McDowell Economic Development Association, Inc.


Aerial of the McDowell County Universal Property
Aerial of the McDowell County Universal Property


The UMAC project initiated with the purchase of the 398,000 square foot Universal Building in 2012. The building purchase included over 365 +/- acres of property that is contiguous to McDowell Technical Community College.  The Community College was in significant need of additional instructional and office space and was land-locked with little growth opportunity for new construction.  McDowell County paid $2,650,000 for the property.


The relocation of the training programs into the consolidated 50,000 square feet of space created 22,000 square feet of “new” space on the main college campus.  The additional space on the main campus will enable the college and the public school system to expand the Early College program for the current 200 students to approximately 300 students.  This program has produced unparalleled results with no high school drop-outs taking place in the 2015-16 school year.


The collaboration between the Public Schools and the Community College involves existing industry and provides early exposure to Middle School students of the value of careers in manufacturing.