NC Co-ops Position for Economic Development Opportunities - Carolina Country

NC Co-ops Position for Economic Development Opportunities

Projects around the state bring jobs and new investments

NC Co-ops Position for Economic Development Opportunities

Integra Foods management staff review plans for the Bladenboro plant. Photo by Emily Williams, Bladen Journal.

Businesses and regional economies thrive when communities come together and make critical investments. Electric co-ops have long been a driving force for that growth in North Carolina, leveraging federal, private and public funding to make economic development projects a reality.

But to keep pace with today’s market pressures and rapid change, cooperatives must be even more prepared to capture opportunities that bring good jobs and new capital investment into their communities.

“The southeast United States is the ‘Major Leagues’ of competitive economic development,” said Ryan Nance, director of Economic Development for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Companies decide where they will expand or relocate based on in-depth evaluations of a region’s assets and risk factors. Electric co-ops and local leaders are winning deals because they are making proactive investments that build upon a region’s assets and mitigating risk that impedes industry growth.”

Recent projects

Richmond County: Impact Plastics

Served by Pee Dee Electric
In April, Pee Dee Electric and Richmond County announced a $3.5 million expansion of Impact Plastics. It will occupy a newly constructed shell building in the Rockingham West Industrial Park. Pee Dee has invested in five Richmond County shell buildings — all with active businesses ranging from advanced textiles to distribution centers.

Bladen County: Integra Foods

Served by Four County EMC
Four County EMC and Bladen County recently announced the successful launch of Integra Foods in the Bladenboro Industrial Park. A specialty foods startup, Integra has already created 35 jobs and invested $1.5 million into the project. The company exports its smoked turkey leg products to Japan and other Asian markets.

Edgecombe County | Corning

Served by Edgecombe-Martin County EMC
Construction is now complete for Corning’s new distribution center in Edgecombe County that will employ more than 100 full-time jobs. The $89 million operation is served by Edgecombe-Martin County EMC.

More to come

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are currently tracking 53 active business recruitment projects. “Several cooperative-served industrial properties have made the short list of these prospects, and members are directly supporting their local economic development teams to attract these companies,” Nance said.

Collectively, these competitive projects represent the opportunity for more than 7,550 new jobs and more than $2.5 billion in new capital investment.

Find out more

Learn more about how North Carolina's electric cooperatives are supporting the communities they serve through economic development at

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