News & Rankings

Economic Development September Recap

Align Technology, Inc. Establishes First U.S. East Coast Operations in Cary
Wake County Economic Development and the Cary Chamber of Commerce announced that Align Technology, Inc. has established its first U.S. East Coast operation in Cary, with plans to invest $4 million and create more than 100 jobs in Wake County over the next five years. The Cary facility is one of only two locations in the U.S. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif.,  Align Technology is a global medical device company engaged in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of the Invisalign ® system, the world's leading invisible orthodontic product, as well as 3D digital scanning products and services for orthodontic and restorative dentistry. Read more about the announcement via The News & Observer and the Triangle Business Journal

DB Global Technology Expansion to Create 250 Jobs 
in Wake County
DB Global Technology, Inc. will undertake a 250-job expansion over the next two years at its software application development center in Wake County. The company plans to invest $9 million there through the end of 2016. DB Global Technology is a unit of Deutsche Bank AG, the Germany-based global financial services provider. The company's expansion will accommodate a sharpened focus on developing strategic applications and enterprise-wide technology solutions. The company currently employs more than 600 people in Wake County.

Delta Adds Non-stop Service from Raleigh-Durham to Paris
Delta Air Lines announced a new daily non-stop flight between Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) and Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG). The flight will become  RDU's second daily nonstop flight to an intercontinental destination when it begins service in May 2016. Non-stop service between RDU and CDG will provide improved connections to more than 40 new foreign destinations, increasing the Triangle region's global business opportunities and ability to attract highly-skilled talent. Wake County Economic Development Executive Director Adrienne Cole sits on the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Board, the board that governs the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Read more about the announcement via Triangle Business Journal

New & Expanding Companies 
CoFounders Capital | Cary | Co-Working Space | New
CoFounders Capital has opened their offices and lab in downtown Cary. Cofounders Capital is an early-stage seed fund focused on software ventures in the Triangle. Created in 2015, Cofounders partnered with the Town of Cary to provide free lab space to entrepreneurs who receive expert help modeling and vetting their startup ideas. The most promising of these ventures are then funded through Cofounders Capital's $12 million seed fund. The organization is managed by serially-successful entrepreneur David Gardner with a team of more than 70 advisers and volunteer mentors who are all investors in the fund, eager to support entrepreneurship in the Triangle and help portfolio companies and entrepreneurs succeed. 

GrapeCity | Morrisville | Software/IT | Expanding 
Six years after buying then-Morrisville-based FarPoint Technologies only to move the main operation to Pittsburgh three years later, Japanese tech firm GrapeCity is returning to the Triangle. The company's Pittsburgh office will work on studio products, while the Raleigh operation will focus on spreadsheets and reporting technology. The company develops enterprise-level development tools for Microsoft, iPhone, and other platforms.

Great BIG Canvas | Raleigh | Wall Décor | Expanding
Since 2006, Great BIG Canvas has been leading the industry in art and photography reprints and customizable art products. Based in Raleigh at World Trade Blvd, Great BIG Canvas employs more than 200 professionals who specialize in creating high quality artwork. With sister companies, Canvas On Demand and Imagekind, they have sold more than 1.7 million custom prints. The company recently expanded, adding an extra 25,000 square feet to its existing footprint which now totals 80,277 square feet.

Personify | Raleigh | Recruitment Firm | Expanding
Personify, a fast-growing, executive recruiting firm, has signed a commitment to move its headquarters and staff of 70 people from Cary to the newly-renovated historic warehouse known as the Dr. Pepper Complex in downtown Raleigh. The company will initially occupy 10,134 square feet in the building and also has an option on another 4,000 square feet of vacant space. The new downtown space will allow the company to grow to about 100 employees before it has to consider moving again.

RoviSys | Holly Springs | Control Systems Integrators | Expanding
RoviSys will be moving operations from Apex to the Holly Springs Business Park after outgrowing its current facility. The company located to Apex in 2005 and currently has 115 employees at its Apex location. The company's primary function is automation for medium and large sized companies with many customers in the life sciences sector, including Novartis and Pfizer. Currently, RoviSys is seeing 5 --  15 percent annual growth, adding 10 --  25 employees each year. It expects to reach 250 employees at the Holly Springs site over the next 5 --  10 years.

SVN Hotels | Raleigh | Real Estate | New
SVN Hotels, a new company started by Raleigh real estate veterans Don Walston and Sanjay Mundra, will have its headquarters in Raleigh. The company will be targeting the more than $45 billion-a-year niche hotel brokerage market that only a handful of brokerage firms have focused on in recent years. The goal, they say, is to capture between 5 and 7 percent of that market share within the next five years, which would rank SVN Hotels among the top five hotel brokerage firms in the country along with Eastdil Secured, JLL, CBRE, and Hodges Ward Elliott.

New & Expanding Metrics Since January 2015 
Jan. --  Sept. 2015
New & Expanding Company Announcements
$402 million
Since the beginning of 2015,69 companies have announced relocations or expansions in Wake County. This accounts for the creation of 2,532 new jobs and investments of more than $402 million. Of those announcements, 40 (58 percent) are in Wake County Economic Development's cluster industries.
Project Metrics Since January 2015 
Total Projects Received Since Jan. 2015 
Potential Jobs
Potential Investment
$5.52 billion
Client Visits
Active Projects
Potential Jobs
Potential Investment
$2.07 billion
Since Jan. 1, 2015, Wake County Economic Development has received 79 new projects from companies considering relocations or expansions in Wake County. These projects would total 20,450 new jobs and more than $5.52 billion of investment if each were to successfully locate in Wake County. WCED has also hosted 22 client visits to the area. Currently, Wake County Economic Development is working on 41 active projects. These projects would total 6,376 new jobs and more than $2.07 billion of investment, if each were to decide to locate in Wake County.

Recent News & Events  
Business Attraction & Target Industry Clusters
2015 State of Morrisville 
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Morrisville Chamber of Commerce hosted the State of Morrisville 2015, an informative talk and panel discussion about the town. Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman and Wake County Commissioner, District 3, Jessica Holmes were in attendance along with several council members as well as other town officials. The event touched on many initiatives currently underway, including public safety, town events, enhanced parks and greenways, road and infrastructure improvements, as well as, the state of Wake County. Read the full recap of the event here.  

WCED Site Assessment Update 
In September, Wake County Economic Development deployed teams of industry professionals to evaluate sites that scored between 62 and 74.5. Scores were generated through a series of questions posed by the Creative Economic Development Consulting's  Site Assessment Tool. The teams, comprised of EDGE 5 investors, have been working with the municipal economic development partners to learn about their respective sites and provide feedback on logical next steps towards development. The team meetings will continue through September and October. 

Talent Attraction & Development
WCED Promotes the Raleigh M.A.I.N. Event through #RaleighWakeSmart Campaign
The  Raleigh M.A.I.N Event, is an Innovate Raleigh initiative that celebrates music, art, innovation, and noise every September in Raleigh. The month is chalk full of vibrant events, thanks to a variety of partnerships. Wake County Economic Development sponsored four of these events: Hopscotch, SparkCon, CED Tech Venture, and Innovate Raleigh Summit. 

Throughout the month of September, WCED promoted Raleigh and Wake County as a "Smart" place to live, work, play, and learn through various social media outlets and attendance of events. This campaign marketed and branded the area to event attendees and community stakeholders, with a major focus on talent. This campaign was a catalyst for the hashtag #RaleighWakeSmart, which the team will continue to use to tell the story of why this area is "Smart." To see the campaign in action, follow WCED on twitter @RaleighWake and follow our talent initiative @WorkTriangleNC

WorkReady 2015
Wake County Economic Development sponsored Capital Area Workforce Development Board's WorkReady2015 breakfast on Sept. 16. Carolyn Heller Baird, global research leader in the IBM Institute for Business Value, spoke on findings from a study published by the IBM Institute for Business Value called "Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths --  The real story behind Millennials in the workplace." The study addresses the assumption that Millennials are somehow different from their predecessors. The study found that the fundamental distinction between Millennials and older employees is their digital proficiency. The multigenerational study of 1,784 employees from organizations across 12 countries and six industries made comparisons on the preferences and behavioral patterns of Millennials with those of Gen X and Baby Boomer generations. To read more on the study and for the full report, visit the IBM Institute for Business Value

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Fourth Annual Innovate Raleigh Summit Brings Together Community Leaders to Discuss Diversity 
Wake County Economic Development had the privilege of attending and sponsoring the 2015 Innovate Raleigh Summit. It was a wonderful showcase of all the talent and innovation Raleigh has to offer and just another example of how this region is #RaleighWakeSmart. "The fourth annual summit broke all previous ticket sales and attendance records of past Innovate Raleigh events. We believe this is due not only to the strong lineup of guest speakers, but to our exploration of inclusivity. There is a strong current, a mounting energy if you will, around this topic across all industries and having a composed, thoughtful conversation roused our business community to convene in larger numbers. Another exciting new component this year was hosting more than 45 students from Digital Connectors, The Queen's Foundation, Girl Develop It RDU, Wake Technical Community College, and Shaw University on scholarship. The participants brought dynamism to the Sept. 10 event that positively impacted all attendees. Moreover, we consider it essential for our organization to interface and connect with future business and community leaders who will benefit from our programming at this pivotal time in their education process," said Jenny Hwa, executive director, Innovate Raleigh. To read the full recap on the Innovate Raleigh Summit, click here

CED Tech Ventures Conference Held in Raleigh 
Wake County Economic Development participated in the CED Tech Venture Conference.  The Council for Entrepreneurial Development annual Tech Venture Conference is one of the premier entrepreneurial events in the southeast United States.  The event brings together top industry leaders as speakers and panelists and showcases the most promising emerging local companies and facilitates key connections with a diverse group of investors. "This event is a great example of the strength, diversity, and vibrancy of Wake County and the region's entrepreneurial community and a serves as a means to increase the flow of capital to those growing companies," noted Michael Haley, director of Business Recruitment and Expansion. This year saw hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators brought together for the two-day conference.

Recent Rankings  
For a full list of rankings, please download the Raleigh/Wake County Rankings Flyer.
  • #2 Best City in NC for Retirement 
    (Raleigh, NC) WalletHub | September 2015 
  • Top 5 Best Office Central Business District to Invest In 
    (Raleigh, NC) National Real Estate Investor | August 2015 
  • #8 Healthiest Housing Market 
    (Cary, NC) WalletHub | August 2015
  • #10 Most Educated City 
    (Raleigh, NC) WalletHub | September 2015 

Wake County Labor Market Statistics  


Labor Force & Employment


 Since July 2014, Wake County's labor force has increased by 22,463 and employment has increased by 23,110. This represents growth of 4.3 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. The number of those unemployed----displayed in the graph above as the differential of labor force and employment----has decreased by 2.3 percent.  

 Unemployment Rate


 Wake County's unemployment rate (the proportion of those unemployed relative to the labor force) has fallen from 5.5 percent in June 2014 to 5.2 percent in June 2015. This represents a 0.3 percent decrease. 


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