This morning, I attended the TBJ Power Breakfast, featuring NC Secretary Commerce Sharon Decker.
Secretary Decker discussed her perspective on economic development, and laid out the plans for the new public private partnership for the Commerce Department, which will be focused more on assisting local companies, along with continuing efforts to recruit new business to our state. Her goals are to increase net jobs in the state, have hi
Secretary Decker discussed the challeges our rural regions of the state face, and the lack of skilled talent in the areas of manufacturing, which makes it hard for these areas to bring in new companies. Skill development and workforce training will be very important areas of the administration. (How will they do this if they cut Comm College funding>)
Secretary laid out the five tenets of economic development:
1) Health 2) Economic Development 3) Infrastructure and Logistics 4) Tourism and the arts and 5) Quality of Life
SHe intends to focus on these areas and is still concerend about our competitiveness for recruitment due to our tax system, which will be unergoing reform, once the General Assembly passes the tax reform bill.
Finally, I asked a question on what she plans to do regarding the lack of Capital in our region and state, and she made my day, when she said that the Governor and her, have met with VC leaders and investors to discuss, the idea of a state venure fund, which would encourage investors to invest in North Carolina companies. She agreed with me that this is a problem and was excited about our efforts in Morrisville to drive more start up and small business growth.
THanks for a great meeting and I do look forward to meeting her again and sharing more ideas with her. Pictured her speaking to one of her staff after I met her.by