Jacksonville economic development leaders hold annual meeting

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Leaders involved with Jacksonville’s economic development held their annual meeting Thursday.

“One of the large goals that we have is to continue to be competitive in the economic development arena and part of that requires us to have a product to sell buildings insights,” Sheila Pierce Knight, executive director of JOED, said.

As part of the day’s activities, the Jacksonville-Onslow Economic Development elected its new directors for 2017-2018. They also heard from guest speaker Joe Stewart, Executive Director, NC FreeEnterprise Foundation, which is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that conducts objective research and analysis on candidates, campaigns and voter attitudes to keep North Carolina business leaders informed on candidates, campaigns, voter attitudes and the changed demography of the state as it impacts the electoral landscape.’

“To continue to increase our opportunities we have to develop prospects and leads for the community,” Knight said. “A big part of the effort has been to work with our existing industries. We have quite a few of those that are now expressing interest in expanding.”

According to its research, unemployment rates in Onslow County are at a five-year low of just five percent.

The county relies heavily on CampLejeunee and New River Air Station for economic benefits. In 2015, the base brought in over $4 billion for the area.

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