Ella A. Morris
How can Laurinburg (Scotland County) attract more industries looking to expand or relocate so that our horrendous unemployment rate of 17.6 percent will be lowered.
In my opinion, there are six criteria that a company uses when considering and subsequently chosing a site for its business, or subsidiary of its business. The importance given to each criteria is determined by the company making the decision. The criteria are: available land; location; workforce; infrastructure; quality of life; and incentives.
Laurinburg-Maxton industrial park consist of 4,000 acres of prime industrial sites with almost 1,800 acres available for industrial and commercial development.
Whether a business is seeking a location for manufacturing or to warehouse its products for distribution within North Carolina, to other states, or overseas, the industrial park at Laurinburg-Maxton Airport is perfectly located for the following reasons: a. Close to Hwys: 95,20,74, & 40 b .Has a modern airport with a recently resurfaced runway, and other planned improvements c. is reachable by rail and transport trucks d.only two hours to the Wilmington Port from which products can be shipped overseas or received from ports located overseas e. only forty-five minutes to the Fayetteville Airport and Ft. Bragg and f. two hours to the airports located in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and Myrtle Beach. The Deep-Water Port will not likely be located in Southport,N.C. This fact lessens our ability to compete with other states which have deep-water ports.
I was estatic when I read that RCC is going to share in the $1.6 million grant to improve literacy rates and the quality of the workforce in our area. This grant, partnerships with other institutions and other programs available at RCC will prepare possible employee who live in Laurinburg and its surrounding areas to meet the demanding standards of potential businesses by whom they are being compared to employees in other locations. When requested, customized training is available to industries who locate in our community. Other schools providing training in our area are St. Andrews University, Sandhills Community College, FTCC, Fayetteville State University and UNC-Pembroke, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Chapel Hill. Infrastructure: There is a water and wastewater Treatment plant and gas and electric hook-ups available at the Laurinburg_Maxton Airport and Laurinburg. The transportation bill recently passed by Congress will fund the repairs necessary to improve our roads and bridges. Quality of life: In making their selection decision, a company evaluates a location’s school system, level of healthcare, cost of living, cultural, entertainment, and recreational facilities and the overall life style available for its employees. A happy employee is a productive employee. What rating would you give Laurinburg in this area. We should ask ourselves, what is there to do in Laurinburg at the end of a workday? If we were strangers and walked through downtown Laurinburg what would our impressions be? It has been said that it takes a community to raise a child and likewise it takes a community working together to attract and welcome new businesses. Boeing chose Charleston, S.C., among other reasons, because the local, state, and federal officials worked as a team to bring Boeing to Charleston. Incentives: The director of economic development knows what incentives are available to companies who want to locate in our community.
Laurinburg can also learn from rejection. When we determine why we were not selected by a company, we should indentify this weakness and if possible, make the changes necessary to make this weakness an asset. The suppliers of companies which we are attempting to recruit should also be persued. What a coup it would be to have both the prospect and the companies which supply the necessary materials for the prospect chose Laurinburg. Let us support Laurinburg and make it a more desirable community for its current residents and for those who may chose to move here.
Morris owns and operates Morris Funeral Home in Laurinburg.