PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Earlier this month, Pender County learned it would be losing hundreds of jobs, but leaders say the county is moving forward.
Leaders talked about the challenges they face and their plans to overcome them Thursday in the first ever State of the County Address.
"It will take energies to move this county forward in this economy," said chairman Jimmy Tate.
The slow economy was the number one issue addressed Thursday night, and officials said Pender County will avoid a tax increase.
County commissioner were able to cut the budget by almost 4% from 2008, but they still have to fund projects essential for growth - like a new water plant and a plan to run sewer lines along Highway 421.
Commissioners are talking with several companies about bringing more than 350 jobs to the county, which could help offset more than 500 jobs that are leaving when Coty closes shop next year.
While bit announcements are great, State Senator R.C. Soles said Pender County is working on smaller initiatives as well.
"If you look, the statistics say that the most jobs are created in the state of North Carolina by expanding local industry and local jobs and entrepreneurship," said Soles. "So, we want to remember the small business person and help them grow their business."
Pender County Commissioners say the new jobs should be available by the end of this year.
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