Blistering NC job growth sharpens focus on infrastructure, housing

Blistering NC job growth sharpens focus on infrastructure, housing

Apple. Google. Facebook. Nike. Big-name companies keep choosing North Carolina as home to new facilities, putting the state on the path to blistering job growth in the coming years.

And those famous names are just the beginning. Scores of other companies large and small are choosing the state as they grow, with new job announcements coming one after another. While many of these additions have been concentrated in the Triangle and the central part of North Carolina, coastal and mountain counties are reaping the benefits as well.

“The growth in housing in North Carolina is staggering … the people and businesses just keep coming,” said Brock Storrusten, WithersRavenel Vice President, Chief Private Sector Growth Officer and Director of Land Development. “Development for single-family homes leads the way, but those developments are being pushed out further from metropolitan centers and in smaller communities across the state due to land prices and regulatory challenges.”

The future growth that these announcements promise shines a spotlight on some existing issues that challenge communities: housing shortfalls and the need to expand or fix aging infrastructure.

COVID-19 can take some of the blame for North Carolina’s housing shortage. An already-robust housing market was briefly sidelined as companies put the brakes on the development at the beginning of the pandemic. While builders took a wait-and-see approach, a limited housing supply shrunk further. Now, as builders and developers kick into high gear, twin issues of increasing material costs and labor shortages pose challenges.

For infrastructure, the recent American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act may provide a silver lining. One of the categories in the $1.9 trillion spending package ($9 billion for North Carolina, its counties and municipalities), is spending on infrastructure. The opportunity to improve water, sewer and broadband infrastructure can position our state for current growth and what lies ahead as more employers choose North Carolina.

What You Need to Know: Review Our American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Resources

“We need to utilize existing infrastructure as much as possible, but we need to come up with creative and community-wide financing options for additional regional infrastructure to be able to keep pace and actually move ahead to welcome the growth and opportunities for all,” Storrusten said.

As a multidisciplinary engineering firm, WithersRavenel can help public and private clients navigate all these issues and opportunities. We’re ready to work with you to maximize the benefits that North Carolina’s bright future holds.

  • If you are looking for assistance with water and sewer infrastructure projects, contact Director of Utilities Kevin Eason at (919) 238-0467 or keason@withersravenel.com.
  • For details on our housing capabilities, contact Vice President and Director of Land Development Brock Storrusten at (919) 535-5179 or bstorrusten@withersravenel.com.
  • For information on ARP funding possibilities for municipal governments, contact Vice President and Director of Funding & Asset Management Seth Robertson at (919) 238-0323 or srobertson@withersravenel.com.
  • And if you want to prepare a site for a potential employer, contact Vice President of Land Development Jason Bertoncino at (919) 535-5174 or jbertoncino@withersravenel.com.