FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently announced that the Fayetteville metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has been expanded to include Harnett County. Originally comprised of Cumberland and Hoke Counties, this change has increased the total Fayetteville MSA population to 526,719, up by nearly 30%. According to the U.S Census, Fayetteville is now ranked as the 108th largest MSA in the U.S.
"Cumberland County plays a central role in southeast North Carolina. We are home to three major universities and a community college system, home to Fort Bragg, the largest military installation in the world, and home to the Woodpeckers, a Houston Astros affiliated Class A Advanced baseball team," said Mayor Mitch Colvin, City of Fayetteville. "We also have a solid workforce in our region, with much to offer those businesses that might choose to come to this region. As the sixth largest city in the state, there is a deep connection between Fayetteville and the neighboring counties through commerce, employment, healthcare and leisure activities."
Large companies often consider MSA size and workforce numbers in the search for a new location. These factors are key in the early stages of site selection, and for Fayetteville, this change reinforces our role as a commerce center. Located on the I-95 corridor, this new data illustrates that Cumberland County is drawing workers from up to an hour away.
"Fayetteville's MSA expansion will increase competitiveness for economic development projects and enhance the marketing and promotion of the region," said Andrew Pennink, Chairman of FCEDC. "The city and county regularly compete against larger MSAs when recruiting businesses that are looking to expand or relocate. This change will more accurately reflect our community's size and it increases our chances of success."
An MSA is a geographical zone with an urban center of 50,000 residents or more, that has close economic ties throughout the adjacent counties. The OMB determines MSA size and mandates that each member county show 25% more of economic integration with the urban center. Increasing an MSA size can position a community to receive additional federal funding, increase the amount of economic information developed by private and non-profit statistical agencies, and raise the visibility for national or multi-state site selection searches.
"We believe Cumberland County draws in more people than shown, and we are proactively participating in the protocol development for the next recalculation," said Marshall Faircloth, Chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. "We are asking all people in Cumberland County and neighboring regions to submit their responses to the 2020 Census as soon as possible. This information will help position us for future growth."
For more information on MSAs and how they are calculated, visit fayedc.biz/msa.
ABOUT FCEDC: The Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC) is a public-private partnership dedicated to facilitating business projects, increasing employment, supporting existing industry, and preparing sites for expedited development in Fayetteville and Cumberland County, NC. Learn more at www.fayedc.com.
SOURCE Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation