MONROE – Union County has incentivized or announced 11 commercial and industrial projects accumulating more than $277 million of capital investment, making 2018-19 the second-best year for economic development efforts.
The county has had a targeted strategy to grow its aerospace cluster since 2002, and it sustains North Carolina’s largest geographic cluster of such companies. The cluster has grown from three industries to 24, employing 4,500 people and generating an annual payroll approaching $300 million.
“Union County remains a leader among aerospace and agri-business, with significant investments coming out of these sectors in the last year,” said Chris Platé, executive director of Monroe-Union County Economic Development.
Further proof of the county’s growing economy is reflected in an increase in the local labor force of 3.7% over the last year. With this increase, the economy has provided career opportunities for 4,523 more people over the same time frame.
“The ever-growing number of families choosing to live in Union County provides a consistent source of qualified people to support our significant industrial-based growth,” County Commissioner Frank Aikmus said.
Aikmus serves as the commission’s liaison to the economic development advisory board.
Union County ranks fourth among North Carolina’s 100 counties for the value of agricultural products sold. This position results from Union County ranking in the top 10 for nearly every commodity raised or harvested in the state.
County Manager Mark Watson credited Monroe Union County Economic Development and the City of Monroe for their efforts in recruiting these companies.
“Those are some impressive numbers, and by all accounts, this momentum is not slowing down,” Watson said during the July 15 board meeting. “There are a number of projects that are in the works.”