What a privilege and a pleasure it was to be invited to speak to the Hood Hargett Club monthly luncheon to share my insights and perspectives concerning economic development across our 16 county Charlotte USA.
The response and thoughtful questions from the audience were encouraging and I believe sent all of us away feeling inspired to continue to work together to improve the economic vitality across our region, to address the issues that we need to address, and to look for new ways to contribute to the overall quality of life for all.
Among the highlights I shared:
• Our region nets 109 new residents each day!
• We are home to the 7th busiest airport in the world.
• We are the 3rd largest banking and financial services city in the country behind New York City and San Francisco.
• Healthcare is driving major economic development in the region; with the NC Research Campus health care complex being an incredible engine in this burgeoning industry in our area.
• Information Technology is a leading driver in the region’s economy, with UNC-Charlotte’s Computer Science and Informatics program getting international recognition and bringing unmatched innovation to the industry.
• Charlotte USA is leading the national average in I.T. job growth.
• The Partnership is currently working on 55 active economic development projects.
• Foreign direct investment accounts for more than 40 percent of our current projects.
• The number one consideration for companies considering locating to Charlotte USA is the quantity and quality of the work force.
Issues we must address:
That means housing for the thousands of dedicated professionals who serve to ensure we have educated children, a safe community, services for the underprivileged, clean neighborhoods, and more.
We need more of those ‘Chevrolet’ level employers to locate and expand here, just as much as the ‘Cadillacs’. We need to secure greater economic opportunities for the unemployed and the underemployed.
I believe city and county officials throughout the region are serious about providing the right incentives to attract companies that can bring jobs which will provide a better living wage to lower and middle income workers. Of note, we have 21 community colleges in our region which are playing a critical role in building a skilled workforce and helping our residents secure sustainable jobs and incomes which will help improve their upward mobility. I also believe there is a growing mindset among developers to build more affordable housing.
Charlotte Regional Partnership is among the entities taking the lead on collaborative economic development. As President and CEO, I am driven by the unwavering belief in the power of the 134 units of government in Charlotte USA to work together to elevate our region in terms of providing unmatched economic opportunity and quality of life. It is a belief that inspires my unending commitment to lead Charlotte USA to a bright and abundant future.
We are in this together.
Join me, won’t you?
President & CEO
Charlotte Regional Partnership
550 S. Caldwell St., Suite 760
Charlotte, NC 28202