Henderson-Vance Economic Development Commission Encouraged By Community Growth
Dennis Jarvis, II, the newly appointed Director of the Henderson-Vance Economic Development Commission (EDC) has been hard at work in his first two months on the job.
Jarvis, who began his new position on November 6, 2017, is focused on familiarizing himself with his coworkers and the community. “My days since I began have been about staying late, learning names and getting my feet on the ground,” said Jarvis.
According to Tommy Hester, Chairman of the Vance County Board of Commissioners, Jarvis is doing a fantastic job in his new role. “Dennis Jarvis, II is a great addition to the Economic Development Commission and will be an asset to our area.”
Jarvis comes to the Economic Development Commission at a time of new growth and opportunity. Mako Medical Laboratories, based out of Raleigh, NC, has begun the process of expanding and setting up shop in Vance County. Occupying the former Harperprints Building on Industry Drive, Mako is in the process of remodeling, purchasing and installing equipment and hiring qualified employees.
In addition to other grants and incentives, Mako received $1 million in grants provided by the Goldenleaf Foundation and the Department of Commerce in December 2017. Earmarked for lab equipment and building upgrades and repairs, Mako has wasted no time in putting the resources to good use.
According to Hester, Mako has $6 million in lab equipment already in place. One of the more impressive pieces of equipment being installed will allow the lab to process approximately 2,000 specimens in one hour. Diagnostic lab testing provided by Mako includes blood, urine, genetic and allergy.
In addition to installing lab equipment, Mako is currently training and hiring employees for the new Vance County location. According to Hester, 11 people have currently been hired by Mako at a salary of approximately $56,000 per job. Mako anticipates bringing approximately 153 jobs into the area and anticipates a sales volume of $250 million this year.
“When you hear numbers like that, it goes without saying that Mako is a great thing for our area and for economic development,” said Hester.
The excitement around Mako has started a chain reaction of interest and pride in the community. “Other companies have seen the collaborative teamwork involved in the process by the County and various organizations and have inquired about opportunities in our area,” said Hester.
While Mako is certainly a boon for the area, Jarvis stresses that the EDC is also emphasizing and focusing on expansion of the county’s current base and courting new potential investments.
“Since October 2017, the EDC has submitted approximately 8-10 proposals to the State of North Carolina. Our focus is on retention of our current base and attracting new business opportunities,” Jarvis said.
With all of the current growth and future potential, both Jarvis and Hester feel a new day is dawning for Vance County.
“Our area has new business opportunities coming into the county, potential new businesses touring currently vacant building structures and existing businesses such as MR Williams growing and expanding. Vance County is heading in the right direction,” said Hester.
The next meeting of the EDC will be held Wednesday, February 7 at 8:30 am in the community room of Maria Parham Medical Center.
The EDC Board and guests will attend a meeting at Mako Medical Laboratories on Wednesday, March 7 for a tour of the facilities and company updates.
(WIZS contracted with the writer of this article Kelly Bondurant, Freelance Writer for Hire for publication here and on the air.)