Postscript: Renewable Energy and North Carolina

On Aug. 25, 20015 at the WHQR Gallery in Wilmington, NC, the Cape Fear Economic Development Council presented a panel discussion “Renewable Energy and North Carolina: Challenges, Barriers, Policy, and Economic Opportunities.”

Attendees learned how North Carolina can become the epicenter for renewable energy and gain an understanding about the opportunities and challenges that are associated with this economic boom for the state.

Scott Johnson, CFEDC Board Member moderated. (Introduction slides)

Panelists for the event:

This expert panel discussed challenges, barriers, policy and economic opportunities for the state and our region relating to renewable energy development. A video of the event appears below.

Postscript: FOCUS on the Future

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC) presented a community conversation on “FOCUS: Framework for Our Future,”  April 28, at WHQR Gallery, 254 N. Front St., Suite 300, Wilmington, N.C. During a presentation of the draft plan, attendees had the opportunity to provide input on the plan and learned how to become part of the effort.

Under a federal grant, the FOCUS consortium formed in 2012 to support local government­ efforts to coordinate planning and create a regional plan for sustainable development in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. For ideas, FOCUS engaged public and elected officials, held more than 40 meetings and received more than 4,000 public comments.

They have developed 10 strategies for moving the region forward, a blueprint for:

  • Leverage regional resources to respond to key challenges
  • Improve opportunities for moving up the economic ladder & closing wage gaps.
  • Address public health issues by providing better access to healthcare, active living environments and healthy food outlets.
  • Connect destinations, workforce and jobs more effectively.
  • Strengthen regional workforce through improved education and training
  • Create  a place-based regional economic development strategy.
  • Create more housing choice and opportunities for everyone.
  • Preserve contiguous areas of open space & protect critical  environmental habitats.
  • Implement a multimodal transportation system and local land use policies while reducing or holding steady vehicle miles of travel (VMT) per capita.
  • Update land development, transportation & infrastructure policies that support complete communities.

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation from the event.

Want to Get Involved?

There’s three ways to become a part of FOCUS;

  • Supporters: Individual residents of the community who support the Regional Framework for Our Future and is interested in its implementation
  • Partners: Private or non-profit organizations working with the FOCUS Consortium to help implement specific projects, foster communications, and support other activities
  • FOCUS Consortium: An alliance of local governments and other community organizations that is the driving force of regional collaboration and implementation of the Regional Framework for Our Future

To participate, email

About the Data

FOCUS has made all of their data available to community organizations to use in grant applications for funding public/private projects that move the 10 strategies forward. To learn more about the organization and to access their data, go to their Web site.

Nov. 27 CFEDC Presents: The Impact of Cement Manufacturing on Economic Growth in New Hanover County

Since New Hanover County residents first learned in the spring of 2008 that Titan America planned to build a cement plant on the banks of the north Cape Fear River, supporters and opponents of the plan have asserted their owns takes on the environmental and health risks, and debated the merits of taxpayer incentives offered to the company. But one important area of concern has often been overlooked: the proposed plant’s potential economic impact.

Craig S. Galbraith

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC) will host a presentation on the issue Nov. 27, 6-7:30 p.m., at the WHQR Gallery, 254 N. Front St., Suite 300. UNCW Cameron School of Business professor Craig Galbraith
will discuss “The Impact of Cement Manufacturing on Economic Growth in the Cape Fear Region,” a recent study commissioned by the North Carolina Coastal Federation and the only comprehensive economic analysis of the project. A question and answer period will follow.

No economic impact studies were commissioned by New Hanover County or the state of North Carolina, even though taxpayer incentives were offered to the company to encourage development of the plant.

“This issue has been described as a clash of the old and new economies in our region, and regardless of what happens in this case, it is important for the public to understand how we arrived at this point, and how we can avoid similar ill-considered economic development decisions in the future,” said Lloyd Smith, CFEDC secretary.

The event is part of the organization’s bimonthly “CFEDC Presents” series. Refreshments will be served from 6-6:30 p.m. during a time for networking and open discussion.

The CFEDC is a non-profit organization working to fulfill the need for leadership in sustainable economic development and job creation in Wilmington and the Cape Fear region.


CFEDC Presents: Wilmington/New Hanover Comprehensive Greenway Plan and City of Wilmington Collector Street Plan

The CFEDC  hosted representatives from the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) and the City of Wilmington. Our topic: the Wilmington/New Hanover County Comprehensive Greenway Plan and the City of Wilmington Collector Street Plan on June 26 in the WHQR Gallery at 254 N. Front Street, Suite 300.

Amy Beatty, the city’s superintendent for Recreation and Downtown Services and Mike Kozlosky, WMPO executive director, presented information on the plans. Discussion with the audience followed.

“The Greenway Plan is an exciting initiative that has the potential to both improve the transportation options in the region and encourage a healthy population through provision of a safe and attractive greenway network having form and function,” said CFEDC Chair Mark King.

The CFEDC event offered an opportunity for the public to learn more about the plan and provide commentary on the website.

Ian Oeshger, CFEDC vice chair, also said he hoped the event could bring clarity and context to the City of Wilmington Collector Street Plan.