Strategic Initiatives + Events

Midtown Raleigh is seeing a lot of growth in commercial and retail development, as well as in the housing industry. Kane Realty Corporation is expanding North Hills with a new district on St. Albans Drive that will predominantly be office and residential space. There were also announcements from businesses moving to North Hills such as Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls and Voda Boutique. Midtown East, which will be home to the highly anticipated new Wegman’s, is over 90% leased. Midtown East developer Regency Centers announced that the new shopping center is slated to open in September 2019.

Raleigh ED&I launched a new webpage to provide businesses resources for disaster recovery. See how you can best prepare for a storm event. 

In September 2017, the City of Raleigh announced the opening of the Raleigh Pathways Center with a mission to connect local young adults to services, training and other resources meant to provide clear pathways to career success. The Pathways Center is an access point to high-growth career information, training, job and career opportunities, and supportive services. The Center is managed by Cathey J. Ector-Cox with the City of Raleigh Department of Housing and Neighborhoods Community Engagement Division. Veronica Creech, who leads the Office of Economic Development and Innovation has designated Jenn Bosser from the ED&I team to serve on the Pathway Center’s Steering Committee to assist the progress and facilitation of the Pathways Center’s programs, trainings, and services.   

On March 25 the City of Raleigh launched the Passport Parking App after a successful pilot on Hillsborough Street. The new parking app gives drivers a more convenient way to pay for their parking and an easier option to keep track of their parking... Everything can be managed from a user’s cell phone while helping to avoid parking citations. Credit cards and coins will still be accepted at the pay stations. 

The City of Raleigh rolled out the new bikeshare program, Citrix Cycle, with a soft launch on March 16. Approximately 100 bikes were available in downtown areas with riders biking 291 miles and taking 156 trips in just two days! The full system launch, expected later this spring, will include 300 bikes across 30 stations. 

Want to catch a ride? Prospective users can rent a Citrix Cycle one of three ways: 1) go online at, 2) download the Citrix Cycle app, or 3) access one of the 15 stations payment kiosks. Memberships are available including:

  • Single trips at $2 
  • A daily pass at $6
  • A monthly membership at $20
  • And an annual membership at $85 

Discounts are available for students and low-income users. Each membership includes unlimited 45-minute trips. Information about the Citrix Cycle program, including membership options, active and future stations, and payment kiosk locations can be found on the Citrix Cycle website or on the Citrix Cycle app.

Don't miss the Citrix Cycle Ribbon Cutting Ceremony May 2!

The 2019 Cleantech Connect Career Fair was held on January 30 at the McKimmon Center at NC State University where 17 employers connected with industry students, job seekers, and skilled experts. Industry leaders provided career and internship opportunities as well as a chance to learn more about cleantech and energy sector careers. RTCC reported that almost 80% of employers responding to a survey said they were planning to hire candidates from the Cleantech Connect Career Fair and 100% are likely to participate again in a future career fair 

Learn more 

The North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH) hosted their annual NC TECH Job Fair on March 8 in the Triangle.  The trade association releases a monthly snapshot of available IT positions in the state, broken down in several ways (top ten listings by MSA, job type, skillset, and employers). Read the most recent report.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh), Raleigh Convention Center, the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association and Capital Area Workforce Development hosted the second annual Wake County Hospitality Job Fair on March 5, 2019. Fifty-seven vendors from the hospitality community were present, looking to fill more than 1,000 jobs. More than 450 applicants attended. Check out Visit Raleigh’s blog post to learn more about the event and the hospitality workforce in Raleigh. 

The Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation held its Annual Meeting on March 27, 2019, on the campus of Meredith College. Hillsborough Street is better than ever following the completion of Phase II construction and is seeing solid growth with 13 projects, totaling 1.81 million square feet of development and $219 million investment in the pipeline. Dan Howe was awarded the Hero Lifetime Achievement Award, the Wilmont Apartment Building was honored with the Business Lifetime Achievement Award and Richard Dickie was designated the City Employee of the Year Award. 

On February 21 the Blue Ridge Corridor Alliance held their 2019 Annual Meeting. The Blue Ridge Corridor Profile was released at the meeting and is now live on the BRCA website. The report is the culmination of a year and a half of work researchingdefining and providing context on what constitutes the Blue Ridge Corridor. The profile has maps, demographic & economic numbers, history on the area, some great quotes from some familiar faces, and institution by institution facts & figures. It is a one-stop-shop on everything Blue Ridge Corridor. 

In January, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance board of directors named long-time staff member Bill King President and CEO of the organization. Bill previously served as the senior vice president of planning and development. Bill officially began his role as President and CEO on February 8. Bill led and partnered with the City on several projects including the City's Downtown Raleigh Experience Plan and Dix Park planning committees. 

From the Raleigh ED&I team, congratulations Bill! We look forward to our continued partnership and growth under your leadership.

See what’s happening with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.  

More than 400 state and regional leaders attended the RTA 17th Annual Meeting to hear from the voice of the regional business community on transportation trends and progress in the Triangle, and the importance of determination and courage in the face of obstacles to achieve successThe annual RTA State of Mobility event featured Michael Fox, chair of the North Carolina Board of Transportation, as keynote of the 2019 event. In addition, Bobby Lewis, COO, NCDOT, joined senior executives from IBM and MetLife — RTA 2018 chair Bruce Sargent and 2019 chair Geoff Lang — for a panel discussion on current and needed travel options as the region grows. Joe Milazzo II, RTA executive director, provided the annual State of Mobility presentation featuring details from the new 2019 RTA Triangle Mobility report. 
RTA was also pleased to honor the accomplishments – and ongoing dedication – of the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Champion NC Courage. The Courage has inspired our regional business organization and our entire region with their “no finish line” mantra and commitment to excellence. 

The City of Raleigh in partnership with Wake County Economic Development and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau participated and exhibited at the South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive trade show. For this year’s activation, the goal was to showcase Raleigh as a diverse and inclusive community as it relates to culture, business, industry, and people. Throughout the four-day trade show, attendees were asked to “Picture Yourself in Raleigh” and were invited to engage with the 12-foot mural which was created by local designers of the Assembly and Connect with Nate Sheaffer, neon artist at Glas. The Raleigh booth also hosted local Raleigh makers to share their stories of entrepreneurial success and offer samples of Trophy Brewing beer and Slingshot Coffee. 

Each day of the trade show was documented by a different guest blogger on the trip. Below you’ll find the links to each blog:  

Day 1: Representing Raleigh at the SXSW Trade Show (Jen Miller, WCED) 
Day 2: Turning Tourists into Talent: Why Tourism Matters (Loren Gold, GRCVB) 
Day 3: How SXSW Has Changed for The Better (Jenn Bosser, Economic Development, City of Raleigh) 
Day 4: Our Final Day at SXSW (Jen Miller, WCED)  

Additionally, Raleigh Magazine featured an article capturing the story of the mural and the overall project. 

District C is one of five Impact Partner Grant recipients who will use the grant funding to support Project 84/50, an effort to recruit 84 new entrepreneurs, including 50 underrepresented Raleigh-based entrepreneurs. On February 19, 2019 staff from Raleigh ED&I and the City’s Communications Department attended the District C Pitch Event at HQ Raleigh. Students from Research Triangle High School and Cary Academy pitched to a local coffee shop how to best market their business and increase their customer base. The coffee shop is a non-profit that operates at different events in the Raleigh area and is staffed by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students shared methods of how the business could use social media management tools to understand their audience and discussed the importance of understanding how to use google analytics for their web content. The business owners were appreciative of the insights provided by the students and plan to implement several of the strategies provided during the pitch event. Learn more about the latest problems students are currently solving through District C.

The third cycle of the FY19 Building Upfit Grant closed February 18. Raleigh ED&I received six applications from Raleigh small businesses. Five businesses were awarded during FY19 Q3 cycle including a restaurant, a deli, a bakery, a dance studio, and a post office. Our current grant cycle is open through May 13. Find out more about the Building Up-fit Grant and if your business qualifies! 

The City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development and Innovation sponsored the 3rd Annual Moving Forward with Purpose Conference held on March 13, 2019 at the Raleigh Convention Center. Over 150 women and men attended the event hosted by the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina (WBCNC). Attendees learned what resources and support their regional Women's Business Center can provide through a panel discussion. Community business leaders provided advice to attendees on how to empower themselves for success, grow their business and how to best support small businesses. Carnela R. Hill gave the keynote address and shared how she created her path to success to become one of the Top 10 Designers in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Participants also had the opportunity to engage with exhibiting local businesses and government agencies. 

The Impact Partner Grant Program is a new grant program creating a partnership with local organizations to create a more equitable and sustainable impact throughout Raleigh’s innovation. The program, which kicked off January 2019, provides grants to Impact Partners to help strengthen, develop, implement, and scale new or existing programs and resources to assist entrepreneurs, small businesses, and the local workforce in Raleigh. Out of the twenty applications received, five were identified as being a part of the initial award class.  

  • Tech Talent South will use the grant funding to create and run events to connect our areas tech and entrepreneurial community and help foster the inclusion of individuals with autism. 

  • District C will use the grant funding to support Project 84/50, an effort to recruit 84 new entrepreneurs, including 50 underrepresented Raleigh-based entrepreneurs. 

  • Innovate Raleigh will use grant funding to create a comprehensive Ecosystem Asset Map and Assessment tool to be used by local Economic Development teams to demonstrate Raleigh’s robust Innovation Ecosystem. 

  • Bunker Labs will be creating the Veterans in Residence Program in Raleigh which is an 11-week boot camp for entrepreneurs to go from the ideation of business to a business plan worth presenting to an investor. 

  • NC RIoT will be focusing its program diversify the RIoT Acelerator Program, IoT Education, Smart City Coordination and Cluster Steering.

All recipients were approved $25,000 for their programs for a total of $125,000. A work session was held with the five Impact Partner Grant recipients on February 12 to discuss performance measures and develop a communication strategy to best share the effects the grant program has on the entrepreneurial community. Learn more about the Impact Partner Grant Program

Raleigh ED&I participated in the MWBE Small Business Expo, hosted by the City of Raleigh Housing and Neighborhoods Department, on January 28 at Southeast Raleigh High SchoolOver 300 minority and women-owned businesses attended the event for an opportunity to network with local and state procurement agencies as prime contractors searching for certified minority and women-owned businesses. Raleigh ED&I shared information and resources about the Office’s economic development toolkit including the Building Up-fit Grant, jobsRaleigh Grant, and Business Investment Grant. 

Learn how you can become a Minority/Woman Owned-Business.

The State of North Carolina has launched a free online tool called the Navigator that brings together business, education, and workforce development communities to post, search for, and measure work-based learning programsIn partnership with the State, the program piloted with Fidelity Bank in 2018.  A grant was received to design and implement the tool with community workforce development and education leaders including NC Works, Community Colleges, LEAD, Governor's Office, NCBCE collaborated on the effort.  The NCBCE Navigator is a marketplace that directly connects employers, educators and career support personnel, and indirectly with students and job seekers.  The inventory of the site is comprised of work-based learning opportunities shared by businesses ranging from guest speaking opportunities to apprenticeships. Interested in signing your company up to participate in the NCBCE Navigator? Visit  

The 2019 Economic Development Forecast event was held by the Raleigh Chamber on January 10. Charlie Doughtery, VP and economist with Wells Fargo Securities cited Raleigh’s popularity and expected that trend to continue bringing strong employment growth and broadening our labor force including women’s participation in the labor force. Tom Barkin, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, stated the importance of understanding the disparities between urban and rural areas in employment, education and earnings. Overall the economy’s numbers appear strong; however, business sentiment has weakened. Further insights given about labor market conditions, rising wages, and housing conditions. 


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