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Winston-Salem's Tallest Buildings and Skyscrapers
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 Post subject: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:57 pm 
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What's going on with this place?

I was visiting a friend there last week and the office across from his was empty and abandoned looking. Carpet in the hallway was pretty dirty too. He said a lot of the building is empty (about half he thinks). I don't see Winston Tower talked about much on here or around town, so I wanted to ask. Surely the place hasn't fallen on bad times. I remember when it was the Wachovia building (wife worked there), but that was ages ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:47 pm 
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I think it's roughly 30-33% vacant? For a massive building like this, we are talking about maybe 125,000 vacant square feet of lower-end office space? It needs to be sold to someone like PMC Property Group and converted into a mixed-use property. It's too much cheap Class B office space for this market. PMC Property Group converted the Alcoa Building, in Pittsburgh, from office to office and apartments. They moved office tenants to the lower floors and converted the upper floors to apartments. I'm thinking they should sell the building and the new owner should review leasing records to see how much demand there is and convert the amount of space that is consistently empty into apartments. Maybe take a few extra floors, so the average cost-per-square-foot can increase above the current low of $12. Maybe convert 10-12 floors of the building to apartments and use another floor for amenities? I'm guessing it's possible to go below $12 or receive major concessions to locate there? This would help them increase rents to maybe $14-15 with fewer concessions? The views would be amazing for apartments and look at those windows!


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:12 am 
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Fourth and Main wrote:
I think it's roughly 30-33% vacant? For a massive building like this, we are talking about maybe 125,000 vacant square feet of lower-end office space? It needs to be sold to someone like PMC Property Group and converted into a mixed-use property. It's too much cheap Class B office space for this market. PMC Property Group converted the Alcoa Building, in Pittsburgh, from office to office and apartments. They moved office tenants to the lower floors and converted the upper floors to apartments. I'm thinking they should sell the building and the new owner should review leasing records to see how much demand there is and convert the amount of space that is consistently empty into apartments. Maybe take a few extra floors, so the average cost-per-square-foot can increase above the current low of $12. Maybe convert 10-12 floors of the building to apartments and use another floor for amenities? I'm guessing it's possible to go below $12 or receive major concessions to locate there? This would help them increase rents to maybe $14-15 with fewer concessions? The views would be amazing for apartments and look at those windows!


Would plumbing be a problem for a building this tall to convert to apartments?


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:14 pm 
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^ Plumbing would be difficult due to the concrete floors. Asbestos remediation is a big hurdle too. It's my understanding that they sprayed above the ceilings on each level during construction. It may also have been used in the flooring adhesive. Removing this will be expensive either way, and may require the whole building be emptied first. I agree with OP it's not being marketed very well even for its current use. Not sure about the current condition inside.

I'm with Fourth and Main on the makeover-- would love to see someone come in and re-do the place. Does anyone know if the current ownership has given this any thought, or what their plans are in general?


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:37 pm 
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It wouldn't be any different than what PMC Property Group did with the Alcoa Building, which was constructed in 1953 and had many of the same challenges. Both the Alcoa Building and Winston Tower are the same height, roughly the same size, with a similar number of floors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Enterprise_Tower
Quote:
On July 14, 2015, PMC Property Group closed on a $40 million loan to redevelop what they continue to call the Alcoa Building, including building 241 class-A multi-family units, 133,000 square feet of office space, and 6,200 square feet of retail including restaurants. The apartments began renting in March 2016.


For those who want to know: Winston Tower has 436,000 square feet and the Alcoa Building has 442,500 square feet. A 6,500 square foot difference, which isn't much.

I would expect the owner (JDL Castle / David Shannon?) to sell it for a profit to another developer? It was bought during a time when downtown buildings were cheap, so it could be a nice profit? In 2003, workers didn't replace the windows in Winston Tower. They just added a film over them, to improve energy efficiency. I think they also didn't remove the asbestos? It's still there. I'm not sure if you can add retail to Winston Tower? They had a bank lobby, but Wachovia complained it was small. So, maybe it's possible? I would love to see a restaurant in Winston Tower and see them take advantage of the building's sizable outdoor plaza area. Since it likely wouldn't front the sidewalk hard, it would likely have to be a destination restaurant?


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 6:06 pm 
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Does anyone know if CML Microcircuits is leaving Bailey Power Plant and moving to Winston Tower? If they are leaving Bailey Power Plant, it's great to see them stay downtown and help lease some of the vacant office space. More good news for increasing the vibrancy of the former Courthouse Square area. I like seeing the office tenants that don't need lab space or special ventilation, lease space in the office towers. We need to fill those office spaces. For Wake Forest, though, it's another tenant leaving the now stalled-out Innovation Quarter. The Innovation Quarter was the nation's fastest growing innovation district a few years ago and now it's the nation's slowest growing innovation district, with no signs of anything happening there.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 11:49 am 
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Quote:
The Innovation Quarter was the nation's fastest growing innovation district a few years ago and now it's the nation's slowest growing innovation district, with no signs of anything happening there.
Well, isn’t that mostly because Wake Forest and Wexford are now concentrating on the so-called Charlotte campus and their new “innovative” quarter; certainly a more lucrative market than one-horse, flee-from mid-size W-S.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:33 pm 
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The Innovation Quarter has been attempting to bring companies to Winston for a decade now. The Atrium partnership is much more recent.

Why has the iQ been unable to land a large outside tenant? I'm sure there are many reasons, but chief among them is that Winston is a mid-sized city with a relatively small talent pool. Companies tend to locate where they can immediately attract talent. Certainly, there is talent here (largely in-part to Wake Forest, UNCSA, etc.), but it's limited talent. Look at our demographics - specifically college-educated young adults - and compare that raw number to Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, etc. Let's say you have a growing biotech company, and you project that you will need to fill 2,000 on-site positions in within 10 years, most of which will need to be college educated, and a large percentage will need to have advanced degrees. Do you think you will be able to do that in Winston? I'm bullish on the city, and I think you absolutely could, but if you are just looking at demographic statistics, you might see that as an obstacle.

It's not an easy fix. I don't think it is a failure of a specific organization. Greensboro is having similar problems, as I would imagine are other similar sized cities (e.g., Birmingham, Buffalo, Rochester, Norfolk, etc). For every one Greenville, SC or Durham, there are 3-4 other struggling mid-sized cities (and Greenville is benefitting from landing BMW 20+ years ago, while Durham benefits from its proximity to Raleigh and UNC-Chapel Hill). I do expect that work-from-home will be a game-changer, as these talent levels will start to smooth out between cities. When work is no longer tethered to location, people will spread out, cities like Winston will attract college educated individuals who like our cost of living and pace, and pools of talent may not be quite as deep in cities like Durham and Raleigh.

At the same time - it's actually pretty nice where we are now! I can afford to live in a nice house in a great neighborhood at half of the price of a similar house in a similar neighborhood in Charlotte or Raleigh. I don't want to see 3-bedroom, 1700 sq ft houses in Ardmore start at $700,000 and 4-bedroom 2400 sq ft houses in Buena Vista houses sell for $1.6M. I don't want to see our restaurant workers priced out of our city. We are growing at a slow and steady clip, which isn't a bad place to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 2:47 pm 
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WSBornNBred wrote:
Why has the iQ been unable to land a large outside tenant? I'm sure there are many reasons, but chief among them is that Winston is a mid-sized city with a relatively small talent pool.


Which is why I've been saying for years that Winston must concentrate on attracting heavy industry / manufacturing jobs to replace those it has lost over the past several decades. Those left unemployed in this city lack the skills & education for the biotech field - and it often appears that the city's recruiters are unfazed as they look around these demographics in vain hopes of pursuing a workforce from elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 5:17 pm 
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I think Winston-Salem as a whole is still doing well and possibly the best I've seen the city perform in years. There is a sizable tenant wanting to build-to-suit in the Union Cross area right now! While Raleigh-Durham is trying to brand the Toyota battery factory to Vinfast corridor as a Raleigh-Durham EV innovation corridor (stealing most of the good jobs, talent, population growth, future related development, suppliers, and press), BOOM Supersonic is in the middle and can be a development generator for the entire Triad region, including plans at Smith Reynolds Airport. However, that innovation district is stalling-out. No, it IS stalled-out. Even the replacement projects (converting it into a hospital campus) are now stalled-out. Grading and infrastructure was scheduled to start in February... February 2022. Now, I'm thinking it could still be a grass lot in January 2023. This is not unique to Winston-Salem. Outside of a few "it" tech/research cities, these innovation districts usually reach around the size of the Innovation Quarter and stall-out. I've seen recently that Kannapolis' (suburban Charlotte!) has also stalled-out and they are maybe looking into allowing some of that land banked property to be used for other things. A research and educational hospital campus could help fuel an amazing boom for downtown Winston-Salem and I want to see that happen. It may have a bigger impact on downtown than corporate office/research space would. It would be nice if Wake Forest could use some of those parking lots to the north of Third Street for new research hospital buildings and maybe explore other ideas for the area below Third Street. It could range from a music campus that has an amphitheatre, hotel, indoor music venue, park, and a space for entertainment startups run with UNCSA; to maybe a small sports venue for the Thunderbirds and WSSU, along with the Olympic Cycling Center, a velodrome or maybe new convention facilities that can also use the small sports venue, a hotel and maybe apartments; to maybe a soccer stadium for Wake Forest and N.C. Fusion soccer (I think the Triad's minor league soccer team plays in Bermuda Run, now?); to maybe a shared campus of student apartments, retail/restaurant spaces, park space, and classrooms/lecture halls any university in the Triad (or anywhere) can rent for the semester; to sending-out a request for proposals, which may lead to better ideas than these (be sure it's a solid, experienced, developer); or just allow it to develop on its own. It may attract an office building for a local company interested in a highly visible downtown location and a few apartment buildings? It could become a miniature golf and pickleball courts with bar development? There's a lot of potential. If the area south of Third Street, along Research Parkway, is still a massive grass lot with a road in the middle, by January 2024, I would like for the City to start talks with Wake Forest on acquiring or taking the properties for something else. A big grass lot doesn't look good. Being honest, their big parking lots also don't look good. It's time to start developing some of that. By 2024, they should be able to just start work on something there.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 10:50 am 
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The Possum wrote:
WSBornNBred wrote:
Why has the iQ been unable to land a large outside tenant? I'm sure there are many reasons, but chief among them is that Winston is a mid-sized city with a relatively small talent pool.


Which is why I've been saying for years that Winston must concentrate on attracting heavy industry / manufacturing jobs to replace those it has lost over the past several decades. Those left unemployed in this city lack the skills & education for the biotech field - and it often appears that the city's recruiters are unfazed as they look around these demographics in vain hopes of pursuing a workforce from elsewhere.


Personally, I'd rather W-S not invest in sectors that are quickly being gobbled up by automation and machine learning. That's what got us into trouble in the first place with RJR, etc.

I hope we learn from the past, not repeat it.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 11:04 am 
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wghp wrote:
The Possum wrote:
WSBornNBred wrote:
Why has the iQ been unable to land a large outside tenant? I'm sure there are many reasons, but chief among them is that Winston is a mid-sized city with a relatively small talent pool.


Which is why I've been saying for years that Winston must concentrate on attracting heavy industry / manufacturing jobs to replace those it has lost over the past several decades. Those left unemployed in this city lack the skills & education for the biotech field - and it often appears that the city's recruiters are unfazed as they look around these demographics in vain hopes of pursuing a workforce from elsewhere.


Personally, I'd rather W-S not invest in sectors that are quickly being gobbled up by automation and machine learning. That's what got us into trouble in the first place with RJR, etc.

I hope we learn from the past, not repeat it.


Greenville, SC doesn't seem to be in trouble with that BMW plant nearby. Just sayin'.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 1:37 pm 
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WSBornNBred wrote:
The Innovation Quarter has been attempting to bring companies to Winston for a decade now. The Atrium partnership is much more recent.

Why has the iQ been unable to land a large outside tenant? I'm sure there are many reasons, but chief among them is that Winston is a mid-sized city with a relatively small talent pool. Companies tend to locate where they can immediately attract talent. Certainly, there is talent here (largely in-part to Wake Forest, UNCSA, etc.), but it's limited talent. Look at our demographics - specifically college-educated young adults - and compare that raw number to Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, etc. Let's say you have a growing biotech company, and you project that you will need to fill 2,000 on-site positions in within 10 years, most of which will need to be college educated, and a large percentage will need to have advanced degrees. Do you think you will be able to do that in Winston? I'm bullish on the city, and I think you absolutely could, but if you are just looking at demographic statistics, you might see that as an obstacle.

It's not an easy fix. I don't think it is a failure of a specific organization. Greensboro is having similar problems, as I would imagine are other similar sized cities (e.g., Birmingham, Buffalo, Rochester, Norfolk, etc). For every one Greenville, SC or Durham, there are 3-4 other struggling mid-sized cities (and Greenville is benefitting from landing BMW 20+ years ago, while Durham benefits from its proximity to Raleigh and UNC-Chapel Hill). I do expect that work-from-home will be a game-changer, as these talent levels will start to smooth out between cities. When work is no longer tethered to location, people will spread out, cities like Winston will attract college educated individuals who like our cost of living and pace, and pools of talent may not be quite as deep in cities like Durham and Raleigh.

At the same time - it's actually pretty nice where we are now! I can afford to live in a nice house in a great neighborhood at half of the price of a similar house in a similar neighborhood in Charlotte or Raleigh. I don't want to see 3-bedroom, 1700 sq ft houses in Ardmore start at $700,000 and 4-bedroom 2400 sq ft houses in Buena Vista houses sell for $1.6M. I don't want to see our restaurant workers priced out of our city. We are growing at a slow and steady clip, which isn't a bad place to be.


You raise some excellent points, but I wonder if this is a bit of the chicken or the egg scenario. I think Winston could easily attract said talent from CLT and RDU if there were a few more large/attractive employers here. A company relocating here from a higher cost market would still save significantly over the long-term even if they had to offer small relocation packages to get some more immediate talent. Plus, asking someone to move just 1-2 hours from where they currently are (in the same state) would be a much easier sell than say needing talent to relocate from NYC to Bentonville, AR.

I too am very bullish on Winston, but I sense we lack a critical mass of traditional 'corporate jobs' that would create a healthy talent pool for more companies to tap into. It's a bit unfortunate, because I think that's what Winston used to have when RJR, Wachovia, BB&T, Krispy Kreme, Hanes, etc. were really humming, but we lost that and now it seems we are very focused on either niche health/biomedical fields or more blue collar jobs - not as much in the middle. I do hope the city's focus on start-ups/entrepreneurship will bear fruit, but it will take time for those companies to scale and we really need to leverage our amazing foundation/history to secure a few more mid-sized/large companies and expand our local talent pipeline.

Regarding your last point, as a W-S native who has returned after ~20 years in a few big cities, I could not agree more! It feels so good to be back 'home' and I really think W-S, and NC as a whole, are extremely well positioned for the future.


Last edited by WolpFack on Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:00 am 
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I have noticed that many of the new massive industrial buildings have very few workers. An 800,000 square-foot industrial building may only have 140 employees. I've also accurately guessed Toyota would scale-back their employment goals. They asked the state to reduce the employment numbers in their incentive offer.

There is a thought that one or two life science or finance employers will suddenly double or triple Winston-Salem's size, traffic and home prices and make it Raleigh or Charlotte overnight. They won't.

I think what would make Winston-Salem more attractive to life science and maybe other desirable employment fields is if Wake Forest University could expand to around 30,000 students in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest is the magnet for those employers/jobs and at its small size, it's not generating the volume of talent needed. If Wake Forest was larger, you would see the big luxury student housing developers and university-themed hotels entering the Winston-Salem market, too. I think growing Winston-Salem State University would also help generate more talent employers are looking for. Imagine giving the part of the Innovation Quarter that is located south of Salem Parkway to WSSU for an expansion that fits with the Innovation Quarter. Many of these companies, today, want more diversity and Winston-Salem is very fortunate to have both an HBCU and a womens' college. I think they both make Winston-Salem a more attractive choice. Also, Winston-Salem borders the Charlotte metro. Statesville is in metro Charlotte, but it is an example of how close part of the Charlotte metro workforce is to Winston-Salem. Placing a pin in the center of where you want to locate and drawing circles so many miles/kilometres out will give a better idea of the workforce a business can draw from in that location (Downtown, Union Cross, Whitaker Park, etc.). It's bigger than many may think. Union Cross is at the center of the Triad metro.

I've questioned if someone should look into proposing a 15-storey "trophy" office building in Kernersville, to offer a true "center-of-the-Triad" location for the many businesses and organizations that locate near the airport to be in the middle. It could help bring some of them to the Winston-Salem MSA side of the line, to be in a neutral middle city. Just propose it and see what happens. Would it attract those PTI Airport-area tenants that locate there to be in the middle and as top-of-the-line office space, would it become the preferred building for those companies/organizations? As well as a landmark and new town symbol for Kernersville.


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 Post subject: Re: Winston Tower
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2022 4:02 am 
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All good points about this important topic! WSBornNBred and WolpFack your points regarding the talent pool are dead on the target and this is a HUGE problem and I think it’s one of the key reasons for the negligible growth of the city as well as the reason so many companies essentially abandoned the area. If you go back and read the articles from all the companies that left WS, the reasons that are consistently recounted are the lack of a talent pool and as a consequence the difficulty recruiting the type of people a company needs to grow their respective organizations. These aren’t my word’s, they are directly from the executives of the companies that left the area. The good news is we have a strong medical talent pool since we have the two large medical organizations located here. The bad news is that we have two large medical organizations located here that provide almost all the jobs in the city. Why is this bad news? We are now almost totally dependent on what happens in the medical industry and specifically what happens to Novant and WFUMC and WFUSM. Keep in mind the big players in the “tech” industry are quite literally hell-bent on disrupting the health care system in this country. Apple, Google, Amazon, et.al. and a host of other tech companies and start-up’s want to completely dismantle the current medical industry structure and rebuild it from the ground up. I’m convinced the next 10-20 years will bring massive and disruptive change in the healthcare sector especially via the use of artificial intelligence and new technologies that were unimaginable only a few years ago. Is this city positioned to benefit from and/or leverage all this change? WFIRM has the potential to be a unique part of the healthcare business of the future. But, they must start commercializing their discoveries in the relatively near future or someone else will get there first. Dr Atala has specifically stated in several interviews that their weakness isn’t discovery, it’s commercialization. I hope Atrium has a plan is to fix this. Discovery and commercialization are both essential for success. Duke’s massive research organization is structured to address both parts of the equation and that’s why they’re so successful bringing in the money.

Also, as Possum was talking about in his most recent post, the city absolutely must start diversifying the economic base now! If you’re a young person and you’re not interested in the medical business, there’s really not much opportunity here (again because of the labor pool and the lack of non-medical businesses). However, once again, to build a base of new business sectors, the city will have to “import” talent for any manufacturing/technology companies willing to move here and that’s a problem. 21st century manufacturing is dramatically different than it was only 10-15 years ago. These facilities need almost all of their people trained to use highly specialized equipment which requires technical skills, systems engineering, computer science skills, other engineering disciplines like mechanical, electrical, chemical engineering, industrial systems, statistics and artificial intelligence etc. For all practical purposes, Winston has almost no labor pool in these skill areas! As a result, any new company considering locating here not only has to recruit almost all these people but then they have to convince them to move to Winston Salem. Last week I took a look at the openings for Cook medical. When I looked, they had 18 job openings and 6 of them were engineers and all but one of the openings will have to be someone who can be trained with very specific technical skills. If you think for a minute about Boom, Toyota, and VinFast and their associated support companies, they will literally require thousands of engineers of all the various disciplines and thousands of people who have the intelligence and capability to be trained with very specific specialized technical skills. This is exactly why they located where they did (i.e. their locations put them in the RTP “orbit” to access the talent they will need). Again, Winston effectively has a very minimal labor pool for these types of jobs. A while back, I looked at the technical people employed by Honda Jet. Almost all of them came from top tier engineering schools including NC State, Duke, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Cornell, or from universities outside the US and Honda Jet also has an internship program with NC State and Georgia Tech to develop the type of talent they need to grow their company. When was the last time you read an article praising the city because it was working diligently to build/grow the STEM talent pool here? Another example: the organization PENC (Professional Engineers of NC - it’s similar to the Bar exam except for engineers) used to have a specific Winston Salem chapter because of the sheer number of engineers located in the city (ATT had 2 facilities in the city with almost 1000 engineers and there were other companies with many engineers). There were always large turnouts for the meetings and seminars. That chapter has been dissolved now because of lack of engineering jobs in the city and it’s now part of the “Northern Piedmont” chapter. As a suggestion, I wish NCSU would establish a satellite campus at WSSU so we could start a satellite engineering program here in Winston Salem. If Wake Forest can do this in Charlotte, why can’t NCSU do this here with WSSU? Our neighbor city to the east has A&T who is aggressively expanding their engineering offerings and we just don’t offer anything here. WSSU has been expanding their computer/systems design offerings which is great, but they don’t currently offer any engineering degrees. This is just another piece of the puzzle that’s missing for Winston Salem. It’s interesting to note that the Wake Forest school of engineering is taking a non-traditional approach. From their website: “Established in 2017, Wake Forest’s engineering program folds the humanities and social sciences into the engineering curriculum”. Wake calls these graduates “liberal arts engineers”. This is a very cool program and from reading about the graduates, essentially all of them leave the city because there are no jobs/companies here who can provide them an opportunity to use this new type of approach to educating engineers. The other issue with this program is (take Boom, Toyota, or VinFast for example) solving the highly technical problems of aircraft/electric autos/battery design ets., you need very specific math, physics, solids and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electronics design expertise etc., to work on these problems. Wakes engineering students will have to go to through a traditional engineering program to learn these highly technical disciplines if they want to work in these areas. So the vast majority of these new engineering jobs for the new companies must come from traditional engineering schools. The only area in the state that provides a significant labor pool with these skills is the RTP area and Charlotte is slowly building a talent pool in technical skills. This is also true for AI and machine learning talent that will also be employed by these companies.

When you build something (anything), you must start with the foundation. One huge/essential brick in the foundation is our labor pool and I think we must immediately get to work on building a STEM pool. I have always felt like it’s one of the primary reasons we have had such a difficult time recruiting companies and especially “non-medical” companies. I just don’t understand how the city can miss something so basic. It utterly boggles my mind why the city can ignore this issue. We can’t be a city of innovation without a very strong base of people who have a STEM background. It simply won’t happen. Why would any company (outside the immediate area) move here if they have to basically “import and/or relocate” their entire management/technical workforce and when they need to hire additional employees, they have to go outside the area to fill the positions. I honestly can’t think of any reason that makes sense with the exception related to the specific expertise that WFIRM has to offer. WFIRM can definitely help the city and it has significant potential. However, that statement is only true if they commercialize something that lights up the press around the world and then starts to pull more money into the city. At this point in time any business outside of the regenerative medicine discipline has no compelling reason to be here. If we say we offer a low cost of living, that just places us in direct competition with (only!) a few hundred other small/medium cities around the country/world with the only benefit being cost of living. The city recruitment group needs to figure out a new approach to entice companies to move here since “cost of living” alone is no longer a compelling reason to locate anywhere. There are so many other cities that also have this very same benefit and many with much better geographic locations and entertainment options. Yes, the atmosphere and amenities have substantially improved in the city in the last few years. But we’re still in a “catch up” mode. I have asked myself this simple question many times: “if I was a young, highly motivated, and intelligent person who was determined to build a company or help shape the future in some way, exactly why would I move to Winston Salem?”. If the city can’t provide entrepreneurs and businesses with a clear compelling answer (beyond the cost of living) to this simple question, then we are going to continue to struggle. Winston Salem desperately needs a “big win” that can bring a refreshed media focus on the city and what it has to offer. Every time I read the business news, I desperately hope to see a new major announcement that will give us the “big win” we need. I honestly sometimes wonder if the state has simply given up on recruiting for Winston Salem. This is my personal opinion, but I think the most significant issue is that we don’t have the right leadership in the areas responsible for recruiting for the city. We need a whole new group of young, motivated, intelligent leaders who understand what a city of the future should be and how to build a city that caters to the needs of the next generation. If we could build a team with those qualifications, then I think we have a real shot at becoming a great place to live.


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