County advances with Advanced Manufacturing site
County officials announced today that Wayne Community’s College’s Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence will soon be located in the former Cooper Bussmann building.
The 78,715 square foot manufacturing facility, located on Dixie Trail in Goldsboro, was sold to the Development Alliance for $685,000. Wayne County used a low-interest loan through the former Eastern Region to borrow $400,000 to go toward the project, while Impact Wayne, the private development funding arm of the Development Alliance, provided the remainder of the funds.
The Eastern Region loan will be repaid by the County over a five year period.
Development Alliance will lease the facility to Wayne Community College for a nominal fee each year and the college will operate the program. The County is responsible for funding facilities at the college, so will pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the building.
The move will not only free up 28,000 square feet of classroom space at the college, it will also save the county money because classroom space is far more expensive to build.
County officials said that the purchase of the Cooper Bussmann property cost about $10 per square foot, versus $150 per square foot needed to buy classroom space.
“This facility will give Wayne County a distinct economic development recruiting tool and its’ uniqueness gives our county an advantage over other counties,” said Commissioner Bill Pate.
An Advanced Manufacturing Center will allow Wayne Community College to fully implement and highlight major manufacturing equipment purchased over the last three years. The facility will house the newly secured, valuable manufacturing equipment; and it will be the educational training site for WCC students, Wayne County Public School students, and incumbent workers alike.
“Wayne Community College has been extremely fortunate in having the support of community partners who made the Wayne County Advanced Manufacturing Center a reality,” WCC President Dr. Kay Albertson said. “Two significant partners are the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and the Wayne County Economic Development Alliance who have contributed both fiscal and time resources to the project. And we also have the support of the Chamber of Commerce, Wayne County Public Schools, and our local business and industry sector. This is an amazing concept that has become a reality because the partners in this initiative are believers in the College’s mission of preparing a highly skilled workforce for Wayne County and the region.”
Creating a hub for specialized training at this location will prepare individuals for employment in the advanced manufacturing sector and will benefit new and existing industry by creating a pipeline of well-trained workers for this sector.
“The Advanced Manufacturing Center will set the standard for Workforce Development & Economic Development not only for Wayne County, but regionally,” said Wayne County Commissioner Ray Mayo. “I am pleased, as a small business owner & elected official, that Wayne County has taken the initiative to address the deficit of educated and trained labor. This training center will provide a competitive advantage in attracting new business and diversifying our existing industries.”
The Advanced Manufacturing Center will
Provide a place for Wayne County citizens to receive training leading to good jobs in new and existing businesses and to brighter futures
Provide current business and industry with leading-edge customized training and a pipeline of highly skilled workers
Show potential new businesses that Wayne County and its educational institutions are serious about world-class training and about our commitment to make their businesses more profitable
Make an impression on executives regarding decisions about locating or expanding in Wayne County, and
Bring more and better jobs to Wayne County and the region to boost the local economy
County Manager George Wood said the facility couldn’t have been purchased without the help of Cooper Bussmann, Wayne County Development Alliance, and the members of Impact Wayne for supporting economic development.
“I also am very appreciative for the efforts of Dr. Kay Albertson and Don Magoon for their help in making this a reality,” Wood said. “And I must single out Mike Haney for all his hard work. He was serving as Interim President of the Development Alliance during most of the negotiations.”
Albertson echoed his comments, saying “I personally salute our county commissioners, the county manager, the economic development alliance board, advisory committee, and staff for their tireless efforts in support of this Center.”