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Together, We Are Davie

BERMUDA RUN – The goals are lofty for the next five years in Davie County:

• 1,200 new jobs;

• $100 million in new corporate investments;

• raise the average salary from $30,000 to $35,000;

• train teachers to know what local industry needs in employees.

The “Together, We Are Davie” campaign through the Davie County Economic Development Commission hopes to raise $1 million in private funding by the end of February to reach those goals. It’s more than halfway there, led by a large investment from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Baptist CEO Dr. John McConnell is chair of the campaign.

“This is a wonderful chance for us,” said Terry Bralley, president of the economic development group. “It is more critical that communities control their own destiny. We need to aggressively market ourselves and bring new jobs to Davie County. When more money comes into the economy, all of us prosper.”

The capital campaign kickoff was held last week at WinMock, attended by local business and government representatives.

“This is a wonderful chance for us. This is the first time we’ve tried to raise private dollars,” Bralley said.

Davie Schools Superintendent Dr. Darrin Hartness said education is an important part of economic development.

“Our teachers will become part of an internship program in the summer,” partnering with an industry mentor to learn skills needed in the workplace. That teacher will go back to their schools and tell other teachers. Ultimately, the students should learn more workplace-ready skills.

“It’s so important for our students to really know what’s happening behind the walls of businesses in Davie County. We believe that all students can be innovative and excel,” Hartness said.

He thanked the businesses and community for continued support, financially and with volunteer hours, for schools.

Dr. Mary Rittling, Davidson County Community College president, said the Davie Campus continues to grow – from 100 students 10 years ago to 1,200 today. Most of those are being trained for a job.

“Change is happening in education,” Rittling said. “It’s extremely important our faculty and staff know what’s happening in the real world. We see this as an opportunity for a future for Davie County. If we work together, we can really make a difference.”

Steve Robertson, chair of the Baptist board and a member of the Davie Economic Development Commission, said locals need an “all in” attitude for the project. “You need to look when you’re considering a commitment … is there an ‘all in’ proposition. If you find they’re ‘all in,’ you want to be a part of it.”

McConnell said the success of Baptist’s new medical center in Bermuda Run depends on the growth in the county. “Our success is co-dependent on economic development success. As soon as I saw the game plan, I knew it would be successful.”

Of the 22 counties in Baptist’s service region, Davie has the best leadership and vision for economic development, McConnell said.

“But we cannot be successful talking about ourselves. We need the support of the entire business community. These goals are achievable.”

Mocksville Attorney Hank Van Hoy said the key to the campaign is working together for the greater common good.

“We have a rare opportunity to help make this county better,” he said. “We should all be ‘all in’.” He encouraged those at the event to become involved to help influence good policies, to build a culture that values a progressive, business friendly environment.

The money being raised will be kept separate from any public money at the economic development commission, and all contributions are tax-deductible, Bralley said.

In addition to Baptist, members of the “Platinum” group of investors are Funder America, Yadtel Group and EnergyUnited. Gold investors include Duke Energy, BJR Properties, William Junker and BB&T. Silver investors are Quality Oil, Temporary Resources, WalMart and VF Jeanswear. Bronze investors are Terry Bumgarner and Terry Bralley. Investors include Facility Logistic Services, Christine Bralley and Jim Stockert.

To participate or learn more, visit www.daviecountyedc.com.