All for one: businesses, schools, developers and municipalities cooperate to make the Triad's economy stronger.

Position:SPONSORED SECTION: REGIONAL REPORT: TRIAD
 
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Brent Christensen is president and CEO of Greensboro Partnership, which helps create high-quality jobs and attract investment to its namesake city. Loren Hill is president of High Point Economic Development Corp., which has a similar mission. While both focus on their respective communities, they aren't afraid to lend each other a hand.

That's especially true if it helps the Triad, the roughly 6,000 square miles defined by Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. "There are a lot of blurred lines in our community, and we don't care," Christensen says. "We want to sell Guilford County as one of the premier locations in the country. We've worked with projects where the client has come to us, then asked if they need to call Bob Leak [president of Winston-Salem Business Inc.] or Loren, and we'll say, 'No, we'll call them and make it easy on you.' So ultimately, everything is done with the client in mind."

Penny Whiteheart is executive vice president at economic booster Piedmont Triad Partnership, based in Greensboro. She sees the cooperation, too. "A change I've seen is the linking and alignment of agendas across the region. A lot of programs are multicity and multicounty. People see the value of leveraging their resources to see an outcome." High Point City Council, Greensboro City Council and Guilford County Board of Commissioners, for example, created Guilford County Economic Development Alliance last November. "Our government had asked us to be more unified," Hill says. "So they were working at the same time to come up with an official countywide effort, and we showed the way by working together, jointly handling clients, not caring where the boundaries ended as long as the county got the project."

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Universities and community colleges are training graduates in a growing number of fields, and new companies are setting up shop in the Triad, some in the footprint of global business powerhouses. "There are a lot of great things about the Triad region," Leak says. "There's a variety of employment from health care to logistics to distribution. The other is the whole quality of life--when you're here, you're four hours to the beach, an hour and a half to the mountains. There are more than 17 colleges and universities in the region, which bring with them sporting opportunities. Housing is below the national average, so you can get a larger house here with more land than you can get everywhere else. It's a quality of life thing. It's a very good reason to be here."

If you're in the Triad, the state's two largest airports--Charlotte Douglas International and Raleigh-Durham International --are 90-minute drives. But Piedmont Triad International near Greensboro means you don't have to go that far to catch a flight. The 4,000-acre campus is home to commercial airlines. Almost 69,000 passengers passed through in March. It also attracts aviation-related businesses. It has been the mid-Atlantic hub for FedEx Corp., for example, since 2009, when the Memphis, Tenn.-based transportation company moved its local operations into 475,000 square feet of...

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