest 
Wake Forest Town Manager Kip Padgett announced that Jason Cannon has been selected as the town's new Economic Development director. Cannon is the first person to hold the position since the town assumed economic development responsibilities from the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this year. Read more here

Renaissance Plan for Downtown Wake Forest Being Updated
Wake Forest's Renaissance Plan is currently being updated. The Renaissance Plan was originally developed in 2004 and is a culmination of an intensive community input process designed to provide a foundation for revitalization efforts for the historic downtown core, as well as the future development of areas surrounding the historic Central Business District. Town staff, as well as members of the community, have been heavily involved in meetings to provide input that will help shape the updated plan. Components of the plan include: market studies, infill development, detailed streetscape plans, parking, development, and redevelopment opportunities.

New & Expanding Companies

Distil Networks | Raleigh | Software/IT | Expanding
Security software firm Distil Networks will be moving into 7,727 square feet of space at Charter Square. Distil Networks in June closed a $21 million round of funding with plans to bulk up its Raleigh operation.


Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman | Raleigh | Law Firm | New
Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, the nation's largest law firm focused exclusively on matters specific to the health care industry, has increased its national presence by expanding into the Southeast with the addition of an office in Raleigh.


Industrious | Raleigh | Co-Working Space | Expanding
Industrious, the New York-based company that's been opening co-working space in major metro areas with strong technology sectors like Austin,Atlanta, and Nashville, will expand into another 12,000 square feet at Charter Square, confirms building co-owner Andy Andrews of Raleigh.


Infusion | Raleigh | Software/IT | Expanding
Infusion, a New York-based company, will be moving into Charter Square. The company currently operates at 711 Hillsborough St. The move will provide the company with room to grow.

McGuireWoods | Raleigh | Law Firm | Expanding
McGuireWoods is expanding its Raleigh office with the arrival of accomplished partners Mary Nash Rusher, Jean Gordon Carter, and Charles Case, who join the firm's leading public finance, private wealth, and environmental practices, respectively.


PlayMaker CRM | Raleigh | Software/IT | New
Nashville-based technology firm PlayMaker CRM has officially opened its Raleigh office in downtown's Capital Bank Plaza. The firm is actively hiring, expecting to have up to 15 employees at the Raleigh office by the end of the year. The company competes in the same arena as SalesForce, though it targets a pretty niche market-----a segment that incorporates everything from home health to hospice care-----services and products needed after you leave the hospital. The new office will primarily house a development team.


TEKSystems | Raleigh | Staffing Agency | Expanding
TEKSystems, a Maryland-based IT staffing company with offices around the world, has signed a new contract to expand its Raleigh office operations and relocate into a full floor of the new Wade III office building in west Raleigh. The company will be taking 26,827 square feet. 

New & Expanding Metrics Since Jan. 2016

  Jan. 2016
New & Expanding Company Announcements 15
   Jobs 431
   Investment $19.5 million

Project Metrics

Total Projects Received Since Jan. 2015 39
   Potential Jobs 6,418
   Potential Investment $905 million
Client Visits 13
Active Projects 51
   Potential Jobs 9,776
   Potential Investment $1.7 billion

Recent News and Events: 

Business Recruitment & Retention

State of Downtown Raleigh Reveals Major Growth for Area 
Downtown Raleigh Alliance hosted the annual "State of Downtown" April 26 to take an in-depth look at all that happened in 2016. Raleigh, one of the fastest growing downtowns in America, is in the midst of a $1.1 billion construction boom and anticipates adding more than 4,500 residents in the coming years. Here are a few takeaways from the event.   

WCED Site Assessment Update 
The Site Assessment Program is off to a great start in 2016 with 28 sites currently under review. These sites, which were submitted by municipal partners from across Wake County, have shown some potential for industrial development. The program review will help stakeholders determine feasibility of continuing to develop the site for an industrial user.
An annually appointed advisory committee oversees the program. This year's committee members are: 

  • John Nelms, Duke Energy, committee chair 
  • Jerry O'Keefe, PSNC 
  • Ann-Stewart Patterson, CBRE 
  • Rhett Weiss, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice 
  • Steve Gurganus, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice 
  • Brad Rhinehalt, Newland Communities 
  • Mike Munn, McAdams 
  • Raul Peralta, ECS 


Marketing & Public Relations  

Next City: Regional Transportation Plan Supports Rapid Growth, Increases Access   
Next City published "Will N.C. Cities Embrace Regional Transportation Plan?" The story highlights Raleigh and the region's rapid growth, and the strategic planning and investment being made to ensure that our great quality of life remains for all citizens. The article outlines how the region's transportation plan will increase mobility, calling for investment in bus and commuter rail infrastructure to better serve the area's "economically, socially, and demographically diverse population." This is a result of Wake County Economic Development and the City of Raleigh'snational storytelling campaign, which has placed more than 30 stories in national and international media since the campaign launched at the end of 2014.

Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau Hosts Society of American Travel Writers Conference   
WCED was a sponsor of SATW's Eastern Chapter Conferencehosted by the GRCVB on April 24 - 27. GRCVB won the chance to host the annual conference in Raleigh. The conference brought nearly 100 national travel writers to Raleigh for a tour of the region's quality of life and cultural assets.

Talent Attraction & Development 

InnovateEdu Summit   
Wake County Economic Development participated in Innovate Raleigh's inaugural InnovateEdu Summit. The summit was an education-focused event that impacted local high school and college students by encouraging them to participate in STEM-related curriculum. The summit offered engaging speaker sessions that will lead to personal and career development for attendees and education partners. 

Cleantech Connect Career Fair
Wake County Economic Development partnered with Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster and Capital Area Workforce Development Board to host the inaugural Cleantech Connect Career Fair in conjunction with the 2016 State Energy Conference of North Carolina. This was part of the ongoing talent initiative to attract the best and brightest talent to the area. The region andWork in the Triangle, the regional tool and website that showcases the Triangle as a top destination for talented professionals, were discussed with job seekers.

Recent Rankings:  

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

Wake County Labor Market Statistics: 


Labor Force & Employment


Employment Rate March 2016 
Since March 2015, Wake County's labor force has increased by 32,530 and employment has increased by 30,509. This represents growth of 6.2 percent and 6.1 percent for labor force and employment respectively.


Unemployment Rate

 Unemployment Rate March 2016
In March 2015, Wake County had an unemployment rate (the proportion of those unemployed relative to the labor force) of 4.5 percent. While levels have fluctuated slightly over the year, unemployment remains at 4.5 percent in March 2016. 


There are no comments yet.

Leave a Comment