N.C. Economic Development Board Releases Strategic Plan
N.C. Economic Development Board Releases Strategic Plan
The North Carolina Economic Development Board approved a 10-year strategic plan today that is designed to serve as a guide for economic growth and activities across the state.
“I want to thank John Lassiter, Jim Whitehurst and the rest of the Economic Development Board members for their hard work,” said Gov. Pat McCrory. “I asked the board to come up with a strategic plan that will direct our efforts at the state level and enable our state and local leaders to coordinate efforts to create jobs and improve the lives of all North Carolinians. We need to make the best use of our economic development resources as we continue our Carolina Comeback.”
The Economic Development Board has been meeting since July 2013 in various work groups to develop the strategic plan. In addition, N.C. Commerce Secretary Decker conducted a Listening Tour across the state and gathered input from more than 2,000 economic development professionals, business leaders and citizens through surveys and town meetings.
‘What’s presented today is the outcome of six months of hard work by government and business leaders who were all working toward the same goal of improving our economy and creating jobs for North Carolinians,” said John Lassiter, Chair of the EDB and President of Carolina Legal Staffing. “I want to thank all of our board members and Commerce staff that worked so diligently on this important effort.”
“We appreciate the trust and confidence the governor placed in us when we began this process,” said Jim Whitehurst, Vice-Chair of EDB and CEO of Red Hat. “We’re honored to present this report today and know it will serve as a roadmap for all economic growth, job creation and other related activities moving forward for the next ten years.”
The plan includes recommendations in the following areas:
· Targeted Clusters and Branding: North Carolina should nurture high-performing industries that have already committed to the state and focus on industry clusters that match the existing workforce with high return rates. The state should also develop an overarching brand for its products.
· Business Climate: Efforts are needed to measure and promote the improving tax climate in the state for relocating businesses. Broad scale regulatory reform can strengthen our competitive advantage and the creation of the ‘Office of Regulatory Reduction and Review’ can review outdated and redundant regulations that serve as a barrier to job creation and capital investments. Incentives play a role in competing across the nation but each tool must have a true return on the investment of public funds. The Business Courts should be expanded to speed up costly litigation and reduce time-consuming appeals.
· Innovation and Entrepreneurship: North Carolina’s colleges and universities need to become hubs for transferring technology and research to startup enterprises and commercial use. Tax credits are critical to encourage broad venture capital investment and small business services must be streamlined for easy access, providing one-stop services for information and resources.
· Talent and Retiree Attraction: North Carolina must establish its reputation as a destination for the creative class. University and community college curriculums need to be realigned to deliver the trained workforce required to support these new businesses. Retirees and second-career entrepreneurs should be recruited as they approach retirement and best practices will be shared between communities that can attract this talent pool. Similarly, North Carolina can lead the nation in attracting and retaining military retirees and returning veterans. This highly skilled and trained workforce has experience in advanced manufacturing and capacity for innovation.
· Education and Workforce Development: Our state can create a competitive advantage by enhancing Career and Technical Education with focus on STEM training for industry clusters like manufacturing, IT, Health Sciences and Agribusiness. Workforce development programs must integrate with secondary school curriculums and career development pathways.
· Rural Prosperity: Last mile broadband along with market connectivity between port, rail and highways can shrink the gap between rural and urban economic growth. Efforts to complete the supply chain between commodity production and a renewed effort toward energy exploration and generation will be job generators for the long term. Rural tourism and focus on “Micropolitan” regions will drive an inventory of assets and gap analysis.
· Community Development: The Block Grant program needs to be realigned to work in unison with the economic development initiatives and the current tier system needs review to maximize return on investment and allow streamlined efforts in areas of poverty within prosperous regions. Seed capital strategies can create partnerships for development of manufacturing and distribution facilities. Main Street efforts to rehabilitate buildings in smaller towns and programmatic sharing can strengthen the tools needed for a return on investment.
· Delivery of Services and Metrics: Though final metrics will depend on the elements of plan implantation; benchmarking net job growth, success in retention and recruiting and monitoring the outcomes for state and local investment are examples of the key methodology. Co-location of state resources by prosperity zones will speed up the delivery and access to business developers, planners and agencies like DOT and DENR critical for permit approvals.
The next steps for the plan include the development of an action matrix that will assign responsibility, estimate resource needs, build a timeline and define the metrics of success. The strategic plan will serve as the road map for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the Department of Commerce and the wide array of partners in the state focused on job creation and economic growth.
Tom Murry Files for House District 41
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Representative Tom Murry
February 23, 2014 Phone: (919) 824-5753
Representative Tom Murry Files for House District 41
Raleigh, NC- On Friday, February 28th, Representative Tom Murry officially filed for North Carolina House District 41, at the Wake County Board of Elections.
“It is official, I will be running again for House District 41,” said Murry, who is seeking a third term for District 41. “Every day, I wake up and go to work for the people of District 41, and North Carolina. My number one priority is growing our economy, creating jobs and moving our state forward.”
Murry, of Morrisville, has served in the North Carolina House since 2010. During his first two terms, he has lead efforts to reform how the state recruits new businesses, and lead the effort to reduce spending, cut taxes, and reduce burdensome regulations on businesses. Named one of the most effective freshman legislators in 2012, Tom has also looked for ways to reduce the amount of paper work teachers have to complete, and is currently working to make teacher pay more competitive.
“This campaign is about the people of District 41,” said Murry. “With all of the many issues facing our community – like the uncertainty created by Obamacare – the people who live in House District 41 can count on me to fight for them and make sure make their voice is heard in the North Carolina General Assembly. I look forward to engaging with the voters in District 41 for ideas and ways to make our community stronger.”
About Tom Murry
Tom Murry is serving his second term representing North Carolina House District 41 which includes portions of Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and the entire Town of Morrisville. Professionally, Tom is a pharmacist and attorney and is the only pharmacist currently serving in the legislature. Tom and his wife Tamara live in Morrisville’s Breckenridge neighborhood. The Murrys attend College Park Baptist Church in Cary. They are the proud parents of two daughters, a brand new baby boy.
To learn more about Tom’s campaign, visit www.VoteMurry.com
Teacher pay raise announcement planned
From the News & Observer
Legislative leaders are planning next week to announce their plan to increase pay for beginning teachers, said state Rep. Tom Murry.
Low teacher pay has been one of the sources of discontent for teachers and a focus of national attention the last seven months. Legislators approved no raises for teachers or state employees this year, and they have received only one 1.2 percent increase in the last five years.
That has led several groups, including an advisory committee Gov, Pat McCrory appointed, to offer recommendations for teacher pay increases.
The announcement comes as the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday and Tuesday focuses on the state attracting and retaining “world-class teachers,” and how that is linked to economic competitiveness.
McCrory is scheduled to speak at the forum with former Gov. Jim Hunt.
McCrory and legislators have said in recent months that they want to approve salaries, but have not said how.
The plan is to raise pay for beginning teachers in multiple phases, said Murry, a Morrisville Republican.
“A lot of us are interested in attracting those young teachers who want to be teachers and getting those starting salaries competitive,” he said.
Asked if McCrory agreed with the plan, Murry said, “I think you’ll see a united front.”
The starting salary for teachers is $30,800 a year. The national average starting salary in 2012-13 was $36,141, according to the National Education Association. North Carolina’s beginning teacher salary is lower than surrounding states, and is near the bottom of national averages.
Overall, the average teacher salary in North Carolina of $45,947 ranked 46th in the nation in 2012, according to the NEA.
Member of Joint Legislative Study Committee on ACA
Raleigh – NC House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) today announced the House co-chairs and members of the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Affordable Care Act. Reps. Jim Fulghum (R-Wake) and Jeff Collins (R-Nash) will co-chair the committee.
Wake County Rep. Tom Murry will serve as a member of the committee.
Other House committee members include Reps. Marilyn Avila (Wake), Nathan Baskerville (Vance), Brian Brown (Pitt), Beverly Earle (Mecklenburg), Frank Iler (Brunswick), Verla Insko (Orange), Charles Jeter (Mecklenburg), Susan Martin (Wilson), Tim Moffitt (Buncombe), Joe Sam Queen (Haywood), Nathan Ramsey (Buncombe), Jacqueline Schaffer (Mecklenburg), Mike Stone (Lee), Paul Tine (Dare) and Ken Waddell (Columbus).
“Citizens across North Carolina have been affected by Obamacare,” said Speaker Tillis. “Since its rollout in early October, premiums have increased dramatically and policies have been cancelled. It’s hitting North Carolinians hard and I’m confident that this committee will cast a broad net to learn the full impacts on our state and our citizens.”
The first meeting date and the details of the agenda will be set by the co-chairs in the coming weeks.
Murry in Top 10
Representative Tom Murry has been named as one of the top ten legislators with a high business rating, by the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation (NCFEF).
NCFEF released the rankings this week, and Representative Murry received a 93 percent ranking by the business led, independent research organization.
“It is an honor to receive this ranking by NCFEF, and I am proud of my record voting for small businesses, regulatory reform, lower taxes and ensuring that our state can help produce an environment that creates jobs for our citizens, my district and our state”, said Representative Murry. “I am committed to continuing to help grow our economy, and move our state forward, and look forward to continuing to work with constituents, businesses and others to accomplish this goal.”
The report utilizes responses from a confidential survey conducted following the 2013 Session among more than 400 business leaders and government affairs professionals representing a multitude of business interests all across North Carolina.
Respondents were asked to provide an Objective Evaluation consisting of legislation voted on during the 2013 Session that ‘presented a clear philosophical division on key issues of interest and concern to the business community.’ They were also asked to offer a Subjective Evaluation consisting of a candid assessment of each legislator (those they knew well enough to assess) ‘as to the percentage of the time that legislator was supportive on issues important to the overall business climate of North Carolina.’
Brass to Class Act signed by Governor Pat McCrory
Today Governor Pat McCrory signed into law Representative Murry’s House Bill 767, the “Corporal Pruitt Rainey Brass to Class Act,” allowing public school teachers and administrators who have been honorably discharged or retired from the military a chance to get their valuable experience counted towards their salaries as state employees.
Educators working in North Carolina’s school districts are required to be paid from a specific salary schedule, which is approved every two years by the General Assembly. It sets a minimum pay based on the educators years of experience and education level.
The bipartisan legislation, which passed the House unanimously, was named in memory of Corporal Pruitt Rainey, 22, of Alamance County. He was killed on July 13, 2008 in Afghanistan while bravely serving our nation.
Reducing Paperwork for Teachers
Reducing Paperwork for Teachers- Public School Reporting Reform
House Bill 839 — Public School Reporting Reform — recognizes that school administrators are often overburdened with the redundant and often non-essential paperwork required by the Department of Public Instruction and other various state and federal agencies. HB839 will help make the job of educators easier by lessening that load.
The General Assembly has asked school superintendents from across the state to work together in regional groups to review the hundreds of rules and regulations they must contend with every day to determine whether they should be kept, revised, studied further or simply repealed.
The primary objective behind HB839 is to allow school administrators to make more effective use of their time and re-channel valuable resources to educating children instead. The legislation stipulates that administrative paperwork tasks, both traditional and electronic, be made as efficient as possible.
Over the last several months, the legislature has listened closely to superintendents, principals, and teachers across the state to determine the best path forward. HB839 is one result of that process.
The bill was signed by Governor McCrory on July 3rd and much of it will take effect the 2013 school year
Regulatory Reform Passed
On July 23, 2013, Governor McCrory signed into law landmark legislation that cuts income tax rates for all North Carolina’s taxpayers — and replaces the existing complicated system with a single Flat Tax. With the already lower state sales tax rates passed last session, it’s estimated that this year’s tax reform efforts will save North Carolina taxpayers $4.75 billion over the next five years.
North Carolina’s outdated and burdensome tax code has been cited as a drag on our state’s potential for economic growth. Our unemployment rate is the fifth highest in the nation, and state income taxes are higher than in any other surrounding state. In the 2013 session, the General Assembly enacted a simpler tax code with lower rates to help us be more competitive
in the service-based economy of the 21st century. Our previous state tax code dated from the Depression-era 1930s, when agriculture and manufacturing were North Carolina’s primary industries. Tax Reform is a significant piece of a bold economic revitalization program which the legislature began last session, when it enacted a historic $1 billion tax cut.
Its work continued this year by tackling the state’s massive Unemployment Insurance Debt and passing far-reaching Regulatory Reform law. These efforts, among many others, are designed to free up capital and spur job creation. This year’s landmark Tax Reform law accomplishes several big things, and starting next year, the tax code will change in some very important ways.
For more information visit http://theraleighdigest.com/issue4.pdf
JOBS Act of 2014
Today we have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that the North Carolina Senate has adjourned for the year without taking up consideration of HB680, the North Carolina Jump Start Our Business Start-ups (NC JOBS) Act of 2013. There is excellent support around the state and around the nation for this new type of financing for small business and start-ups using investment crowdfunding, and even though the bill passed the North Carolina House by an almost unheard of bipartisan vote of 103 to 1, the North Carolina Senate leadership was busy with some very important tax and budget issues and ran out of time to consider it this session. NC JOBS is a pro-small business, pro-jobs, bipartisan bill that doesn’t cost the taxpayers a single penny and which allows North Carolina residents the opportunity to invest in their own future and economy in a safe and fair way, so we are confident it can get through the Senate next session.
The good news is, the bill is now the NC JOBS Act of 2014. The bill will still be active in the Senate when the North Carolina Legislature convenes next year in what is known as the ‘short session’ beginning in May of 2014. That means we will still be able to implement this opportunity in North Carolina, but it will be delayed until then.
In the meantime, we would like to thank all of our many supporters and friends who have helped us with this effort over the last 5 months, including the team that created the bill, the excellent advice and assistance we got from many experts in the crowdfunding industry nationwide, and the thousands of enthusiastic small business owners, start-up community members, and potential North Carolina investors who followed our progress on the blog and provided us with encouragement. North Carolina has an excellent and rapidly growing start-up community and we are proud to be a part of it.
We would also like to thank the crowdfunding platforms that have expressed an interest in coming to North Carolina to get this program off the ground. We can still do that under the accredited investor crowdfunding models now coming on-line, so we would encourage our partners to consider proceeding with this step in North Carolina. Please contact us to discuss in more detail if you have interest.
We would also invite supporters who have interest in doing something similar in their own state to contact the NC JOBS Team and we would be glad to share our experience and advice. Studying this blog and using the links to the legislation would be a great place to start. Then let us know what questions you have. So far Georgia and Kansas have gotten it done, and we would encourage you to help investment crowdfunding become a reality across the nation.
Appointed to Economic Development Board
Today I was appointed to the North Carolina Economic Development Board. I’m excited to work with individuals and contribute to a board that focus on strengthening the economy of North Carolina.
About the board:
North Carolina Economic Development Board
The North Carolina Economic Development Board oversees state economic development research and planning and makes policy recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce, the Governor and the General Assembly. The 37-member Board is composed of State government officials; citizens representing non-profits, economic development organizations and private industry appointed by the Governor; and four members each from the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate.
To provide economic and community development planning for the state; recommend economic development policy to the Secretary of Commerce, the General Assembly and the Governor; recommend annually to the Governor biennial and annual appropriations for economic development programs; develop and update annually a comprehensive strategic economic development plan as provided in G.S. 143B -434.1
Consistent with its statutory duties, the Governor has assigned the following tasks to the Board: Act as the Board of Directors for economic development in the State, including providing guidance to the regional partnerships and the Department Secretaries of Commerce, Revenue, Environment and Natural Resources and Transportation. Develop a comprehensive economic development plan including recruitment strategies and incentives; prioritization and coordination of economic development investments; workforce development; collaboration with education and research institutions; coordination of agencies, foundations and boards involved in economic development; and development of future technologies.
Board Members’ Responsibilities
Board members are asked to attend at least 50% of all Board and committee meetings. Each board member should regularly attend and participate in the work of their assigned committee. Each committee decides how often to meet in order to make progress on its part of the Board’s economic development strategy for North Carolina. Board members should also advocate for the Board’s recommendations by meeting with General Assembly members or explaining the Board’s position to local civic organizations.