UNCP Joins Partners
in COMtech Groundbreaking
Mike McIntyre praised the teamwork of local elected officials, educators
and businesses during the September 30 groundbreaking ceremonies for
The Carolina Commerce and Technology
Center, or COMtech.
"Today we are
standing together in unity. Today we are moving forward for Robeson
County," Congressman McIntyre said. "My dream is to see this
kind of unity."
Thanking those who
"dared to invent," the Congressman from Lumberton praised
the high-tech education and industry site as a magnet for new investment.
took place just off the unpaved roads of the 600-acre project that already
counts four tenants. It is located off N.C. 711 between Pembroke and
The federal government
has contributed $2.3 million to the project, including $434,000 in grants
and loans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture presented the check for
the construction of COMtech headquarters during the ceremony.
UNC Pembroke's Regional
Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development and
a Robeson Community College center for continuing education will break
ground this fall. Two businesses have committed to purchase land for
construction, and UNCP is seeking funds to construct a biotechnology
lab at the site.
The business and
training project will provide technology-focused education and training
to attract, incubate and support business and industry for the purpose
of stimulating significant economic development.
Four students from
Robeson County were selected to help with the ceremony to represent
the region as a whole. Garret Locklear of Purnell Swett High School,
Towanda Taylor of Fairmont Middle School, Beatrice Rivas of Peterson
Elementary and Hutch Eckerson of Lumberton High School.
Ronnie Hunt, chair
of the COMtech board and general manager of Lumbee River EMC, said it
was a historic moment that will "open the door for growth and development
of the area."
"I am reminded
of the day in 1940 when the Electric Membership Cooperative turned the
lights on in rural Robeson County," Mr. Hunt said. "Like that
event, we are here to help improve the economics, education and living
conditions of our community."
Johnny Hunt, chair
of the Robeson County Board of Commissioners, said the park "is
a vision .. that in years to come, the N.C. 711 corridor will be filled
with businesses up and down this road."
Tony Norman, CEO
of COMtech said the park has made good on its promise to have two taxpaying
tenants committed before the end of the year.
"We have not
really started yet," he said.
For more information,
or call 910.522.9944.
to University Newswire