Prelude to Progress

This series aims to educate the Sanford Area community about the cumulative financial and intellectual contributions by the private and public sectors to Sanford and Lee County’s economic development.

 


 

 

 

Prelude to Progress Series: Part 1 of 6

EDITOR’S NOTE: If it’s true that the Sanford area is on the cusp of something great economically, it surely didn’t happen by accident. The intentional investment of public and private individuals and entities committing their time, money and wisdom to ensure the purposeful growth of Lee County community can be traced back many years. In this first installment of Prelude to Progress – a series of stories produced by the Sanford Area Growth Alliance in conjunction with The Herald – the arc and history of local economic development is described, illustrating how and why Lee County’s team approach has it positioned for prosperity. The series continues Sundays and Wednesdays through May 14th. 

 

April 26, 2017

Sanford's Economic Development Story

 

SANFORD ­– The task of economic development in Lee County once rested on the shoulders of just one man.

And that man, Hal Siler – who was also the face of Sanford’s Chamber of Commerce for parts of three decades – had a profound impact on the economic landscape of the community.

“Hal Siler was our chamber executive and the lead recruiter for new business,” said SAGA Economic Development Executive Director Bob Joyce, who now coordinates Lee County’s economic development efforts. “His 25-year record of success here is unmatched by any other similar size community in America.” *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A7)

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CCEP positions Lee County to succeed

 

SANFORD – One of the Sanford Area Growth Alliance’s biggest successes stories so far is perhaps better known outside Lee County than in it.

Central Carolina Enterprise Park, a roughly 700-acre site for industrial development located off Colon Road in Lee County, is one of 11 state certified sites in North Carolina and the state’s fourth largest. When it comes to playing the economic development game, CCEP is certainly one of the county’s most valuable assets, and for good reason: in at least 80 percent of SAGA proposals, CCEP is currently being pitched as a target site to site consultants inquiring on behalf of their clients, a product marketed to small, medium and large campus-type users. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A7)

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Prelude to Progress Series: Part 2 of 6

EDITOR’S NOTE: What makes Sanford and Lee County unique? Well, among other things, the county’s virtually unending supply of water – thanks for the foresight of the community’s forefathers. But that’s just the start of the story. In Part 2 of this series of stories produced by the Sanford Area Growth Alliance in conjunction with The Herald, we look at infrastructure, revitalization and more and how they’ve positioned Lee County for success. The series continues Sundays and Wednesdays through May 14th. 


April 30, 2017

Sanford: Infrastructure, revitalization keep the region fresh for development 

 

SANFORD — When drought hit a decade ago, communities throughout the state struggled to conserve water. Nearby Raleigh, for example, imposed some of the more stringent rules.

But it wasn’t only the immediate crisis that felt so ominous. With new people flowing into the Triangle every day, many worried that water shortages could become more severe over the years.

Water rationing was everywhere, it seemed. Except in Sanford. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A6)

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Buggy Factory’s rebirth - Honors heritage, marks future

 

SANFORD – Transforming places like Sanford from small rural towns into walkable, attractive urban centers takes large infrastructure projects like Streetscape, the $6.5 million initiative that reshaped walkways, buried power lines and added the kind of aesthetic touches that attract visitors and commercial investment.

For Sanford, the revitalization effort didn’t stop there. Organizations of all kinds joined forces to renovate one of the city’s historic buildings — even with a poetic twist. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A6)

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Prelude to Progress Series: Part 3 of 6

EDITOR’S NOTE: What ensures a community thrives and succeeds? One prerequisite: an educated and prepared workforce. Lee County’s K-12 public school system works in tandem with Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) to help grow and train the local workforce. In Part 3 of this series of stories produced by the Sanford Area Growth Alliance in conjunction with The Herald, the growing success of Lee County’s K-12 schools, Industry Training Programs, CCCC’s Innovation Center and NCWorks Certified Ready Work Communities are examined. The series continues Sundays and Wednesdays through May 14th. 

 

May 3, 2017

Sanford: A prepared workforce ensures a thriving economy

 

SANFORD – Education, so goes the mantra, is the essence of economic development. Without a well-trained and educated workforce, a community can’t thrive. And without an unwavering commitment to education, a workforce can’t be sustained.

Intentional efforts, like the four Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) bonds approved by Lee County voters in November 2014, have aided in the existing success of workforce development efforts by both the Lee County K-12 school system and by CCCC. But Dr. Pamela Gibson Senegal, CCCC’s vice president of economic and community development, says other “bold” moves set Lee County apart when it comes to education’s contribution to economic development.

“Our region has taken bold steps to ensure that our workforce is prepared by investing in the CC Works program and by supporting bonds that enable CCCC to continue to grow and evolve,” she says. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A3)

 

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​CCWorks + Caterpillar Youth Apprentice Program: Providing opportunities, developing talent

 

SANFORD – Sometimes, it takes the efforts of an entire community to make a substantive change. A perfect example is the Central Carolina Works Program (CC Works), offered by Central Carolina Community College.

Private and public organizations collaborated to make CC Works a reality and continue to do so today. The Golden Leaf Foundation teamed with entities in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties and worked as one community to ensure the take-off of this worthy initiative.

And the effort has proved more than worth it. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A3)

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Prelude to Progress Series: Part 4 of 6

EDITOR’S NOTE: More and more, potential residents judge the esoteric notion of “quality of life” by looking at things like recreation opportunities, a community’s engagement in the arts and leisure choices. In Part 4 of this series of stories produced by the Sanford Area Growth Alliance in conjunction with The Herald, we look at those things that boost the livability of the community we call home. The series continues Sundays and Wednesdays through May 14th. 

 

May 7, 2017

Arts, recreation and more boost Lee County’s quality, vibrancy

 

SANFORD — Hundreds of people pour out of Temple Theatre, many of them bouncing from the building with a quick dance step or humming a tune they just heard on stage in “Legally Blonde The Musical.”

This scene repeats itself all year long. Professional actors took the stage for seven Main Stage shows this season and were joined in the Temple’s 33rd season by a roster of touring bands and comedians that kept downtown buzzing.

While the scene may be common in Sanford, it’s not common for other cities Sanford’s size, even with all of the economic and social pluses it brings. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A3)

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Arts & Vine Festival fills void, elevates arts across the area

 

SANFORD — When the Sanford Pottery Festival ended five years ago after more than a decade of success, local artists weren’t the only ones to feel a void.

Without a showcase drawing visitors and the regional spotlight, everyone felt the sting.

But local visionaries banded together — artists, officials and community leaders — to create the Sanford Arts & Vine Festival, a two-day celebration that blended popular elements of the pottery festival with new ideas to become what organizers call “a celebration of creativity, talent and tradition.” *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A3)

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Prelude to Progress Series: Part 5 of 6

EDITOR’S NOTE: How do people outside Sanford learn about Lee County’s unique events and community offerings? Amidst the noise and hubbub of community market campaigns, that’s no easy task – which is one reason why growing an official “visitor services program” is essential to the area’s sustained evolution and success. In Part 5 of this series of stories produced by the Sanford Area Growth Alliance in conjunction with The Herald, the path from The Second Century Project (addressed in the first installment of this series) to the realization of SAGA’s Visitor Services, and today’s efforts to tell the Sanford story, are detailed. This series concludes with a final story on Sunday. 

 

May 10, 2017

Telling Sanford’s story: from Second Century to SAGA’s Visitor Services

 

SANFORD – A good story is always worth telling.

That was the motivation behind Sanford’s “Second Century Project” almost 10 years ago, and it still rings true today with Sanford and Lee County’s burgeoning Visitor Services program.

The vision originally developed from the Second Century Project’s efforts has been the guiding force for many of Sanford’s economic activities – from the Sanford Area Growth Alliance and Central Carolina Enterprise Park to Streetscape and the Buggy Factory, from Lee County K-12 schools’ focus on “more than just a diploma” and Central Carolina Works to Temple Theatre and San-Lee Park.  *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A7)

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Depot Park: A look back and a look forward

 

Back in 1874, two railroads crossed in a bucolic spot in the heart of North Carolina.

The town of Sanford was formed.

And as a railroad town, of course, the train depot in the town’s center – in what is now known as Depot Park – was the hub of activity. Today, more than a century later, and after sitting mostly empty and used sparingly for decades, the old depot is coming to life again as the home of SAGA’s brand new Visitor Services program. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A7)

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Prelude to Progress Series: Part 6 of 6

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Where will the leaders of tomorrow in Sanford and Lee County be nurtured, taught and developed? In Sanford and Lee County. How? In a changing world, this community supports its youth in a variety of significant ways. In Part 6 of this series of stories produced by the Sanford Area Growth Alliance in conjunction with The Herald, we look at a few of the organizations created to support our youngest citizens. The series concludes today. 

 

May 14, 2017

In a changing world, our youngest citizens are supported even more

 

SANFORD — The world isn’t what it used to be.

There was a time when more families were intact, living together, when parents could make a good living without a high school or college education. Getting ahead in life today is more complicated than it was before, but the good news in Lee County is that youngsters here have a lot of people on their side, neighbors helping them overcome obstacles and succeed in life.

When you think about helping young people prepare for a bright future, you immediately think of schools. Lee County Schools teaches the vast majority of local students — more than 10,000, in fact, each year — and have been posting some impressive results, including a graduation rate well above the statewide average. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A7)

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Lee’s Y on the move – in more ways than one

 

SANFORD — The Lee County YMCA has long been a haven for people young and old, offering everything from fitness equipment to after-school programs. And now it’s on the move – not just figuratively, but literally as well.

The nonprofit organization, a branch of the YMCA of the Triangle, begins a new chapter early this summer by opening its state-of-the art fitness center in the former Sanford Nautilus building near Central Carolina Hospital off Carthage Street.

Extensive renovations under way for months are crafting a bright, contemporary space with new exercise equipment and locker rooms, a refreshed racquetball court, drop-in child care and even an upgraded indoor pool. *Featured in The Sanford Herald (A7)

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