North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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show businesses throughout the world that North Carolina is a great state in which to invest. Site Selection magazine has ranked us as the best place to do business nine of the last 10 years, and Chief Executive magazine has ranked us second for the last two years. These accolades are based, in large part, on the fact that we have historically made major investments in education and workforce training. In fact, we have the best customized-training program in the country. Our community colleges and universities provide focused training and educational opportunities that help workers receive the skills they need to find jobs. Education plays a key role in your economic-development program. Investing in education is among the most important things we can do to grow jobs. Whenever I recruit companies, the CEO always wants assurances that the quality of our prekindergarten through 12th-grade education, community colleges and universities is strong — and will remain strong. I am committed to our state's historic commitment to investing in education. Have budget cuts impacted the state's recruitment effort? As state government has tightened its belt, we've consistently worked to do more with less. Fortunately, we've been able to maintain most of our business support, recruiting functions, marketing budget and incentive programs. That's important because North Carolina has such a great story to tell — and, when revenues are down, the solution is not to stop your advertising. At the same time, however, we must maintain the quality of the North Carolina brand. To preserve and enhance our reputation as a great place for business, we have to keep investing in our education infrastruc- ture. Our greatest asset has always been our people, particularly our trained and educated workforce. We must find ways to keep that competitive advantage. In addition, we need to make sure we have a regulatory North Carolina Economic Development Guide 11 NANCY PIERCE

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