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Local chamber joins Research Triangle region to launch first-ever economic development legislative action agenda

Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2005

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25 Chambers and Economic Development Organizations from 13 Counties Lobby for Legislative Recommendations to “Win the Job Wars of the Future”

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 22, 2005)—For the first time in the Research Triangle’s history, a coalition of 25 chambers of commerce and economic development organizations are banding together to launch an economic development legislative action agenda to promote job growth in the region.

The Chatham County United Chamber of Commerce (CCUCC) and the Chatham County Economic Development Commission participated in shaping the agenda. “The North Carolina General Assembly created 7 Economic Development Regions back in 1994 as a means of focusing their economic development activities and Chatham is part of the Triangle Region. We are excited to be involved in process with a goal of creating 100,000 new jobs in this region over the next 5 years and are especially pleased that the agenda highlights the funding needs of our Community College System given the expansion plans recently proposed for the Pittsboro and Siler City CCCC campuses,” said CCUCC VP of Public Affairs David Poe.

Hailed as “legislative recommendations for winning the job wars of the future,” the coalition unveiled its 2005 Research Triangle Economic Development Legislative Action Agenda at a press conference held at the State Legislative Building. The agenda is pushing for action in three areas that have the most impact on recruiting and growing jobs in the region: education and workforce development, incentives, and transportation.

“This agenda was created for one reason – jobs,” said coalition spokesperson and Manpower President/CEO Jeff Stocks. “We want our region to be a world leader in intellectual capacity, education, and innovation to enhance productivity and economic growth. To achieve this vision, we need to take these steps outlined in this agenda to ensure continued regional competitiveness.”

In its agenda, the coalition is urging legislators to take steps to address the following:

 Fully fund the North Carolina Community College System’s request to continue the work of BioNetwork ($7.1 million).

 Fully fund the equipment requests for growing the Allied Health program ($8.9 million) and the Biotechnology program ($6.7 million) within the Community College System.

 Support the Community College System’s requests for job training for the region’s targeted clusters.

 Support local universities’ project requests in the region’s identified, targeted clusters.

 Support legislation that will allow local option financing to counties seeking to address local transportation concerns.

 Support the annual recurring appropriation of $20 million for the One North Carolina Fund.

 Support increased dollars, increased number of projects per year, and the extension of the 2006 sunset of the Job Development Investment Grant.

 Support retaining Tier 5 designation and development zones in any revisions to the William S. Lee Act.

“We believe these actions will provide us with the tools needed to create quality jobs and improve the quality of life and standard of living for citizens in all 13 counties of the Research Triangle region,” said Research Triangle Regional Partnership President Charles Hayes, a member of the coalition.

The agenda is a product of Staying on Top: Winning the Job Wars of the Future, a five-year, $5 million action agenda to generate 100,000 new jobs and increase employment in all 13 counties of the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina. This initiative grew from the findings of a 2001 study by Harvard University economist Dr. Michael Porter, who conducted a comprehensive analysis of the region. In his report, Clusters of Innovation, Porter concluded that the region required a new economic vision to remain competitive.

Since then, regional business and academic leaders developed this new vision to guide economic development that is based on the belief that successful regions no longer depend on natural resources or low-cost manufacturing, but on the intellectual capacity of its people.

The coalition believes this economic development legislative action agenda supports this vision.

More than two-dozen chambers of commerce and economic development organizations throughout the 13-county region that make up the Research Triangle Region endorse the agenda. These organizations include: Angier, Apex, Benson, Cary, Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Chatham County United, Coats Area, Durham, Franklin County, Garner, Granville, Greater Cleveland, Greater Raleigh, Greater Smithfield/Selma, Hillsborough/Orange County, Holly Springs, Kenly, Knightdale, Moore County, Morrisville, Roxboro Area, Sanford Area, Warren County, and Zebulon chambers of commerce and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.

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For more information on the 2005 Research Triangle Economic Development Legislative Action Agenda, contact CCUCC Executive Director Jane Wrenn at 1.919.742-3333 or info@ccucc.net

 
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Local chamber joins Research Triangle region to launch first-ever economic development legislative action agenda

Related info:
Chatham County United Chamber of Commerce
 
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