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Residents React to MAKO’s Economic Impact

May 21, 2020

From the clock tower on top of the historic Henderson Fire Station and Municipal Building, to the black lamp posts with hanging flower pots lining Main Street, Henderson, North Carolina is small-town America at its best.

Residents here have deep roots in the community, they also have open arms to both visitors and new businesses making Henderson home.  Three years ago MAKO Medical Laboratories set up shop in Henderson and helped breathe new economic life into the area.

“MAKO has been a godsend to this community,” said Archie Taylor, Vance County Commissioner. “Those of us who have been here a long time have seen a lot of growth in the area and a company like MAKO comes in and exposes our citizens to what’s going on in the modern 21st century.”

It hasn’t always been hot dogs and apple pie. Henderson has seen its share of struggles. “We had a decline from textile and tobacco and were hit like a lot of rural communities throughout North Carolina and the Southeast,” Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington said. That is the past.  Now, Mayor Ellington says residents are excited for what’s ahead.  “When we were able to partner with MAKO Medical – that’s giving people hope for the future.”

As MAKO Medical started operations in Henderson, the company needed everything from manpower to a fleet of vehicles.  “Over the last few years, MAKO has been a great boost for us. We’ve sold them more than 20 new vehicles which has been great for our economy,” said Russell Boyd, General Manager of Charles Boyd Chevrolet Buick GMC.  “The salaries are probably 50% above average around here, so not only is MAKO helping the people who are working there, but it’s helping the people with businesses because they have more money that they can spend to help the economy.”

Jeff Buchanan used to work for the company that vacated the building now used by MAKO Medical.  Buchanan is happy to back in that building, now as a vendor for the high-tech lab.  “They said they had a couple of machines to wire. A couple of machines turned into a complete rewire of the building and right now, we’re working on installing a 300 Kilowatt generator that will power the entire building.”

Buchanan is also doing electrical work for Sadie’s Coffee Corner in downtown Henderson.  A co-owner of Sadie’s, Dr. Stephen Pearson can see the community continue to grow and thrive with good jobs. “When kids grow up and they’re told their entire lives that there’s nothing in Henderson, they leave. When you have companies like MAKO that are obviously hiring hundreds of people out there at good salaries and a good wage – now there is opportunity and something for them to look forward to.”