WINSTON-During the past nine months, Angelou Economics has spent an extensive amount of time in eight northwestern N.C. Piedmont counties, talking with community leaders, business owners and residents.

On Nov. 14, the Austin, TX-based firm will unveil its final recommendations based on those discussions for growing the economy in those eight counties when it presents the Northwest N.C. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

The event will be held at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem. Scheduled to speak are David Sampson, North Carolina’s assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, and Rep. Richard Burr of N.C.’s 5th district.

Angelos Angelou, president of Angelou Economics, will present the team’s findings and suggestions for building the economy in the eight-county area that includes Alleghany, Ashe, Davie, Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties.

Residents in the eight counties participated in a survey that asked questions regarding many issues like K-12 education, cost of living, career advancement opportunities, job availability, strong business growth, effective government leadership and highway service.

“Northwest North Carolina has long been a center for productivity and growth,” Angelou says. “Now the region faces a significant economic challenge, one which will require a coordinated effort and strong leadership.”

The CEDS study is co-sponsored by the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments and the Greater Mt. Airy Chamber of Commerce. The kickoff for the study was in February and preliminary findings were presented in April.

In June, each county was presented with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. The most recent results included target industries and benchmark analysis meetings and were presented to each county in August.

The CEDS study, funded by the Economic Development Administration office of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, is a required step for any community seeking federal dollars for infrastructure or other projects that spark job creation.

Upon completion, the strategy will not only identify those big needs in the counties that will require federal funding, but also provide recommendations for how the counties can improve overall business conditions, regain lost jobs and better market themselves.

Northwest N.C. CEDS: