As part of National Economic Development Week, the Greenville Eastern North Carolina (ENC) Alliance is celebrating the experienced economic developers in our community. These professionals are committed to bringing economic prosperity and growth to the Greenville, Pitt County, and eastern North Carolina areas.
With more than 14 years of experience in economic development, Uconda Dunn is a vice president of business development at the Greenville ENC Alliance. Uconda works closely with site selectors and industries in attraction and expansion efforts. In the past year, she led the efforts on expansion projects for World Cat and Grover Gaming. In a Q&A style blog, Uconda shares details about her economic development journey and why she is passionate about facilitating economic growth.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in economic development?
A: Prior to starting a career in economic development, I was in workforce development. I really loved working with companies to find opportunities for the underemployed or unemployed. I felt that if I were in economic development, I would be at the forefront of business attraction and could work closely with companies that would make an impact on the people in my community.
Q: What is your most memorable project or accomplishment?
A: In 2010, I worked on a major project for Siemens in Charlotte, NC. The project was an expansion of their gas turbine manufacturing which required federal and state regulatory changes. This was my first time working with all levels of government on a project. We secured the project in North Carolina which added 825 new jobs and a capital investment of $170 million.
Q: How did you get to your current position?
A: Even though I’m from the Tarboro area, I’ve lived throughout North Carolina and Virginia for career opportunities. My family relocated to North Carolina in the summer of 2019 for my husband’s job with Vidant Health. I heard that a new public-private partnership was being created in Greenville and I was excited by the opportunity to work with a new organization. I spoke to a few people in the community about how the organization will be structured and found myself wanted even more to be a part of this new initiative.
Q: What is your favorite part about working in economic development in Pitt County?
A: The challenges. We are in a community that has not focused on “what’s next” when it comes to our product development. We are having to move swiftly to create product to stay viable in recruitment. Due to the changes in the way COVID-19 has affected our business, now is good time to bring construction of shell buildings that fit the shift in demand for size and location.
Q: What do you want the community to know about economic development and your work?
A: The true reward of economic development is creating new jobs for our citizens that allow them to use their skills to support their families. We have so much untapped talent here in eastern North Carolina. It’s my job to make sure that industries around the world know our area is thriving with a strong workforce, incredible community, and great quality of life.
Join the Greenville ENC Alliance in celebrating #EconDevWeek on social media by following the handle @GreenvilleENCA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,YouTube, and LinkedIn. Local economic developer profiles will be added each day online at www.encalliance.com/news. To learn more about National Economic Development Week hosted by the International Economic Development Council, visit the organization online at www.iedconline.org/edw.
Media Relations Contact: Maria Satira
Director of Marketing and Communications
Greenville - Eastern North Carolina Alliance