North Carolina People, Places, and Things-October 21
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.
If you drive from Raleigh to Durham on I-40 you pass thru Research Triangle Park (RTP).
During the mid-1950s, business leaders and UNC President Bill Friday worried about North Carolina’s economic future and planned how to attract modern industries to the Tar Heel State.
UNC Bill Friday -photo from the late 1950’s
They decided that RTP should be a private endeavor, with cooperation from the universities, instead of being a government-sponsored action. Research Triangle Park (RTP) was their brainchild, and it later became one of the top five research centers in the United States.
Developers had to overcome a few problems. Leaders worked to rehabilitate the state’s image to attract companies (and their employees) from across the nation. One, the rest of the nation watched and read news reports detailing the Civil Rights Movement. Two, developers had to convince prospective companies that the South was capable of handling such a research park.
Today economic developers and tourism promoters in North Carolina are faced with the same questions about the state’s poor image in part to HB2. I hope that 60 years from now another collaborative group of people in North Carolina will come together to overcome that challenge of our current image. I am confident it will happen.