The Voice of Business, Industry & the Professions Since 1942
North Carolina's largest business group proudly serves as the state chamber of commerce



Community Profile

Astride the Interstate

Bisected by I-40/85 and home to Elon University, Alamance County grows 
on lots of books and good roads

Learn more:
Alamance offers state-of-the-art healthcare
Public schools and colleges team up for educational success
Major industrial park primed for new tenant
Photos clockwise from left: Elon University students rest between classes. LabCorp is the county's largest private employer with 3,200 workers. The historic district of downtown Burlington consists of 154 houses and buildings dating to the 1890s. 

It’s easy to understand why Alamance County is so appealing to families and business owners. On the one hand, there’s a Norman Rockwell-like quality to the farms, fields and woodlands along the rural roads here. There are picturesque, tree-lined driveways flanked by peaceful ponds and lush, rolling green fields. This is a pleasant, wholesome place that makes even the most hardened hard-charger pause to absorb the beauty and tranquility of it all.

And yet, these pastoral scenes are hardly a mile from bustling industrial parks lining an interstate highway that speeds traffic through the heart of the growing Piedmont Triad region to the west and the thriving Research Triangle Park to the east, both heavyweights in the state’s economic development plan.

This juxtaposition of idyllic countryside and throbbing commerce is an example of when one hand washes the other. Throughout Alamance County, so much of what is attractive to an enjoyable lifestyle can be found near the factories and industries that supply the jobs to pay for it all.

Alamance County, founded primarily on the western side by Quakers and Lutherans and on the eastern side by Presbyterians with a storied history of strong families and steady progress, has much of what an evolving community needs. In many ways, it’s a business or industrial leader’s dream.

The county’s location for both families and businesses is about as good as it gets. The county lies less than an hour from two major cities, two major airports, five highly regarded private or public university campuses, three top-flight medical centers and the state capitol.

And within Alamance’s borders are a highly-regarded private university, a respected regional hospital, a community college that remembers its purposes, steadily improving public schools and a workforce that’s ready and willing to meet changing industrial needs.

Ready for the Next Wave

With textiles long a staple of the Alamance financial structure, the sailing has not been smooth in recent years. But all boats are still very much afloat.

“We’ve been through some challenging times recently and still have challenges to meet,” says Ralph Holt Jr., an Alamance native and long time hosiery industrialist. His family business started here 56 years ago and still employs 250 workers here and another 50 in eastern North Carolina. “But we’re fundamentally sound, our location is just right. We’re not a cookie-cutter kind of place because we are independent enough to do what’s best. This means we’re in a good position to move forward. I am very positive on our future and our economic stability. We’ve been in a trough for a little while (because of the economic slump), but to use a beach phrase, we’ll catch the next wave and we will be just fine.”

Sonny Wilburn, president of the Alamance Area Chamber of Commerce who doubles as the county’s economic development director, builds on Holt’s positive theme in discussing the area’s existing economic situation and potential, especially for newcomers. “Recent times have not been good to us because of textile layoffs, but this has also given us opportunities we might not otherwise have had,” Wilburn says. “The downturn means we have available buildings and an available workforce either retrained or ready to be. We didn’t have all that a few years ago. Even with the textile reductions, our employment is higher now and we have more people working than in the past. Positive things are happening here.

“Any business or industry company owner would be hard-pressed to find a better physical location than we have here. We have an interstate with eight lanes running through the county, certainly an attribute for any area. We’ve got amenities of large urban areas to our east and west. We have a culturally diversified workforce with thriving metro communities within easy commuting distance in Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Raleigh. We have tremendous opportunities for the business traveler with two nearby commercial airports. We’re in the best location medically and are adjacent to two top-flight universities and medical centers, plus our own homegrown university. Our people have a great work ethic, many of them fourth generation employees who know and understand the importance of efficient production. We have plenty of available workers with new skills for new industries.”

Not only is the Alamance economic pump primed for new and better things, it is already producing financial flows. Honda, which located an assembly plant here in 1984, last February announced a major expansion that represents a $20 million investment with some 400 more workers once the new facility is completed. Honda eventually has plans for 1,000 employees. Honda produces lawn mowers, mower engines, snow blowers and tillers and parts for all. Since opening here, Honda has turned out five million small engines, 2.5 million lawn mowers and millions in wages and tax revenues.

Ford Motor Co. earlier this year became the county’s newest economic plum. Ford opened a new auto parts distribution center in one of the county’s industrial parks with 70 employees, a number likely to double in the next year. That facility is the first of many new venues set to go on that park site. “The stage is set here for many other distribution facilities,” Wilburn says. “What has already happened is just the first step of things to come.”

Leggett Tobacco Co. occupies another industrial park building for manufacturing of a generic cigarette brand. Three battery companies occupy another facility. Alamance is also home to a series of New Economy, higher paying companies that stretch far beyond the industrial sector or textile foundation that helped build the area.

The best — and biggest — example is LabCorp, a nationally recognized medical research concern that grew out of a hometown company. LabCorp, with a book value of $3 billion, is the county’s largest private employer with 3,200 workers and an annual payroll of $260 million. Most of that money turns over multiple times in county coffers every year, on top of the local supplies and products the corporation purchases, representing a significant economic impact for workers, merchants and the county’s tax base. Local officials are understandably proud of LabCorp, and vice versa.

“We believe our people give us a definite corporate advantage,” says Brad Smith, LabCorp’s executive vice president for public affairs. “The level of expertise and training affords us a positive attitude for now and the future. Our success all starts with our people. We plan to stay and grow in Alamance County.”

As LabCorp has acquired new properties across the county, the company has added to the local presence through the corporate headquarters influence and size. The company has partnered with local Elon University to enhance its executive educational programs. LabCorp is considered on the leading edge of medical research, most recently tests for early detection of colon cancer.

LabCorp is the new kind of industry that fits well with the growing workplace diversity in Alamance, but not the only one. Nationally known industries like General Electric have facilities in the county. The international connection is also noticeable with Japanese, British and Swiss factories here. Konica is just west of the county line in Guilford County, but considers Burlington its hometown because of the close proximity.

“We’re open for business and we just need to be more aggressive in getting our many positives out to industrial prospects,” comments Burlington City Manager Harold Owen. “We’re in the middle of so much with our location and we just need to let people know the advantages of where we are and what we have for their benefit. That applies to both existing and new industries.”

Both Alamance County and the City of Burlington have a property tax rate of 50 cents for each $100 valuation, lower than larger cities in neighboring counties. Other municipalities in the county all have even lower rates.

The county is blessed with more than ample water supplies for residential and commercial growth from three lakes. Burlington, in fact, now sells water to cities outside the county.

Diversity and Growth

Among the many positives and innovations is the proposed new bypass that will connect Interstate 85-40, which runs through the county, with Highway 70, a route that will open up significant space for business or residential growth. Burlington is also adding a new $12 million sewer line to connect new services along the new bypass and along the interstate. That will open up the northeast and southern parts of the county for development.

“Diversity and growth are part of our future,” says Robert Scott, the former North Carolina governor. Scott is a product of and longtime resident of Alamance, a devoted lover of the county’s heritage, an advocate of its future and part of a family that has meant much to the area for multiple generations. “We’re positioned geographically for that because of our ideal location for a series of towns along the interstate route. The interstate has changed our county irrevocably. We’re almost two counties, really, with the interstate corridor for development on one hand and on the other hand parts of the county reserved for farming and residential purposes.”

The Scott farm a mile off Interstate 85-40 in the community of Hawfields is but one example of the two-county presence that the former governor describes. Its peacefulness defies the nearby bustle of economic transition from farm to factory.  

Scott can speak about change with authority and personal experience. His background as a governor, president of the state’s community college system, director of the federal Appalachian Regional Commission, and former master of the State Grange give him specific points of reference on the importance of a balanced transition from agriculture to industrial growth and economic stimulation. Further, his family farm surrounding his home is open for development, most likely for homes, but preservation of the good earth is part of whatever happens on the land. 

Interstate frontage through the heart of Alamance has put the area on the front burner for a series of new industrial prospects. Some have come, but some went elsewhere because other states were willing to provide more tax incentives. Alamance and the state government have beneficial incentive plans in place, but have wisely not been willing to meet seemingly unreasonable demands from some prospective clients. North Carolina has a more realistic incentives system in place: it will help new companies get established with tax breaks, but only up to a point. When prospects demand too much, the county and state simply say no in the interest of fairness to existing businesses.

Avery Thomas, a longtime civic servant and economic booster who has watched the ebb and flow of the local economy for decades, is as bullish as anyone in Alamance on the county’s future and its potential. 

“Sure we’ve been in a period of transition,” Thomas says, “but the opportunities are here, our location is great and our work ethic is fantastic. Textiles aren’t dead, but they’ve had to cut back and we need to become more diversified. We can better control our market and promote our advantages. We just need to understand the evolution of business cycles. The one constant is change.”

Three leaders in the struggling textile industry augment Thomas’ views.

Chan Chandler, vice president for development at Glen Raven Mills, which opened its doors here 123 years ago, is optimistic because his company adapted to change. “It will no longer be just the textile industry that brings our recovery,” Chandler says. “We have a great workforce and willing people. Sure, it has been tough on us recently, but our sales are good and we’re profitable.” Glen Raven, the company that invented panty hose (although Hanes made most of the profits from that product), has remained viable by moving away from apparel and yarn to industrial fabrics.

Allen Gant Jr., CEO of Glen Raven, calls the textile economy difficult in large part because of politics. He said national trade policies have made it hard on struggling American companies and that some state leaders aren’t as attuned to industry needs as they should be. “But I’m excited about our future,” Gant says, “because we have a great infrastructure in Alamance that is conducive for business. Our schools have made a significant turnaround and are now vibrant. The community college is terrific and we are really blessed to have the fabulous influence of Elon University in our county.” 

Jim Williams, president of Gold Toe (once known as Great American Knitting Mills), is locked in for the long haul despite the textile slump. “We’ve had some struggles, but we expect to be here for a long time,” he says. “I’m very positive, we are 100 percent full now and the community and its leaders have been very supportive.” Gold Toe has a workforce of 900 in the county.

Eddie Williams, president of Buckner Steel Co., moved his company to Alamance County from neighboring Orange County in 1989 for what he describes as a happy business-community marriage. Buckner is one of the nation’s top 20 steel erection and equipment companies.

“I am very pleased with Alamance, its workers and its leaders,” Williams says. “This is a very business friendly place. The leaders here are very aggressive in recruiting good businesses. We have tried to be good neighbors and they (the county’s leaders) have been good to us.”

Businessman Sam Hunt, one of many Alamance residents who has maintained an influential role in state government and politics through the years, puts his home county in the mix with other communities that have seen textiles slip as the economy changes. Hunt was a powerful state legislator 15 years ago and also has served as the secretary of transportation. A section of the interstate through the county is named for him.

“We’re a bellwether county, economically and politically, not much different from many other areas,” Hunt explains. “We’re here because of the highway system. We have seen some hard times, but we will adapt and adjust. I’m optimistic over time because we have the premier industrial sites of any county and state, if not beyond. A diversified economy will help and whatever happens in the area will help us in this county.”

Alamance leaders have long been active participants in regional cooperation, echoing Hunt’s view that what is good for one part of the region is good for all parts.

People here are as proud of their past as they are optimistic of their future. It is a county, with its favorable economic base, of 131,000 people, almost half of working age between 20 and 65. There are 65,000 people in the workforce, about a third in manufacturing jobs and 12,000 in textile related jobs. New industries like Ford, Honda, General Electric and LabCorp employ thousands of others beyond the service industry jobs.

The county covers 431 square miles and is made up of nine different towns. Burlington is the largest city, but not the county seat, which is in Graham with a courthouse in the Town Square.

The county is clearly an appealing place for families whose jobs are here and especially those who work in neighboring counties. While several thousand local residents cross the county lines to jobs, roughly the same number commute to jobs inside the county from homes in neighboring places.    

The county, formed from what is now neighboring Orange County in 1849, was an important spot in the outcome of the Revolutionary War. While no major battles were fought on what is now Alamance soil, this was the scene of fighting that helped weaken the British soldiers that brought on their subsequent defeat at Yorktown following the famous Battle of Guilford Courthouse. 

Among the best known names in the county are the Scotts. This family of farmers and merchants has been part of Alamance history and progress since the middle 1700s.  The Scotts, people of political influence and power but never of pomposity, have for almost a century represented the best of what has helped make Alamance a great place to live and work. They were people of the soil and they never let prestige jobs push aside their care for the common man.

The family has produced two progressive North Carolina governors, a forward-thinking state senator, a U.S Senator and a community college system president, among other honors and offices. Each has focused on successfully merging leadership qualities with a blend of educational enhancements and a strong work ethic that stressed an appealing lifestyle befitting an agrarian society in transition toward new economies.

Robert Scott was governor of North Carolina in the late 1960s, some 15 years after his father, Kerr Scott, served in the same office and later in the U.S. Senate. Ralph Scott, brother of Kerr and uncle of Robert, was a respected and influential state senator 25-plus years ago. The county has also produced one other governor. Thomas Holt served the state in that role in the 1890s.

The county’s history includes the birthplace of Burlington Industries, once the world’s leading textile company. The industry took its name from the city. The North Carolina Railroad used what is now Burlington as a home base for years when Graham refused to allow the railroad to go through the county seat after town leaders argued that trains would disturb horses.

There is still debate over how Burlington chose its name. One unverified story is that the name was picked because of an old bull that once roamed the streets after somehow making its way here from its original farm in Burlington, Vermont.

That story may be little more than a lot of bull, but there’s no bull in the fact that Alamance leaders feel they’re on the cusp of something big as the economy changes and word spreads of the choice lifestyles and industrial advantages available here. History is but one vehicle that will help drive the county into a progressive future.

“We’ve pushed hard on the envelope of medical progress. We feel we are meeting our mission of improving the health of all our citizens with new services, modern facilities, new specialties and new physicians.”

-- Tom Ryan, president of Alamance Regional Medical Center (right) 

Alamance Offers 
State-of-the-Art Healthcare

If excellent healthcare, wholesome family entertainment and an abundance of outdoor activities are key ingredients for a thriving and lively community, then Alamance County should be pounding its chest with pride and planning on many years of progress.

As medium-sized North Carolina counties go, Alamance is on the cutting edge of the latest and best healthcare services, a fact that resonates with employees and employers. People here have been known to say — only halfway factiously — that if you have to get sick, this is the place to do it. And that’s not all. The hospital facilities in Alamance, as good as they are, are located less than an hour’s drive from the state’s largest and most regarded medical complexes in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and Durham.

“We’ve pushed hard on the envelope of medical progress,” says Alamance Regional Medical Center President Tom Ryan. “We feel we are meeting our mission of improving the health of all our citizens with new services, modern facilities, new specialties and new physicians.”

Combining the quality healthcare with a series of family entertainment venues offered and promoted by the county’s recreation and tourism offices gives residents — whether assembly line workers or corporate executives — a leg up on healthy lives and fun-filled leisure time.

It is a combination that affords hourly workers a chance at higher and longer productive years and company owners more security with production efficiency and lower medical costs.

The Alamance Regional Medical Center (ARMC) campus, located on 92 acres just south of Interstate 85 in the heart of the county, is an impressive and appealing site. It seems to have risen like a phoenix in the last decade in the middle of what was once rolling farmland. Where cattle once roamed, lives are now saved. The medical center has space to expand and an array of successful private medical facilities, restaurants and shopping areas have sprung up nearby. The hospital is the centerpiece of that development and is truly one of the smoothest running parts of the county’s economic engine. 

The medical center, formed with the merger of two other hospitals in the county in 1986, opened its doors on the present site in 1995. It has not stopped growing and improving services. The facility is the third largest employer in the county with more than 1,400 workers and an annual payroll in excess of $60 million. The rollover effect of that payroll translates into upwards of $300 million in economic benefit to the county and its people.

The facility has grown from 90 physicians 13 years ago to more than 200 on staff today. It functions as a nonprofit entity with a civic-minded local board of directors that, according to Ryan, allows its managers to manage.

“We are proud of our management team there,” board member Ralph Holt Jr. says. “It is tip-top and has been in place a long time. The board doesn’t run the hospital, the management team does and they do it the right way.”

ARMC, with 238 patient beds, is ranked in the top 7 percent of the nation’s hospitals in quality of care. It was the top research site in the nation in one recent clinical trial for a drug combination to reduce heart attacks. The Family Enrichment Center ranks among the top in the nation. Its Cancer Center was one of only 100 in the nation chosen to receive a grant for innovative forms of treatment.

ARMC’s mammography department was the first in the region to use the highly acclaimed R2 Digital Reader, which allows for a double reading of each screening. It is the first hospital in the region to offer thermatherapy, a new treatment for patients with enlarged prostates and is the first in the state to offer a therapeutic breastplate workshop for breast cancer survivors. The list of firsts or top rankings is much longer, but high on that list is a $500,000 endowment from ARMC to the local community college to support the school’s nurse training program, the first of its kind in the state.

The hospital also supports community-wide care with satellite branches in other parts of the county and, with a separate board, has just opened a new retirement facility. “We feel we are responding to the needs of our citizens for quality service,” Ryan says. “We are providing efficient use of the healthcare dollars and helping businesses manage their healthcare costs.”

The Alamance tourism office, supported with an occupancy tax on motel rooms, spends up to $350,000 a year promoting a series of family events dealing primarily with sports marketing. The county hosts national softball tournaments and pro bowling tournaments, youth soccer tournaments and helps market family entertainment ranging from summertime open-air theatre performances to Haw River canoe outings and promotion of public parks usage. If golf’s your thing, a handful of challenging courses is sprinkled throughout the county.  

Also on the radar of tourism sites in the county are the Alamance Battleground and Museum and the rebirth of the Glencoe Mill Village. Glencoe, owned by Preservation North Carolina, represents the best of a rebirth of what an 1880s textile village was like. More than 30 homes on 100 acres of land are in the process of being refurbished or available. Once completed, Glencoe will represent some $10 million to the local economy and will have preserved a large share of local history.

“The interstate is the lifeline to what we are able to do,” says Kelly May, director of the county’s tourism office. “We’re pleased with the kind of entertainment activities we have to help make this a better community. We try to promote what is best for the most people.”

“There is plenty of competition for healthcare dollars and services,” medical center president Ryan says. “But we have a very efficient and effective team in place. It is easier to assemble and retain a good team when you have a reputation for high quality. We feel we have that and the records shows that.”

Alamance residents in many ways have the best parts of two worlds: increasingly healthy lifestyles and improved healthcare. It makes a good combination and raises the local marketplace to new heights.   — Ned Cline

“We listen to the community and its needs. We are a microcosm of the county and always want to be at the table on meeting needs of the people and businesses."
-- Martin Nadelman, president of Alamance Community College (right) 

'We're Getting Smarter 
in the Way We Do Things'

Employers searching for the right mix of educational talent for their companies’ workforces can pretty much find what they’re looking for in Alamance County. If the public schools, which are getting progressively better, can’t meet the needs of a changing economy and skill levels fast enough, the county’s venerable community college can step up to the plate with ever-expanding workplace training and classroom offerings. And as the need grows for an even higher level of academic maturity and management skills, stately Elon University, clearly one of the county’s crown jewels, can fill the void with relative ease.

“We’re getting smarter in the way we do things,” says School Superintendent Jim Merrill. “Our schools-to-career partnership has been recognized for sustaining a strong business education partnership. We’re still struggling some at the high school level, but we’re really good at the middle school level and superior at the elementary level.”

“We listen to the community and its needs,” Alamance Community College President Martin Nadelman says. “We are a microcosm of the county and always want to be at the table on meeting needs of the people and businesses. I don’t want to be a four-year school. That’s not our purpose because we already have that here. But we are an economic engine that helps drive this county and state. We’re here to train employees, especially those dislocated from other industries, who want to remain here in the workforce.”

“We want to bring in diverse talent,” Elon President Leo Lambert says. “We have students from all 50 states and 30 foreign countries. We want them to remain here and become part of this community. We look upon ourselves as the cultural crossroads of the county. It’s a welcoming place for people to come to live, learn and work in this area.”

All three educational systems offer variety and quantity to the quality of life in the county. And each pumps large amounts of money into the county’s economy in multiple ways to help the corporate community thrive and grow.

Elon University has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade as it has added to its academic achievements and helped move the local economy’s corporate success to a higher level. The private, church-affiliated university is a $79 million-a-year operation with more than $35 million in annual salaries distributed among its 850 employees. Enrollment has reached more than 4,400. The school has completed more than $64 million in new and renovated campus buildings in recent years.

The university produces some 950 graduates a year, with more than half remaining in the state to work, many of them staying in the county. The school serves more than 250 graduate students in dozens of masters degree programs; the largest number of graduates are those with business degrees. The school has an endowment in excess of $51 million.

Elon tuition this year is slightly more than $16,000, about 20 percent below the national average for private colleges.

Alamance Community College, one of the first technical schools opened in North Carolina, sits on land donated by former Gov. Robert Scott and members of his family. The school has an annual budget of $18 million, a faculty of 750 and more than 3,700 fulltime students. Enrollment is up 20 percent this year because of growing needs for retraining and growing diversified industries.

The community college, without abandoning any of the industrial training courses, offers classroom work in 850 different sections and recently added night nursing and night dental classes to its curriculum. The school offers a portable computer lab that moves to sites of industries that need the service. The school provided all the training for the new Honda assembly plant that located in the county 15 years ago. One company needed 175 workers and the college provided training for 125 of them. “We think we provide huge services for only a few dollars,” Nadelman says. Employers in the county who have used the services agree.

The community college also works with the public schools to offer college credit. Last school year more than 600 high school students learned job skills at the college.

At the public school level, the record of achievement is better than some might realize, according to Merrill. “We’re getting better and working harder to communicate our growth and improvements,” he says. With an annual budget of $125 million and 2,750 employees, the merged school system has made steady progress in academic achievement in recent years.

Thirty of the system’s 33 schools last year raised academic standards. The greatest gains were at the elementary level. Sixteen of 18 elementary school students scored 80 percent or higher on state tests. The schools’ dropout rate is down and 74 percent of the high school graduates qualify for entry into four-year schools. “We’re doing well at holding on to our students and caring for them,” Merrill notes.

All indications are that the academic scorecard of the three educational systems in Alamance is meeting and surpassing the test.

“My daughters received a first-rate education in local schools,” says Elon’s Lambert. “The educational standards here make this a great part of the state and a very welcoming community. We have a high quality of life here and Elon contributes to that quality.”

Based on the public record and views of local community leaders, that’s a true statement. Add Elon, the community college and public schools together, and it makes for a worthy and workable job market source. The rising educational tide has helped raise job opportunities and added to the expanding workplace advancements.  — Ned Cline

“It is designed as a ready-to-go project, “It is very efficient and economical with an adequate labor pool, close to community colleges for training workers, near fire stations and is risk safe in the way it is being put together. It can be ready in a hurry. It represents hundreds of millions in investment, but is a good bread and butter project.”
-- Richard Davenport, vice president of Samet Corp, developer of the North Carolina Industrial Center (right) 

Industrial Park 
Primed for New Tenant

Alamance County business recruiters have been so close to the altar so many times with so many industrial suitors that you might wonder if the vows would ever be spoken.

Well, there is no grand ballroom-wedding reception on the horizon, but a series of smaller chapel ceremonies are already happening and more are scheduled. All circumstances point to pleasurable and lasting relationships, rewarding to all parties.

To put it in baseball vernacular, enough singles and doubles win as many games as a few home runs. Industrially speaking, Alamance is very much at the plate and swinging a steady bat.

There is general agreement across North Carolina that Alamance County has some of the prime industrial real estate in the Southeast. There is abundant open land ready for development along Interstate 85-40 and nearby. A lot of it is little more than a long Chipper Jones home run from the main highway and all of it has easy access to good roads, water and sewer lines, railroads, airports and job training opportunities.

A decade ago, Alamance finished second to Alabama in landing a Mercedes assembly plant after local and state leaders concluded that Mercedes was making unreasonable demands for tax and wage breaks. More recently, a Toyota plant went to Texas after flirting with Alamance recruiters. There have also been a series of other opportunities for Alamance business expansion with options on upwards of 1,000 acres ready for the right industrial fit.

While none of these overtures resulted in grand slams, local industrial recruiters never gave up and just kept swinging. Runs have begun to add up.

That long-ago Mercedes site has been subdivided and much of it is already in use. Leggett Tobacco has a production plant up and running. Ford Motor Co. has a parts distribution facility open and already expanding. These happened without concessions that other states have made. Alamance has won on merit, not money.

The prime location now is 600 acres, roughly half of the original site less than a mile off Interstate 85-40 at exit 153 in Mebane on the eastern side of the county. Named the North Carolina Industrial Center, the site is suited for office, manufacturing and distribution facilities.

The site has a population of 325,000 within 20 miles and a workforce of 180,000 within the same distance. It is within 10 minutes of the Burlington Airport for corporate planes and some 30 minutes of both Raleigh and Greensboro airports. It is within 60 miles of universities in Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Durham and within 30 miles of three community colleges, one just a few miles away.

The site is equipped with full services of transportation outlets with water capacity of 4,000 gallons per  minute, fiber optic cable and one completed spec building. The land is level and needs little in the way of grading or site preparation.

Samet Corp. of Greensboro, a solid company with more than 40 years experience and a reputation for quality, is developing the park. Ultimately, up to 5 million feet of development is available.

“It is designed as a ready-to-go project,” says Samet Vice President Richard Davenport. “It is very efficient and economical with an adequate labor pool, close to community colleges for training workers, near fire stations and is risk safe in the way it is being put together. It can be ready in a hurry. It represents hundreds of millions in investment, but is a good bread and butter project.”

Davenport offered high praise for Mebane and Alamance industrial recruiters in their cooperative efforts to make the project go.

Mebane City Manager Robert Wilson is equally effusive about the working relationship with Samet and the progress of the site. “This is a definite plus for our town,” Wilson says. “It’s a beautiful land and a great opportunity for development. Samet is an ideal company to handle the project that will be of such benefit to our people and businesses.”

The economic courtship may have been long, but the positive and profitable relationship for industrial and job enhancement in Alamance seems on a steady course.

Persistence as well as patience has paid off. The beneficiaries will be company owners as well as workers.  — Ned Cline

Return to magazine index

Visit us at 225 Hillsborough Street, Suite 460, Raleigh, N.C.
Write to us at P.O. Box 2508, Raleigh, N.C. 27602
Call us at 919.836.1400 or fax us at 919.836.1425

Copyright © 1998, All Rights Reserved
Last Modified: September 05, 2003
Web Design By The
Let Us Help You With Your Web Site Needs!