Holly Springs leads Wake County in job growth. Town Economic Development Department staff shared the news in an update to the Holly Springs Town Council on business recruitment and retention, coworking, and more at the council's Sept. 15 meeting.
Staff said, while Wake County has one of the strongest job markets in the nation, according to the N.C. Department of Labor, Holly Springs recently has generated the strongest job growth in Wake County – 26 percent within the last five years.
"We’re very proud of that," said Holly Springs Economic Development Program Manager Irena Krstanovic. "Healthy communities have strong and healthy businesses."
Following Holly Springs in job growth are Wake Forest with 24%, Apex with 21% and Cary with 20%.
Krstanovic said the department regularly communicates with existing businesses and recognizes that they are an essential part of the community for increasing the tax base and creating quality jobs.
Krstanovic and Economic Development Department Director Jenny Mizelle reached out to more than 200 businesses in Holly Springs during the past year. While the department formally met with more than 25 companies, staff also connected with businesses by participating in Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce networking activities, and held roundtable discussions in the Business Park.
Staff said they'd received more than 100 visits from retail developers and brokers and noted the medical office buildings under construction and in the planning stages. The 50-bed Rex Healthcare hospital is expected to open in 2018, and Mosaic on Main in downtown Holly Springs is expected to be under construction soon, also.
One of the highlights of the meeting was an announcement by RoviSys, a company headquartered in Ohio that specializes in electrical and instrumentation automation. RoviSys is moving its North Carolina office from Apex to Holly Springs. With 115 employees currently, the company will have space to grow to up to 250 employees at the site it selected in the Holly Springs Business Park near Novartis, one of its clients.
RoviSys CEO/Owner John Robertson said the Green Oaks Parkway and Business Park provide an attractive location for businesses like RoviSys. He noted that an attractive environment was critical to hiring and retaining his workforce.
"We're just excited to have you," said Councilman Jimmy Cobb.
Economic Development staff also reported on land parcels available for business development in Holly Springs. In addition to land within the Holly Springs Business Park and the Friendship site adjacent to US 1, staff is moving forward with certifying land adjacent to the Business Park as shovel-ready for development through the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Certification includes studying access, utilities, environmental features that could impact buildable areas and site layout, and more in an effort to help prospective businesses understand what development is possible on the land and remove obstacles to that development.
Staff also updated the council on the Town's initiative to attract a partner to convert the current police station into a coworking site after the police move into the new Law Enforcement Center. The closing date for receiving proposals is Oct. 12. A committee will review the proposals and provide a recommendation to the council later this year.
In other business at the meeting, the council approved waiving a building permit fee for the Seniors with Attitude and Tools (SWAT) volunteer team that plans to build a handicap ramp at a residence. The council also approved $52,000 for rehabilitation of the Easton Acres pump station and entered into a contract with SouthData for utility bill and newsletter printing and mailing services.