Chamber Chat – Carolina Core

November 15, 2020 | Written by: sanford-user

By Meg Moss

The Sanford Area Growth Alliance is a proud partner in the Carolina Core. A 120+ mile stretch of central North Carolina from west of Winston-Salem to Fayetteville, the Carolina Core is a region of globally competitive assets – a talent pool of more than 2 million people, access to 30+ colleges and universities, multiple airports, four megasites, urban research parks and more. Both public and private leadership are highly engaged in the Carolina Core, and its vision for the future for more innovative companies locating and expanding along the Core. I’m pleased that Lee County is situated along the Carolina Core, as we can benefit from the marketing strategies of the multiple communities along the stretch of the future Interstate 685 (currently highway 421). It’s really a regional approach to economic development.

According to, “The Carolina Core is North Carolina’s next economic engine. Bridging the urban crescent between Charlotte and the Research Triangle at the heart of the state, the Carolina Core is defined by diverse assets connected along future Interstate 685. The Carolina Core’s economic momentum is fueled by its unique combination of assets – from industry megasites to Class A office space, from bustling metros to rural communities. In the Core, businesses and people can access North Carolina’s fast-growing metros, while still benefitting from the perks and quality of life of mid-sized cities and small towns.”

Quality of life in Lee County alone is helping to bring industry here. From our greenways to the new splashpad to the historic Temple Theatre, and now the passing of the Parks and Recreation bond referendum for a multi-sportsplex, we are a great rural community.

Just this week, President and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, Stan Kelly, hosted a zoom meeting for all the communities who are working in partnership towards marketing the Carolina Core. Included is his presentation about the economic impacts of creating Interstate 685, were a few words about what it is like to live in the Carolina Core. “There’s something for everyone living in the Carolina Core. Affordable housing, and excellent public schools leave more money for the things you like – whether that’s practicing yoga in the park, hiking or tubing, or attending the PGA Wyndham Championship. And without traffic congestion, you will have more time to enjoy these activities with your family.” Kelly stated.

According to leadership at the Piedmont Triad Partnership, The Carolina Core initiative was established with an end goal in mind of 50,000 new jobs by 2038. Marketing materials provided to the Sanford Area Growth Alliance indicate that “through the Carolina Core strategy, our region is shifting how we think about economic development to win transformational business expansion and relocations together, as a region. Preliminary feedback from economic development site consultants has revealed that the newly defined Carolina Core resonates because it focuses on the assets that businesses need to succeed, rather than traditional lines and boundaries.”

As a partner in the Carolina Core, we believe that a win for one is a win for all. We are stronger together, and when we come together to tell our collective story of all this region has to offer, we can accomplish great things.