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TechWorks Gaston set to transform our region

Aug 29, 2019 12:09PM

TechWorks executive director Terry Cox and Tim Owens with FacilityReserve enjoying a moment at one of the work stations. Photo by Alan Hodge

By Alan Hodge

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Few places in our area illustrates the past, present, and future of local business and technology as vividly as TechWorks of Gaston County.

Ironically located in a former cotton mill at 52A Ervin St. in Belmont, TechWorks is a pioneering nonprofit that opened last April and aims to be the tip of the spear in bringing state of the art information technology and business networking to Gaston County.

Terry Cox is executive director of Gaston Innovation Group, the organization that launched TechWorks in 2016.

“TechWorks is an entrepreneurial tech hub for the region focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, tech education and training, and advocacy for high speed internet for all,” Cox said. “TechWorks is a game changer for the county and will bring in-demand jobs and new opportunities creating economic growth for the county.”

TechWorks had a lot of help getting off the ground. According to Cox, the NC Dept. of Commerce chipped in $1 million, Gaston County added $1million, and the City of Belmont put in $200,000. Other help came from the David Belk Cannon Foundation, the Glenn Foundation, National Mills LLC, the Stowe Foundation, Alliance Bank, Duke Energy, Charlotte SIM, and the Greater Gaston Development Corp.

“TechWorks is a great representation of a public/private partnership,” said Cox. “It’s the only one of its kind in North Carolina.”

Highlighting the uniqueness of TechWorks is the physical space itself. The outside of the building is ordinary red brick from its textile days, but go inside and be prepared to be amazed.

The TechWorks interior space was created by Redline Design of Charlotte and blends cool stainless steel and glass with original hardwood  floors and other hints of cotton mill days. The 14,000 sq. ft interior is light and airy and features work rooms, meeting space, a lunchroom, open desk space, and quiet cubicles. Out back, there’s an expansive deck. 

Firms or folks can rent as much or as little space as they need and it comes with  gigabit fiber and state of the art AV connections.

“TechWorks provides a place a place for leaders, entrepreneurs, and students to collaborate, writing Gaston’s next chapter together as it leads the region forward in creating an entrepreneurial tech hub,” said Cox.

There’s more.  TechWorks  also offers leading certification programs as both a Certiport and Pearson VUE Authorized Testing Center, the first testing center in Gaston County. 

“TechWorks will develop a new generation of diverse tech leaders,” said Cox.

Overall, TechWorks Gaston is clearly the place to be for people looking to launch Gaston County into the 21st century and beyond.

“Our goal is to help tech start-ups and entrepreneurs strive in the region and help community members thrive in the tech talent pipeline,” said Cox.  “Together, we believe we can create a model for how an urban-rural county can become a hub for tech innovation, broadband expansion, and economic reinvention.”

To learn more about TechWorks Gaston visit techworksgaston.com or call Cox at 704-709-3543,