Economic Development

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Home: the place that forms us, makes us, gives us our first opportunities, and supports us as we soar. “Home” for Old Dominion Freight Line has been High Point since 1962. And since 1962, we’ve watched our home shift, change, evolve, struggle, overcome, and grow in ways we never would have imagined sixty years ago.

It’s no secret to a watching, outside world, that High Point was on a decline. But when the home you love is in trouble, you don’t simply agree with the world and concede; you roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s why the Congdon Foundation, led by our president David Congdon, joined with other private investors to back The Catalyst Project, a project designed to transform High Point’s downtown landscape and economic impact.

Alongside other investments in economic development, the Congdon Foundation has invested more than $40 million into Congdon Yards, the new corporate and coworking space in High Point’s downtown.

After purchasing the historic Adams Millis Hosiery Mill in 2018, the Congdon Foundation worked closely with Business High Point to transform the space into the campus of Congdon Yards. That campus now includes: event space at The Lofts, office space in Plant 7 and The Factory, co-working and communal space in The Commons, a small-scale manufacturing space at The Generator, and fine-dining at Earl’s Landing.

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The goal? To craft a unique, “third space” in High Point that would not only foster economic growth in the region, but would also demonstrate our family’s dedication to growing a thriving, healthy, engaged community in our hometown.

Congdon Yards, which is now operated under the expert leadership of Business High Point - Chamber of Commerce, has been foundational to the continued success of private development in the downtown area. Stock+Grain Assembly, High Point’s new food hall, has opened on the property beside Congdon Yards. Additionally, many small businesses have blossomed on nearby Church Avenue in the growing downtown Social District.

“For the first time, I'm seeing all the private developers sitting down and talking. And that hasn't always been the case,” expresses Rachel Collins, Chief Executive Officer of Business High Point. “Every player who has come to the table, small and large, has sat down in the same room and showed his or her cards and said, ‘How can we work together?’

That’s why each tenant in Congdon Yards, each dollar invested, and each brick laid was driven by the strategy to build a “critical mass” in this new High Point downtown. And how does this investment play out within the economic landscape of High Point?

To date, Congdon Yards boasts being home to more than 300 full-time employees and 50 tenants, including both businesses and nonprofits. It drives event traffic to the region, and garners the city national attention with its small-scale manufacturing center that supports sustainable, scalable business models.

Since the opening of Congdon Yards in 2020, more than $200 million in economic development has taken place in the immediate area, yielding more than 740 full-time jobs and more than 360 part-time jobs.

But beyond the campus of Congdon Yards, the generosity of the Congdon Foundation demonstrates belief.

“While we love seeing the tangible growth in High Point through the renovation of these buildings, the bigger impact is what takes place inside of them,” says Executive Director of the Congdon Foundation Megan Oglesby. “The heart of this campus is the people who are building their businesses here, and especially, the people who are helping others do their work better. We made this physical investment so that others can invest in their dreams to start, scale, and grow their businesses.”

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The programs started by Business High Point now taking place on the Congdon Yards campus include opportunities such as Thrive High Point, a minority entrepreneurship initiative, and The Interchange, an initiative that helps participants develop premier entrepreneurial, innovation, and leadership skills.

“It’s programs like these that demonstrate Congdon Yards is much more than a physical campus,” Oglesby concludes. “It’s a place where people are equipped to build the businesses that build our community.”


Read more about our Economic Development Grantees

"When you’re helped out,
it inspires you to help others."

EMILY CAROTHERS, Earl and Kitty Congdon Old Dominion Freight Line Scholarship Recipient

"Compassion is taking action. It’s not being satisfied with the status quo."

Carl Vierling, Greater High Point Food Alliance
Executive Director

"We’re creating our own ecosystem that is poised to turn our home into the “high point” of our state once more."

Rachel Collins, Business High Point

"All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God."

Deuteronomy 16:17

"Our board is deeply involved in High Point. Their commitment to the city is evident in their desire for the foundation to form real partnerships with our grant recipients, so that we can support them to grow their impact."

Rev. Dr. Joe Blosser,
Chief Impact Officer