As a member of the NC Chamber, you’ve added your voice to a growing movement of leaders who care about the future of our state. Our members are invested in the people, organizations and ideas that make North Carolina a great place to live and work—and we exist to drive the change that fuels prosperity for all.
In pursuit of that mission, our government affairs team each year works with with you to identify the policies that matter most to the business community, compiling them into your Jobs Agenda. This list of priorities is a guide for their advocacy work on your behalf.
Now that we’re six months into the North Carolina General Assembly’s long legislative session, you can see what our team has accomplished so far in this full recap. Some highlights include:
Improving the Talent Pipeline to Solve Workforce Needs: We need both immediate solutions and long-term, large-scale policy change to address the skills gap. That’s why our team fought to protect high academic standards that prepare students for the workforce, supported a new policy that gives high school students graduation credit for Career and Technical Education classes, and advocated to fund community colleges’ workforce programs at the same rate as traditional academic curricula. Additionally, the NC Chamber Foundation is launching the Talent Pipeline Management program this year, which will develop local leadership and solutions to the skills gap, enabling better collaboration between business and education providers.
Preserving a Business Climate that Encourages Growth: From securing changes to reduce the franchise tax’s unnecessary burden to ensuring that any new health care proposals such as Association Health Plans protect consumers and businesses alike, our team is laser focused on priorities that keep North Carolina the #1 state for business. Additionally, we continue to seek out opportunities to spread economic prosperity throughout the entire state and have been closely monitoring the development of a new investment tool: Opportunity Zones.
Addressing Legal Challenges: Recognizing the growing impact the courts are having on your ability to do business, the NC Chamber continues to place an emphasis on balanced tort and civil liability reforms. Our team led a coalition opposing changes to the successful 2011 workers’ compensation reforms, advocated for balanced appointments to the Industrial Commission and the Business Court, and announced the exciting appointment of Ray Starling as our new General Counsel and president of the NC Chamber Legal Institute.
Funding NC’s Infrastructure: Following the release of the NC Chamber Foundation’s Framework for North Carolina Water Policy, our team has been advocating for policies that line up with those recommendations and would support water infrastructure in our state. We also continue to champion more revenue for infrastructure, in particular from diversified funding sources, and secured several accomplishments for the state’s airports that will further our state’s global competitiveness.
As the legislative session continues, we’ll keep fighting for the policies and issues that matter most to your business. We’re proud to serve as the voice of business in our state and hope you will continue to share input on what our government affairs team can do for you.
Gary J. Salamido
Chief Operating Officer and Acting President