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Burlington, NC

Greensboro, NC

Guildford County, NC Map

Economic Development Booming in Guilford County

Economic development is booming across Guilford County, as projects in Greensboro and High Point are among the largest in the state. A recent Business North Carolina ranking named Guilford County home to the largest economic development project in the state during the last year, as well as the 8th and 14th. Alorica (1), HAECO (8) and Pratt Industries (14) received the honors based on projected job creation from June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017.

Alorica came in at number one after announcing 1,400 new jobs would be added at its customer engagement service office in High Point. The largest provider of customer service solutions in the U.S. market, Alorica is headquartered in Irvine, California and has more than 100,000 employees worldwide. HAECO ranked eighth, with 500 jobs added at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The Hong Kong aerospace company will build a $60 million hangar for its aircraft maintenance and repair, while also manufacturing seats, galleys and lavatories in High Point. Pratt Industries, the fifth-largest producer of corrugated packaging in the U.S., tied at number 14. The company is opening a fulfillment center for its in-store display-products division, adding 300 jobs in Whitsett. As described by Brent Christensen, president of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, these rankings show the strength of the Greensboro-High Point area’s industries. “The three Guilford County projects in the Business North Carolina rankings showcase three of Greensboro-High Point’s targeted industry sectors—aerospace, distribution and logistics, and specialized business services. We are proud that Greensboro-High Point has North Carolina’s largest job-creation project due to Alorica’s impressive expansion,” said Christensen.

Other areas highlighted by the Business North Carolina rankings include Wake, Cabarrus, Catawba Forsyth, Rutherford, Buncombe, Mecklenburg, Durham, Alamance, Lee, Person and Edgecombe – showcasing the breadth of economic development across the state. North Carolina is growing and as these economic development projects take shape, we must continue improving our competitive business climate in order to attract further investment in every region in North Carolina. I look forward to sharing more examples of North Carolina’s economic development in the future.

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South Carolina

SC Map

Best Places to Work in SC


(15-249 or more U.S. employees)

1. Advoco, Inc., Greenville
2. Meeting Street Schools - Meeting Street Academy, Charleston
3. Hire Dynamics, Greenville
4. Accelera Solutions, North Charleston
5. Sentar, Charleston
6. Equiscript, LLC, North Charleston
7. Recruiting Solutions, Columbia
8. Palmetto Technology Group, Greenville
9. Experience Columbia SC, Columbia
10. HudsonMann, Mount Pleasant
11. Quality Business Solutions, Inc., Travelers Rest
12. VantagePoint Marketing, Greenville
13. Ceterus, Charleston
14. New South Construction Supply, Greenville
15. SCRA, Summerville
16. Mount Pleasant Waterworks, Mount Pleasant
17. Scott and Company LLC, Columbia
18. Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A., Columbia
19. in-tech Automotive Engineering, Greer
20. VC3, Columbia
21. Softdocs, Columbia
22. Travel Nurse Across America, Florence
23. JEAR Logistics, Mount Pleasant
24. First Reliance Bank, Florence
25. Abacus Planning Group, Inc., Columbia
26. Rhythmlink International, LLC., Columbia
27. KeyMark Inc., Pickens
28. The Brandon Agency, Myrtle Beach
29. Lee Distributors, Summerville
30. Trehel Corporation, Greenville
31. CF Evans and Company Inc., Orangeburg
32. Immedion, Columbia
33. Kopis, Greenville
34. Hawkes Learning, Mount Pleasant
35. Find Great People, LLC., Greenville
36. O’Neal, Inc., Greenville
37. J. Davis Construction, Westminster
38. Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc, Columbia
39. Advanced Technology International, Summerville
40. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, Greenville
41. Electric Guard Dog, LLC, Columbia
42. PhishLabs, Charleston

(250 or more U.S. employees)

1. Edward Jones, Florence
2. Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, Charleston
3. Elliott Davis Decosimo, Greenville
4. Fred Anderson Toyota of Columbia, West Columbia
5. Total Quality Logistics, Daniel Island
6. South Carolina Federal Credit Union, North Charleston
7. Southern Diversified Distributors, North Charleston
8. BAE Systems, Inc., Aiken
9. Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union, Columbia
10. Life Cycle Engineering, Charleston
11. CPI Security, Columbia
12. Terminix Service, Inc., Columbia
13. Denny’s, Spartanburg
14. Select Health of South Carolina, North Charleston
15. SYNNEX Corporation, Greenville
16. Molina Healthcare of SC, North Charleston
17. Interim HealthCare of Greenville, Inc, Greenville
18. Fred Anderson Toyota of Charleston, Charleston
19. Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, Columbia
20. ScanSource, Inc., Greenville
21. South State Bank, North Charleston
22. McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, Columbia
23. Charleston Water System, Charleston
24. WYNIT Distribution, Greenville
25. Lash Group, a part of AmerisourceBergen, Fort Mill
26. Real Page - Greenville, Greenville
27. Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc., Greenville
28. Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Fort Mill

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Florida Map

The Florida Brand: Telling the Sunshine State’s Story

How do you define a state of 20 million residents and 95 million annual visitors? In partnership with the Florida Chamber Foundation, Sachs Media Group polled 910 Americans and 538 Floridians in September 2015 to discover how people inside and outside the state view the Florida brand.

Florida is well-known and desirable

The good news is that most people know Florida from direct experience. The even better news is that the more people know Florida, the more they like it.

Seven in 10 Non-Floridians have visited or lived in Florida at some point in their lives. Among executives — business owners, executive-level officers, solo practitioners and entrepreneurs — Florida is even more familiar, with three-quarters having visited or lived in the state.

But that’s not all.

Florida is the first choice of a place to live. When asked to name the three states they would consider living in if they had to move, Florida (29%) was the top selection from among all states, followed next by Hawaii (23%), Colorado (22%), California (19%), Arizona (15%) and Texas (13%).

Non-Floridian executives were also most likely to select Florida (27%) with Colorado close behind at 25%.

But why?

Interestingly, the top reason people say they would want to live in Florida is also the top reason others give for why they would not want to live in this state. You guessed it: climate.

While climate was the top draw for 67% of respondents and 71% of executives, it accounted for a full 50% of the reasons that would keep others away.

Those who like Florida’s climate see it as warm, comfortable and stable. Those who would avoid living in Florida due to climate see it as hot, humid and too hurricane-prone.

Executives are drawn to Florida for being a place full of beaches (71%), where they could be closer to family and friends that live here (57%), as a fun place to live (57%) and as a place where both taxation level (43%) and culture (43%) are assets.

Fewer people are drawn to Florida for our education system — just 4% of respondents and 0% of executives named this as a driving factor; or for being a place where they would want to prospect for work — cited by just 13% of respondents and 29% of executives.

Weather aside, outsiders who would not consider living in Florida are most likely to cite indifference or lack of knowledge about the state (24%); factors relating to Florida’s population such as its size, crime levels or demographic makeup (10%); the state’s economy or laws (10%); or nuisances such as bugs, alligators, snakes and swamps (7%).

Perhaps that’s why Floridians overwhelmingly want to stay

Floridians are more loyal to their home state than residents elsewhere, far more likely to report that they like where they live and have no plans to move.

Perhaps this is surprising, considering that Florida has the second-lowest ratio of native-born residents in the country. Or, perhaps this means that people who move to Florida know what else is out there and feel confident they’ve made the right choice.

Regardless, the differences are notable:
While 86% of Floridians and 89% of Florida executives say that the state is a “good” or “great” place to live, just 62% of outsiders and 52% of Non-Floridian executives feel this way about their own home state.

Further, 66% of Floridians and 69% of Florida executives say they like living in Florida and plan to stay. This compares with 58% of Non-Floridians regarding their home state and 52% of Non-Floridian executives.

Just 15% of Floridians and 12% of Florida executives say that they wish they could move but feel stuck here.

Among residents of the top five biggest states, Illinoisans and Californians have the lowest ratios of “loyalty” — i.e., the desire to stay — in their states, while New Yorkers and Texans fall somewhere in between.

Among Floridians, loyalty is highest among the state’s oldest residents (82%), higher-income residents (83%) and those who live in the northwest part of the state (76%).

Comparatively, loyalty is lower among millennial (52%), lower-income residents (59%) and those who live in the east-central part of the state (56%).

So, what is Florida’s opportunity?

  • Let the world know we’re #1. Highlight that Florida is the top choice for general public and executives alike when selecting a different state to live in. Florida also enjoys significantly greater loyalty and satisfaction levels among current residents compared with the national average.
  • Showcase our business friendliness. Educate non-Florida executives about Florida’s business friendliness, characterized by low taxes, favorable regulatory environment and competitive cost of living. Tell this positive story while travelers are here on business and leverage Florida executives as brand ambassadors.
  • Counter the perception that Florida is expensive. Inform outsiders about Florida’s competitive cost of living and affordability. Floridians are overall satisfied with the affordability of their state, while outsiders perceive the state as expensive. This represents a significant area of opportunity.
  • Tell our workforce story. Let Florida and non-Florida executives alike know more about the substantial work that’s being done to connect our state colleges and universities with employers to meet our workforce needs.
  • Tout educational successes. Increase awareness regarding Florida’s tremendous gains in student achievement, as well as innovations in school accountability, school choice, and more. Tell this positive story to Floridians and non-Floridians alike.
  • Highlight our world-class health care assets. On average, about 375,000 domestic visitors and 38,000 international visitors come to Florida each year for medical care. Indeed, Florida’s hospitals are among the highest ranking in the nation for patient safety.
  • Personality forward. Take every opportunity to paint the state’s personality as creative, joyful, laid back, charismatic – all the positive traits that people already associate with us. At the same time, highlight our younger, high-tech entrepreneurial class to put a fresh face on Florida.

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New York City


Becoming a New Yorker

I don’t think becoming a New Yorker happens with one thing or ten things you do in NYC. Achieving that status requires much more, and I’m not sure that eating a bagel, living in a walk-up apartment, or dressing in a certain style makes anyone belong to this city. It’s my belief, you’re either a New Yorker or you’re not. Some people don’t live in NYC but are New Yorkers at heart. Others live in the city, but their hearts aren’t in New York. Rather, they prefer to be somewhere else.

New Yorkers are incredibly loyal to our town and defend its honor and integrity. They feel that they live in the center of the universe and it’s theirs because the city is just that.

New Yorkers are tough, yet compassionate.

New Yorkers are fierce –– they work hard and keep working until they reach their goals. They possess unstoppable energy, which is why the city is incredibly frenetic yet inspiring.

New Yorkers are tolerant and accepting, yet guarded, until they know someone and earn their trust.

New Yorkers have each other’s backs. They’re in this crazy life together.

New Yorkers are every age and every demographic. Some speak perfect English, and some speak six other languages. Some are native, some hail from across the globe, and some have lived in the city so long that they’ve forgotten where they came from.

New Yorkers work in the arts, finance, and restaurants. Some are wealthy, and some make minimum wage. Some live in rent-stabilized apartments, and others in multi-million dollar penthouses.

New Yorkers know how to live their lives to the fullest in the city, and get the most out of the city that is theirs, and that magnificent city, the city New Yorkers love, is different for each and every individual. No matter where I live or what life throws my way, I’ll always be a New Yorker.

LIVING, NYC LIFE by Tracy Kaler

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