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Officials: More competition will make RTP 'stronger'

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Courtesy of the Research Triangle Foundation Courtesy of the Research Triangle Foundation
A map showing the master plan of Chatham Park. A map showing the master plan of Chatham Park.
DURHAM, N.C. -

"Collabortition" was the word of the day at Thursday's annual State of the Research Triangle Region presentation.

"The whole event today was talking about collaboration and competition," Research Triangle Partnership President Charles Hayes explained. "We merged those two words to form a new word: Collabortition."

"Collabortition" is derived from the premise that working together but still competing will spark growth.

Along with the current Research Triangle Park, the Research Triangle Partnership oversees a region of 13 counties in a 60-mile radius of RDU that Hayes describes as "one of the premiere, most exciting, best regions on planet Earth."

One of the newest entries into the Partnership is Chatham Park, a 7,000-acre live-where-you-work technology park in Pittsboro that developers hope will attract thousands of people to that part of Chatham County.

That Chatham County development would be just one more reason for new businesses to come to North Carolina.

With Chatham Park, Hayes says he hopes the live-where-you-work community brings competition "because we think that makes everybody stronger."

"I think it would bring good jobs. That gives a higher tax base to grow things and a better disposable income to support small business in downtown," resident Nick Beaulieu said.

During Thursday's presentation, Hayes also pointed to the positive job growth experienced in the region in a post-recession economy. The area has experienced a drop in unemployment from 8.1 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent by the end of March of this year.

"We still gained 62,000 net new jobs in this region," Hayes said.

Hayes says Wake County is expected to add 400,000 people over the next 20 years. That's a 47 percent increase.

Census numbers show the Research Triangle Region has a population of 2.1 million people.

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