Moore County Hopes To Attract New Business
Posted February 10, 2003 1:17 a.m. EST
MOORE COUNTY, N.C. — Moore County's golf resorts have long been a destination for business executives from around the world. As the county struggles with rising unemployment, leaders hope those executives will do more than just vacation here.
When the Perdue chicken plant shut down in Robbins in January, the closing was the latest blow in a county where layoffs have claimed more than 1,000 jobs.
"North Carolina is hurting. There are people out of work. They don't know what they're going to do," said Larry Cole, a textile worker who lost his job.
Moore County has lost 18 percent of its manufacturing jobs in recent years. The unemployment rate has climbed to 8 percent as jobs move overseas.
"We used to have about 2 to 3 percent unemployment here. We've had a lot of industrial and manufacturing jobs leave Moore County, putting a lot of people out of work," said Michael Holden, a county commisioner.
Moore County's golf destinations draw visitors by the thousands. Many of those visitors are business executives, whose companies could compliment the resort, retirement and medical communities here.
County leaders are trying to convince them to stay and bring their businesses with them.
"We've got some clients right now who are interested in taking a corporate center for a multi-faceted company and putting it here because they like the quality of life," said Fred Hobbs, an economic development expert.
If business executives decide Moore County is a good place to work and play, they could improve the quality of life for everyone in Moore County.
County leaders are in talks with a company that is interested in opening a claims processing center.