For the fourth year in a row, Site Selection Magazine has named Roanoke Rapids as one of the Top 100 Micropolitan Areas in the United States. The Roanoke Rapids Micropolitan Area, which encompasses Halifax and Northampton Counties, received an overall ranking of #59 based on the number of qualifying new and expanding economic development projects in 2019.
Site Selection is a trade publication for site-selection consultants, corporate decision-makers and economic developers. In compiling the list, Site Selection considered 542 micropolitan communities across the United States. A micropolitan area is defined as a community serving as a regional trade center that has a population of more than 10,000 people but less than 50,000.
"Receiving this ranking for a fourth year in a row is an honor and a testament to the the strategic assets in place to support our business recruitment and expansion efforts," said Cathy Scott, Executive Director of the Halifax Development Commission. "Ranking 59 out of 542 micropolitans is confirmation that our economic development strategies are working."
Collaborative spirit and leadership exemplify “Working Together Works”
Roanoke Rapids, NC – At their annual meeting held on September 19 at the Weldon Mills Distillery, Halifax County Business Horizons (Halifax Horizons), Inc. presented the 9th Annual “Working Together Works” award to Will Mahone V, President of Halifax Regional Medical Center. In making the presentation, Scott Aman, Vice President of Halifax Horizons, highlighted Mahone’s “collaborative spirit, strong leadership, and integrity.
“Halifax Regional Medical Center is one of our most important quality-of-life assets,” commented Aman. “We are grateful for Will Mahone’s leadership and Halifax Regional’s continued commitment to Halifax County Business Horizons,” Aman added.
Accepting the award, Mahone commented. “I am honored to receive this award and would also like to recognize our administrative team and Board of Trustees for their leadership in successfully carrying out our mission. A strong health care system plays a critical role in local economic development by attracting business and industry and retirees.” Mahone added, “We look forward to the future and to continuing to provide high quality services and leadership to this community.”
Halifax Regional Medical Center is a major contributor to the area economy with approximately 850 employees and a total annual payroll of over $50 million. The recent merger with Vidant Health was effective June 1, and will increase the Hospital’s impact and viability for years to come.
Ronnie Locke, Chairman of the Halifax County Economic Development Commission and a Halifax Horizons Board member, added, “Working together really does work and it is important that we recognize individuals, like Will Mahone, that provide leadership and service to our community.” Locke added, “We look forward to our continued partnership with Will and the Halifax Regional Medical Center staff and board.”
Halifax County Business Horizons, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide funding for economic development projects in all of Halifax County. Private funds raised by the organization support business and industry recruitment and expansion and tourism development. Halifax Horizons provides critical financial support for projects that directly impact the success of our local tourism and economic development efforts.
PCB Piezotronics of North Carolina, Inc., a designer, manufacturer, and global supplier of accelerometers, microphones, force, torque, load, strain, and pressure sensors, will consolidate production operations currently located in China and California to its facility in Halifax County and create 120 new jobs, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.
“Rural North Carolina is a great fit for companies to build out their operations,” said Governor Cooper. “Our workers understand modern manufacturing, and along with their communities, they are ready to grow with companies like PCB Piezotronics in Halifax County.”
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Kenny Flowers headlined a celebration today with community and business leaders, elected officials, and PCB employees at the PCB Piezotronics production facility in Halifax County.
“One of the best business decisions that I have ever made was the decision to begin operations in Halifax, North Carolina in 2004 when we had to decide between expanding in our original home of New York State or expanding elsewhere” said David T. Hore, President of PCB Piezotronics. “I have great confidence that our current Halifax workforce of 215 hardworking and dedicated employees will lead this integration in the same exceptional manner as they perform, day in and day out for PCB.”
PCB’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 10-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by nearly $151 million.
Vernon J. Bryant, Chairman of the Halifax County Board of Commissioners commented, Halifax County is committed to supporting the growth of established, successful businesses like PCB. The company's expansion will spur new economic opportunities and create 120 good jobs for our citizens."
PCB Piezotronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTS Systems Corporation (NASDAQ: MTSC), designs and builds test and measurement and industrial sensors that measure vibration, shock, pressure and other dynamic forces. PCB recently acquired the Endevco division of Meggitt PLC, which designs and manufactures similar products to those that PCB makes. Endevco currently produces these products in Xaimen, China and Irvine, California. The company’s new project expands its current facility in Halifax County in order to bring these production lines to North Carolina.
“It’s great to see North Carolina and Halifax County successfully compete with world-class manufacturing sites in places like China,” said N.C. Senator Milton Fitch. “We welcome these new jobs to our region.”
“PCB Piezotronics is a valued employer in our community,” said N.C. Representative Michael Wray. “I’m pleased to see the company expand and everyone in Halifax County stands ready to help them grow and succeed here.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC), the North Carolina Community College System, and the Halifax County Economic Development Commission worked collaboratively to support the company’s location in North Carolina and Halifax County.
Wages will vary depending on position and the average salary for all the new positions will reach $33,760. PCB also provides world-class benefits, including 100% company paid premiums for health insurance. Halifax County’s average wage is $32,216.
PCB Piezotronics, Inc. was founded in 1967 and acquired by MTS Systems in 2016 as a wholly owned subsidiary. PCB and its parent company, MTS, currently employ 419 people in the state, with 215 of those positions located in its current PCB of North Carolina facility in Halifax. PCB’s products are used by design engineers and predictive maintenance professionals worldwide.
An unprecedented multi-county employee training and marketing initiative was launched this week in Halifax County to develop a pipeline of skilled workers to meet the needs of business and industry. The Regional Advanced Manufacturing Pipeline for Eastern North Carolina (RAMP East) assembles community colleges, economic development organizations, and workforce development professionals in a 10-county area with an overarching mission to supply a sustainable output of trained and job-ready candidates within the advanced manufacturing sector.
The Halifax County Economic Development Commission (HCEDC) hosted a luncheon on July 17 to introduce RAMP East and the collaborative approach underway to recruit and prepare students for successful careers in manufacturing. A major component of the initiative is the Advanced Manufacturing Academy beginning in August at Halifax Community College. The Academy will follow the curriculum developed for the 10-county region to teach the skills needed to supply ready-to-work employees with advanced skills that area companies need both today and in the future.
Representatives from Reser's Fine Foods, New Dixie Oil, Lowe's Regional Distribution Center, Airboss Rubber Compounding, Weldon Steel, WestRock, Southern Corrosion, Meherrin River Forest Products, AEL Span, and Klausner Lumber attended the luncheon.
For additional information regarding RAMP EAST, contact the Halifax County Economic Development Commission at 252-519-2630.