ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
Since early 2019, the GGDC has been working collaboratively with public and private sector partners across Gaston County to develop a comprehensive strategic approach to economic development in Gaston County.
Considering the inflection point Gaston County is at regarding its growth trajectory, the time is now to take advantage of opportunities for our community's long term benefit. As a result of formal conversation and collaboration, the Gaston Economic Development Strategy Committee was formed to produce a formal report to the Gaston County Board of County Commissioners in August 2019. View the full GEDSC report here.
As a result of the GEDSC report, Ted Abernathy of Economic Leadership, LLC was retained to develop and deliver a Gaston County Competitive Positioning & Organizational Delivery Assessment in November 2019. View the full report here.
The work has resulted in a set of recommendations for Gaston County, which have been reviewed and refined by the Project Oversight Committee. An accompanying Recommendation Timeline was developed.
THE GO GASTON CAMPAIGN
Launched in 2016, the GO Gaston Image & Branding Campaign was designed to celebrate Gaston County's many strengths. The campaign was initially focused on increasing awareness within Gaston County of all that the County has to offer and has expanded its mission to project that positive message across the region and beyond.
Visit the GO Gaston website here.
NEW & EXPANDED BUSINESS RECRUITING - The Gaston County Charlotte Airport Economic Positioning Strategy
Gaston County has many strategic assets, including close proximity to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the region’s primary economic engine. This provides unique growth opportunities.
To capitalize on this, we and our partners have worked with an internationally-recognized team of experts to develop a comprehensive strategy to attract companies that need excellent access and short travel times to the CLT Airport. Gaston County is the perfect place for these new and expanding businesses to land.
Finalized and adopted in early 2019, the Gaston County Charlotte Airport Economic Positioning Strategy will help shape Gaston County's future.
TRANSPORTATION & ACCESS
With economic growth comes increased traffic, and Gaston County must remain proactive in addressing these challenges.
I-85 runs directly through Gaston County and major improvements to our portion of that major east coast corridor are starting with reconstruction of the I-85 and Hwy 321 intersection. Local governments are also planning improved gateways to facilitate multimodal travel to the region's commercial and entertainment districts and tourist attractions.
The opportunity for Light Rail and the construction of the Catawba Crossings project are Gaston County's next step. These projects will more directly link Gaston County to our region's economic engines, Uptown Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Having a highly-trained and educated workforce is essential to economic growth. Responding to this imperative, we work with leaders across Gaston County who have implemented unique and highly-effective workforce programs which reflect many of the best practices across the country.
For instance, our partners bring students, faculty, and parents into workplaces across the County to provide a true picture of today’s advanced manufacturing environment and the career opportunities that exist. Working with Gaston College and Gaston County Schools, our business leaders are engaged with educators to ensure that Career and Technical Education offerings effectively target existing and future industry needs.
ENTREPRENEURIAL & SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH
Of all the ways to accelerate job growth in this changing economy, cultivating a diverse and supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs and innovators may hold the most long-term promise. Gaston County has a storied history as a manufacturing powerhouse and that maker and risk-taker spirit is as strong as ever here.
TechWorks of Gaston County is the outcome of community-wide collaboration. A tech talent developer hub, TechWorks opened its doors in early 2019 to become a major regional player in meeting the demand for digital era jobs.
TechWorks has also collaborated with a new internet service provider, Open Broadband, to expand high-speed internet availability into Belmont and across Gaston County.