It's a problem that's been plaguing Wilmington for years: talented college graduates leaving the area because they can't find jobs here, Brett Martin told a group of local dignitaries Friday morning.
The CEO of Castle Branch, a company that conducts background checks, was leading a tour of his firm's new digs on Sir Tyler Drive.
The company is using its new 100,000 square foot offices to recruit talent from tech hot spots light Austin and Boston.
"Wilmington's a great place. It's a beach town. It's a relaxed town," Martin said. "We want to bring that same Wilmington flair into the workforce. Our current dress code is ‘wear clothes.' That's what work should be like in Wilmington."
It's not just the dress code that sets Castle Branch apart. There's the state-of-art fitness center, complete with indoor Astro turf. And the company is bringing in a food truck to serve employees breakfast and lunch. Plus, an on-site garden is in the works to provide fresh produce.
"In the next week and a half, there will be $50,000 of brewing equipment coming," Martin said. "So we will be able to brew our own beer."
N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said the amenities will appeal to young workers who place a high value on quality of life.
"I think one of the things these guys are modeling – and we're seeing this all over the state – is investment in the quality of the work experience, and that matters," Decker said. "It matters in attracting workers, and it matters in retaining them."
The aim of the facility isn't just to appeal to workers, but also to entrepreneurs.
The Castle Branch headquarters is also home to a new business incubator called TekMountain that will support up-start companies, mainly related to technology and healthcare.
"We're not in the office renting business. We're not looking to make money renting," Martin said. "We're looking to find the right technology companies and the right technology professionals. Because when we mix them together, that's when good things happen."
Castle Branch plans to start accepting applications from start-up companies in late July.
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