News & Media

Iredell EDC Joins Governor Roy Cooper in a Roundtable Discussion Hosted by the CLT Alliance

This week, Gov. Roy Cooper traveled to Charlotte and met with business and community leaders at a roundtable hosted by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance®. Cooper delivered remarks and took questions about education, child care, and North Carolina’s business climate.

Cooper encouraged the assembled leaders at the CLT Alliance to stay involved with the legislature and his administration.

“Nothing of consequence has ever happened without the backing of the business community,” Cooper said.

Echoing his remarks from last year when CNBC announced North Carolina as the number one state for business, Cooper said balance in politics and in economic development have helped contribute to the state’s success.

Cooper noted that EDPNC and the Department of Commerce know that culture war issues can make a difference in economic development decisions. Staying focused on what has made North Carolina the top state for business will be key in maintaining the state’s recent economic growth.

“North Carolina is offering the right level of incentives and targeting the right sectors,” Cooper said.

He continued that many of the growth sectors in North Carolina’s economy include clean energy, fintech, and life sciences.

Cooper said the state is heading toward an emergency situation with public education with more than 5,000 teacher vacancies and teacher pay being top workforce issues in the education space. He then turned to discuss the importance of early childhood education in three parts.

The first part is ensuring a quality education is available for students. Second, parents need access to education and/or care for their children. Third, employers need parents available to work. Cooper’s focus is on ensuring good outcomes for students, parents, and employers, who all will see a benefit from a well-funded early childhood education system.

As the Legislative Session continues in Raleigh, Cooper will continue to push for salary increases for teachers and to ensure that public schools have the resources needed to educate the state’s future workforce.

The General Assembly is continuing to craft the state budget, which will be sent to Cooper for his action on it.

In acknowledging a policy win from earlier this year, Cooper thanked the CLT Alliance for supporting Medicaid expansion. Cooper signed the legislative agreement into law in March, paving the way for health care coverage for 600,000 North Carolinians.

“Expanding Medicaid is the right thing for our state and for businesses,” Cooper said.

Cooper is also motivated to ensure that his administration works to compete for every single dollar available in the various federal bills that have passed in recent years. He said funding is available for broadband, water systems, airport projects, and public transportation – all critical to continued growth throughout North Carolina.