Chairman Ed Garris is pleased to announce that the Executive Committee unanimously voted in favor of joining The Southeastern Partnership ("North Carolina's Southeast") after a presentation by Steve Yost, President and Joe Melvin, Director of Business and Development. This will fulfill an action item of the Marketing & Outreach Strategy of the FY 2015-16 Business Plan. Chairman Garris will be seated on the Board of Directors to represent JOED.
"North Carolina's Southeast is pleased to welcome our neighbors in Onslow County into the region," said Jeff Etheridge, chairman of The Southeastern Partnership. "Their participation brings additional leadership, economic assets and energy to our mission."
The addition of Onslow County puts North Carolina's two largest military bases - Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg - in one region. The decision adds approximately 185,000 people to the Southeast, along with large private employees such as Convergys, Coastal Enterprises and Stanadyne. The county's thriving small-business community supports a growing population of young families, as well as a significant tourism economy linked to oceanside communities like Surf City, North Topsail Beach and Swansboro.
Onslow County is home to three attractive business parks, including N.A. Burton Industrial Park, a 735-acre property certified by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. OAJ-Ellis Airport offers daily non-stop commercial flights to Atlanta and Charlotte. In 2013, New York-based Area Development magazine ranked the Jacksonville MSA #9 on its national list of "leading locations" based on workforce assets, job growth and economic resiliency.
"We're excited about participating in The Southeastern Partnership and having our county be part of the Southeast's compelling regional brand," said Sheila Pierce Knight, executive director of JOED. "We share several target industries and look forward to embracing the exciting opportunities ahead."
Headquartered in Elizabethtown, N.C., The Southeastern Partnership pursues a mission to "provide strong economic development leadership in southeastern North Carolina through innovative marketing and collaborative regional initiatives that will support the creation of new jobs, generate capital investment, and secure new business locations." For additional information, visit
JOED will continue to be an active member of the NC East Alliance (formerly NCER) as we strive to maximize the benefits from each organization given our location on the border between both. Please do not hesitate to contact JOED if you have a question.