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by Jonathan McNamara
YOUNGSVILLE — Roughly 64 percent of working Franklin County residents commute outside of the county.
“That is a number we would like to see go down,” Ronnie Goswick, director of Franklin County’s Economic Development Commission, said recently.
After the textiles bust left the county in a slump and losing a lot of businesses, most people that could work, couldn’t find any.
These same people had to look in neighboring counties for good paying jobs.
Fast-forward to 2013 and things are looking better. As of this April the county’s unemployment rate is 7.9 percent, according to county statistics, compared to the states rate of 9.2 percent, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division.
The most recent company to be welcomed to the county is Sunstone Water Group, which plans to grow several hundred jobs in the next five years.
The other 117 industries calling Franklin County home are doing well and continue to hire, giving other companies that might be searching for a home a good source as to why choose Franklin County.
Another benefiting factor to Franklin County is location. Only about 40 minutes to Research Triangle Park, businesses are looking ahead at growth toward Franklin County. With several major roadways in or near the county it is a natural place for growth to occur.
Goswick said, “Jobs are coming to Franklin County as businesses learn about the area and what it has to offer.”
The Gold Leaf Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to the economic well being of North Carolinians, helped train a lot of residents in the county.
“We have good employees that are trainable and wanting to work,” Goswick said. “That’s appealing for potential businesses.”
Also key, the county leaders are out making decisions that will ultimately impact the future growth of the county.
“We have a good team right now,” Goswick said. “We just need to keep working together for the county.”
For more information on business development in Franklin County, see franklincountync.us/services/edc.