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Economic development consultant answering questions from citizens during program Tuesday at Catawba

Staff report
The Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission is encouraging citizens to submit questions they would like to see site selection consultant Mark Sweeney cover Tuesday in his special program at Catawba College, “Prepared Communities Win.”
The questions, touching any facet of economic development, can be sent to info@rowanedc.com or called into the EDC office at 704-637-5526. Questions should be submitted by Friday.
Tuesday’s appearance by Sweeney is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. People interested should contact Bettina Dickert at 704-637-5526 or e-mail her at dickertb@rowanedc.com to give the EDC an idea of how many people to expect.
Sweeney, a senior principal in McCallum Sweeney Consulting of Greenville, S.C., will present a program at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Tom E. Smith Auditorium in Ketner Hall on the Catawba College campus.
Refreshments will be offered beginning at 5:30 that night.
The presentation will last from 6 to 7:15 p.m., with “networking” to follow until 8 p.m.
“Prepared Communities Win” will provide an overview of the industrial site selection process and key criteria involved in location decisions. It also will provide examples of how communities can compete more effectively to secure new jobs and taxable investment.
Robert Van Geons, executive director of the local EDC, said numerous case studies will be cited, and the audience will have time for questions.
Sweeney also will be staying in Salisbury Wednesday and meeting with local officials.
Sponsors for Sweeney’s program include the Ketner School of Business at Catawba College, the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, RowanWorks and Centralina Workforce Development.
Sweeney’s company provides site selection services and economic development consulting to companies and organizations worldwide.
Recent clients of the company have included LM Glasfiber, PACCAR, Berg Pipe, Cytec Materials, Oreck, Nissan and Michelin.
His 2005 involvement with Nissan dealt with the company’s headquarters relocation from Los Angeles to Nashville, Tenn.
He has conducted siting projects throughout most of the United States and in Europe and Asia.
His economic development clients have included Duke Energy, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Southern California Edison and the states of Oklahoma and Tennessee.
He spent more than five years with the S.C. Department of Commerce, serving as director of research and communication. Sweeney has a master’s degree in education from Clemson University and a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University.

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