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Power-Gen convention attracts economic developers from Charlotte region

03 December 2014

By Ken Elkins, Charlotte Business Journal

A group of economic developers from the Charlotte region is headed to a huge power-generation convention in Orlando, Fla., with the hopes of boosting the Carolinas' importance to energy companies.

The Power-Gen International conference is expected to attract 22,000 conventioneers. The event will be held Dec. 9-11 at the Orange County Convention Center.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership will have a six-person delegation from this area at Power-Gen:


  • Vanessa Goeschl, senior vice president of marketing and research at the partnership
  • Kati Hynes, vice president of economic development at the Charlotte Chamber.
  • Josh Hallingse, project director at the partnership.
  • Chris Platé, executive director of Monroe Union County Economic Development.
  • Michael Smith, executive director of Statesville Regional Development.
  • Paul Stratos, director of the Stanly County Economic Development Commission.


Smith says he's always on the lookout for power-related companies that want to bring jobs and investment to northern Iredell County.

"We hope to strengthen existing relationships with existing companies that will be there, like Doosan from Statesville, and certainly develop connections with new companies looking to expand into our market," he says.

Hallingse says the region already has a large contingent of companies involved in power generation and other energy fields.

"We have a really vibrant energy sector with more than 260 companies and close to 28,000 employees," he says.

The partnership also counts 10,000 engineers in the region who could be used as a labor pool for companies opening operations in the area.

Platé says a glance at the region's industrial guide doesn't reveal all companies with connections to power generation.

"We have Colfax that produces pumps for the oil and gas industry as well as many other things," he says.

Platé says he will also visit the booths of companies that already have facilities in Union County. Among those are UTC Aerospace Systems and Mistras Group Inc.

The six Charlotte-area business recruiters also will have a Charlotte Regional Partnership booth at Power-Gen International.

Smith and Platé say the partnership has done an excellent job in planning the trip. Smith says that should help the group "maximize our time at this important event."

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