Southern Pines tackles parking and vandalism

Since Natalie Hawkins took over the position of Executive Director of Moore County Partners in Progress Economic Development following the retirement of Pat Corso last May, the meetings, phone calls, and emails haven’t slowed down. Partners in Progress recently released a report highlighting its activities and exciting initiatives for the quarter ending December 31, 2021.

“Going forward, we will provide Quarterly Progress Reports so our local governments, businesses, and residents can be more informed about our ongoing work and accomplishments in the areas of economic development, community development, and workforce development as we strive to achieve our mission,” said Hawkins.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of companies interested in potentially relocating or expanding in Moore County. In fact, we’ve seen a 35% increase in project activity since the start of our fiscal year in July,” explained Hawkins. A surprising number of individuals, businesses, and organizations have also contacted Partners in Progress over the past few months about collaborating on a variety of projects and initiatives. “The benefits that could be realized in our communities if we can bring some of these initiatives to fruition are very exciting for Moore County,” said Hawkins.

Some of the more significant activities highlighted in the Partners in Progress Quarterly Progress Report for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 include:

• Assisted in obtaining $145,600 in state grant & incentive awards for two (2) Moore County businesses.

• Assisted with 177,000 square feet of industry facility expansions, resulting in +/- 60 new jobs.

• Worked with landowners and other partners to apply for grant funding from the NC Railroad to prepare Moore County’s only industrial park, Iron Horse Industrial Park in Aberdeen, for development.

• Worked with the Entrepreneurship Task Force assembled by Partners in Progress to complete the Certified Entrepreneurial Community® program that will designate and promote Moore County as an “entrepreneur-ready” community.

• Collaborated with local golf industry leaders and clarified the collective vision for Moore County to be known as the “Home of Golf Innovation” in addition to its current prominence as the “Home of American Golf.” Identified golf R&D, technology, fitness, and associations as key target golf-related businesses to recruit to the area to expand the already very successful cluster of golf businesses located in Moore County.

• Partnered with the Moore County Chamber of Commerce and other community partners to identify workforce development needs of our local employers.

• Worked with the Pinehurst Resort, Sandhills Community College, and other partners to explore creating an Apprenticeship Program to make another career pathway for golf course maintenance staff.

• Worked with the Moore County Digital Inclusion Task Force to create and implement a communications strategy to encourage all Moore County businesses and residents to complete the NC Broadband Survey at Results from the survey will be used to identify gaps in broadband service and internet needs throughout the County. Currently, Moore County has the 2nd highest total number of survey responses of any county in NC as a result of the well-executed communications plan.

• Hosted Richard Moore, CEO of FirstBancorp headquartered in Southern Pines and former NC State Treasurer, to speak with the Partners in Progress Moore 100 group, with over 100 attendees.

The full Quarterly Progress Report for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 can be accessed on the Partners in Progress website. “Partners in Progress is pleased with our accomplishments last quarter, and we want to thank all our government, business, and community partners who work hand in hand with us to make Moore County a great place to operate a business,” said Hawkins.

Moore 100 is a group of individuals and businesses who want to be more informed about topics of community importance, be more engaged in economic & community development, want to build local relationships, and have dialogue with business & community leaders. Moore County business leaders who want to learn more about Moore 100 are encouraged to contact Partners in Progress staff for more information at 910.246.0311 or [email protected].

Moore County Partners in Progress is a 501c(3) not-for-profit economic development organization and public-private partnership serving all of Moore County, NC. Partners in Progress’ mission is to “increase economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for Moore County’s citizens through the creation of quality jobs and capital investment in our communities.”

For more information about Moore County Partners in Progress, please visit Also, visit to learn how you can “Stress Less and Live Moore” in beautiful Moore County.



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