Industrial Growth Analysis

In July 2004 WPCOG GIS/Data Center in association with the Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board completed the first Western Piedmont Industry Growth Analysis (IGA) for the Greater Hickory Metro area. The most recent Western Piedmont Industry Growth Analysis update was completed in 2014 (The next update is currently scheduled to be completed in 2017 or 2018).  The IGA is divided into two portions: 1) an industry analysis of the region and 2) a higher education curriculum analysis. 


The report examines all existing goods-producing and service-producing sectors through written analysis, charts and tables. The report identifies industries paying above the average regional wage and expected to grow nationally the next 10 years. These “most-favored” sectors should become the focus of economic development efforts in the Greater Hickory Metro. Conversely, sectors that pay below the average and/or are expected to decline over the next seven years are not considered economic development targets.  The analysis also groups individual sectors into “industries,” and then provides an analysis of each major goods-producing and service industry in the Hickory Metro. The second part of the Western Piedmont Industry Growth Analysis (the education portion) evaluates the training programs within the region needed to prepare local workers for employment in the “most-favored” sectors.


The next industry growth analysis will be completed in Summer 2021 as part of the State of the Workforce Report. For additional information please contact WPCOG Senior Data Analyst/GIS Manager, Taylor Dellinger 828.485.4233 or

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The Western Piedmont Council of Governments shall serve all local government members in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties with professional, cost-effective assistance on a variety of local, regional, state and federal issues and programs.

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Telephone: ​828.322.9191

Fax: 828.322.5991

Mailing: P.O. Box 9026 | Hickory, NC 28603
Location: 1880 2nd Avenue NW
Hickory, NC 28601

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