With more experience under his belt, Rogerson is back in Iredell



By Dave Yochum. For Russ Rogerson heading up Iredell County’s economic development efforts is a homecoming. He was the head of the Mooresville South Iredell Economic Development Corp. from 2008 to 2011. Between then and now he was a recruiter at the Charlotte Regional Partnership, and then went on to lead the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corp.

Rogerson, who will move from his home in Pinehurst to Iredell County, said the structure right now in Iredell is two separate economic development organizations—one Mooresville/South Iredell, the other county-wide, is called Statesville Regional Development—with one executive director.

“Over the next several days, weeks and months, I will work with the public/private stakeholders of the two organizations and the respective Boards of Directors to identify ways to maximize a collaborative, countywide approach to economic development,” Rogerson, who has more than 15 years in the economic development business.

It should be seamless for the eco-devo consultants and companies that work with each organization.

“The Mooresville South Iredell Economic Development Corp. and the Statesville Regional Development Corp. will continue their great work in economic development for Iredell County,” Rogerson said. For now, they will remain separate organizations.

At the Charlotte Regional Partnership, Rogerson worked with all 16 counties in the Charlotte region, including some in South Carolina, to recruit business.

Regardless of location, economic development is “all about the economy,” Rogerson said. “It’s safe to say that overall the national, state and local economies are getting stronger which drives investment and job growth.  We see that locally with some of the existing companies that are expanding and investing in their businesses and creating jobs.”

Roush Yates Engines just announced that it will add 10 jobs to its Mooresville shop. The company will spend $3.5 million on new production equipment and building expansion. The company will receive $157,265 in economic development incentives.

Motorsports as an industry will continue to be important in Iredell, despite industry-wide consolidation. Michael Waltrip Raceworld closed last year in Cornelius.

“Motorsports is still a significant part of the Iredell County economy. Its presence in our community provides us with many benefits, but none larger than it’s quality, high-skilled workforce.  The motorsports workforce is a key strength for us and their skills are very transferable to other industries.  We have marketed that workforce and will continue to market it to manufacturers around the world,” Rogerson said.

Iredell’s highly skilled workforce means other companies will want to tap into it. “No. 1 of the selection criteria today is workforce.  Companies want to locate in areas that have a skilled workforce and the quality of life to continue to attract and retain that workforce. Research and development are a direct result of having strong education institutions in secondary and post-secondary education.  We have excellent education in our area and in our state,” Rogerson said.


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