HICKORY, NC – The Catawba County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has announced Nathan Huret has been promoted to Economic Development Director, a newly created role in the company.
In his new position, Mr. Huret will assume increased responsibilities in new business recruitment, targeted marketing, and lead generation, while continuing to oversee the EDC’s existing industry retention and expansion program.
Mr. Huret was hired by the EDC in 2007 as Existing Industry Coordinator and played a leading role in developing the Manufactured in NC website in partnership with the NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions. Mr. Huret left the EDC and worked for the NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions from December 2013 to May 2015 where he managed daily operations and strategic direction for the organization’s efforts to build brand and solutions awareness among manufacturers in all 100 North Carolina counties. Mr. Huret then returned to the EDC, resuming his role in assisting Catawba County’s existing industries, and received his certification as a Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council in 2020. Mr. Huret received his Bachelor degree in Economics and International Studies from Elon University and his Masters in Economics from Vanderbilt University.
As the labor market began tightening, Mr. Huret led the effort to create HKY4Vets, an initiative to connect military personnel separating from service at North Carolina’s military bases to employers in Catawba County. Mr. Huret worked closely with the county’s existing industries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to keep them informed and connect them to resources that would allow them to survive the initial difficulties and find new opportunities to thrive. As companies expressed the need for up-to-date information on local wages and benefits in the constantly changing labor market, Mr. Huret designed a comprehensive wage and benefit survey for Catawba County manufacturers that has been helped the participants determine best practices so they may remain competitive in attracting and retaining talent.
Additionally, Mick Berry, retired Catawba County Manager, will take on a new part-time role with the EDC as Development Manager. Mr. Berry will be responsible for uncovering and facilitating the development of new sites and business park opportunities throughout the county. Mr. Berry’s experience as county manager and his participation in developing sites, including Hickory’s Trivium Corporate Center from a former dairy farm to a thriving business park will enable him to help the EDC develop product to remain competitive in providing quality sites and new business parks for Catawba County’s new and expanding industries.
Scott Millar, President of the Catawba County EDC, said “The County and its municipalities will all benefit from these two involved and invested men taking on increasingly important economic development roles with the EDC.” He continued, “Mr. Huret and Mr. Berry are no strangers to our processes and will help develop sites, business opportunities, and drive investment that will benefit every citizen in Catawba County through new and expanded industries and business parks and sites.”
The Catawba County EDC was formed in 1978 to build a diversified economic base throughout Catawba County by recruiting new business and industry, by retaining existing business and industry and helping them grow, and by fostering the creation of jobs. Since 1978 the EDC has assisted in the creation of over 28,500 jobs and over $7.9 billion in investment in Catawba County. In the last ten fiscal years (July 2012 – June 2021), the EDC has assisted in the creation of over 5,300 jobs and $3.6 billion of investment.