Mooresville community and business leaders are celebrating the achievement of reaching most goals laid out by an economic development consulting firm five years ago.
The AngelouEconomics firm offered five goals to help make Mooresville economically competitive.
The firm's review, delivered to the leaders earlier this year, gave a thumbs up on progress in four goals. The report was a product of a partnership between the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce and the City of Mooresville. It took more than a year to complete and came in at more than 100 pages.
The report asked the fundamental questions "How can we make Mooresville better?" and "How do we get the community motivated and focused on the right items that we need to address to make the community better," said Robert Carney, executive director of the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp. In that position, Carney has a lead role in finding ways to improve the standard of living in Mooresville by bringing in new business.
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One area that needs beefing up is ensuring that sites and infrastructure are able to meet the needs of targeted businesses. While Internet and phone service have improved and the upgrade of the sewer plant has been completed, Carney said Mooresville is not competitive enough with other regions in the price or availability of land for business.
Carney said the business climate in Mooresville has improved. By ensuring effective communication between county and regional organizations, and working with county and city to bring economic incentives to business, Mooresville is a more business-friendly area, Carney said.
The report considered the goals of business climate and sites and infrastructure along with education and workforce development, quality of life and economic development.
The educational and workforce development goal has also been achieved, he said, by having the town, schools and businesses of Mooresville work together. Students today are learning the skills necessary to be part of the future workforce in Mooresville.
Quality of life in Mooresville has improved by attracting more restaurants to the downtown and paving gravel streets, Carney said.
The Mooresville Graded School District ranked among the top 10 in the state.
Those accomplishments make Carney confident the educational and workforce development goal has been achieved.
Carney said economic development has progressed as well, citing Mooresville's commuting equilibrium, the same number of cars leaving and entering the city every morning; increased funding for the economic development corporation; and strong relationships between the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp., city and Iredell County.
Carney said the work has just begun and has already started to work on ways to extend the goals and make improvements during the next five years.
"I need to commend the individuals that were working on this (project). It's the current and past leadership of the community, their aim is to take a former study and continue to make it relevant. ... If done correctly, this will really make the community stand out," said Carney.