On January 26, 2012 Governor Perdue announced that Gunboat Company, a maker of high-end sailboats, would be locating in the Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park in Dare County. It was projected that Gunboat would create 71 jobs and invest more than $1.8 million over the next three years in Wanchese.
On a local level, this Economic Development project was led by Bob Peele, Director of the Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park, and Tim Ivey, Department of Commerce Economic Development Representative – Northeast Regional Office. There were multiple factors which contributed to the success of this project – one of which was the efforts of the team that Bob Peele and Tim Ivey put together to work with Gunboat. They brought in a number of different agencies to work with Gunboat including the College of the Albemarle, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, NCSU’s Industrial Extension Service and the Northeastern Workforce Development Board (NWDB). Each of these agencies contributed to the success of this project in different ways.
NWDB met with Gunboat before they moved into the Industrial Park. NWDB’s Business Services staff, along with Adult/Dislocated Worker staff, met with Gunboat CEO, Peter Johnstone, and members of his management team. This initial meeting focused on services offered by NWDB, specifically the On-the-Job Training (OJT) program, and how NWDB would work with Gunboat to ensure the company’s success once they moved into the Industrial Park.
As Gunboat was ready to start their initial round of hiring, NWDB worked closely with Dare County JobLink staff to help recruit and screen potential candidates. As a result, 13 candidates were hired through the Dare County JobLink center. One of these new employees was placed in an OJT contract – providing over $6,000 in training reimbursement to Gunboat.
Phillip Harvey, Gunboat General Manager, stated “NWDB and the OJT program have been instrumental in helping Gunboat NC select our labor base. NWDB’s professional approach in assisting with the selection of our staff has been fundamental to the strong team we have working at Gunboat. We look forward to a long and meaningful association.”