The loss of Dell Inc. has caused the Winston-Salem MSA (consisting of Davie, Forsyth, Stokes and Yadkin counties) to slip to 164 up only 1 place versus it's ranking in 2003 at 165 in the Milken Institute rankings of top performing technology metro areas. In more recent years, Winston-Salem climbed all the way to 92nd place reflecting economic growth and the Dell plant at its peak in 2009. High unemployment also contributed to Winston-Salem's lower rankings according to the Milken Institute.
"This year's ranking clearly reflects the loss of the Dell jobs", says Gayle Anderson, president of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. However, Anderson anticipates improved rankings as a result of Caterpillar and continued growth in the Research Park. See story.