Message to the Lake Norman Chamber Membership
Today the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation announced a new corporation relocating to the Lake Norman Region. ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has selected Huntersville and the Lake Norman region for its new manufacturing facility to employ 100 people. Work will begin on building the new facility in 2011 and slated for completion in the later half of 2012.
This announcement is great news for the Lake Norman region and a great success story for our communities. Over a decade ago, the Lake Norman Chamber created a long range vision for our region and hired the consultant firm of Leak-Goforth, LLC to help our community and business leaders create a blueprint for our economic development strategy. This strategy included the creation of an economic development authority whose primary mission is to promote the area for primary job creation and to assist larger corporate members in their expansion efforts.
In November of 2002, our Chamber began to lobby local elected officials from the three North Mecklenburg Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville emphasizing that a regional authority was a much more efficient and prudent course of action than each town acting independently of each other. While each community has its own identity, strengths, and needs, we have much more in common and are much stronger as a region than to strike out on our own.
Today’s announcement is a living testament to the faith those leaders had and the political courage it took to put aside the roadblocks that municipal boundaries impose when it comes to regionalization. The hard work of our local EDC office, the Charlotte Chamber, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Mecklenburg County, CPCC and the three towns, as well as the Lake Norman Chamber and the private investors which help fund the EDC, scored a big win for our community today.
However, with all that said, ABB made the decision to locate to our region because it is a great place to live and do business. Every business owner, every employee, and every resident who works and/or lives in the Lake Norman region played an important role in today’s announcement.
“There is a story that the great French Marshall Lyautey once directed his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, “In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!”
In 1987, local business leaders in the North Mecklenburg Community had a vision of creating an organization which could promote, represent and serve businesses in the three communities of Huntersville, Davidson, and Cornelius. Now, almost 25 years later, that organization has grown to a 1,100 member-strong Chamber of Commerce providing your business with networking opportunities, business training programs to strengthen your business, and important advocacy on issues ranging from labor and commerce to education and transportation.
The efforts to create the Lake Norman Economic Development Corporation has resulted in jobs for our region, customers and clients for our businesses, and economic impact for local commerce.
A seed was planted both in 1987 and again in 2002. Seeds which many years later are beginning to bear fruit. They were nurtured by every business and every volunteer who has made the Lake Norman area a great place to live, work and visit. Thank each of you for your membership and your investment in the Lake Norman region.