NC Commerce Department

CBC Americas, Japan
Leoneda Inge

CBC Americas of Japan is moving its US headquarters from New York to North Carolina.

Japan-based CBC makes flooring and plastics as well as video surveillance products.  Its new offices will be in Cary, with a distribution center in Mebane, creating more than 100 jobs.

Governor Pat McCrory applauded the move. He said the state is helping to make these jobs happen.

Unemployment Rate
NC Commerce

The North Carolina legislature is back in session this week.  The Republican-led body is touting a strong economy and an unemployment rate that hasn’t been this low since the start of the Great Recession.

So, bust out the Moscato! The unemployment rate in North Carolina is 5.8 percent.  Governor Pat McCrory says it hasn’t been that low since 2008.

resume and glasses
Flazingo Photos / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state Commerce Department is behind a major jump in the number of weekly job searches claimants must have to collect benefits.

Dale Folwell is Assistant Commerce Secretary for Employment Security and he supports increasing weekly documented job searches from two to five.

“So we think this will increase the velocity of people getting off the unemployment rolls and looking for work," said Folwell.

Folwell says the current system was confusing for some people.  He says his office decided to cut the confusion and add searches at the same time.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker, Gov. Pat McCrory, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla
Jorge Valencia

There will be some key changes to Governor Pat McCory’s cabinet in the New Year. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker is stepping down. And Environment Secretary John Skvarla will be the new head of the commerce department. The two positions are central to the governor's plan to attract businesses to North Carolina.

The governor feels very passionately about the members of his cabinet, or as he prefers to call it: his team. Yesterday, he was in front of a crowd in the historic chambers of the Old Capitol building, and beside him was Sharon Decker.

Steve Troxler
Michelle VonCannon

North Carolina’s Agriculture and Biotechnology communities have launched a new global economic development platform.  

Doug Edgeton is President and CEO of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.  He said Wednesday's announcement brings Agriculture, Biotechnology, company growth and jobs together. 

“We have the companies, we have the research, we have the workforce, what we have lacked is something to call it," said Edgeton.  "So without further adieu, I’d like to officially unveil “AgBiosphere.”

NC Welcome Sign
NC Commerce

The state’s new Economic Development office is officially open and several employees have walked over from the Commerce Department.

About 34 people moved from Commerce to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, located on Weston Parkway in Cary.  The new non-profit partnership essentially privatizes some of the Commerce Department’s duties.  John Lassiter chairs the board.

Pat McCrory
Dave DeWitt

The governor and his workforce development team are keeping busy until it’s time for the legislature to meet again.  They are visiting 1,000 businesses in 100 days in all 100 counties.

It’s being described as a fact-finding tour.   State Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker is taking part in the tour that is part of NCWorks.

Unemployment Rate
NC Commerce

The latest North Carolina jobless numbers show a spike in county unemployment rates from Alamance to Yancey.  But there has been some positive movement over the past year.

May jobless numbers released by the NC Commerce Department show 92 counties with a higher unemployment rate than the month before.  But from this time last year, all 100 counties saw their unemployment rates drop.

NC House
house.gov

A bill that would create a public-private economic development enterprise tentatively passed the House today. The measure would create a nonprofit corporation that would contract with the state Department of Commerce to attract companies and promote trade and tourism.

Republican Representative Marilyn Avila  addressed the bill's sponsor, Republican representative Tom Murry, saying she thinks the idea will help grow North Carolina's economy.

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

For the first time, North Carolina’s 16 regional councils of government have come together to create a blueprint for statewide community and economic development.  

The report is called “North Carolina Tomorrow, Building Communities for Tomorrow’s Jobs.”  It focuses on the competitive advantages of each region, like Tourism and Energy.  But also give attention to emerging technologies like video modeling and gaming.

NC Workforce Solutions
NC Division of Workforce Solutions

The state Commerce Department has spent the past year making cuts and re-aligning its Division of Workforce Solutions.  Today, administrators say the results are positive.

One initiative getting a lot of attention is NC Works, an online portal developed to better connect the jobless with jobs.

Will Collins is the Executive Director of NC Works.  He's been on the job for six months and likes what he sees.

SEUS NC
Leoneda Inge

The business-to-business matchmaking continues today at the Raleigh Convention Center where the leaders from southern states and regions of Canada will try to make deals.

It’s the first time the Southeastern U-S Canadian Provinces Alliance or, "SEUS CP," has met in North Carolina.  

The kick-off to the conference had fingers snapping and heads rocking as musicians jazzed up the meeting room, welcoming dignitaries to the conference.

US-Canadian Provinces Alliance Logo
US-Canadian Provinces Business Alliance

Governors and business leaders from the Southeastern U.S. are in Raleigh today to talk trade and investment opportunities with leaders from Canada. 

Despite what you hear about China and Germany – Canada is North Carolina’s number one trading partner with one quarter of all the state’s exports going to that country.

Jean Davis is Director of International Trade for the state Commerce Department.

“You know Canada is such a strong trading partner, that it is often times where we start with our companies," said Davis.

Fingers on a keyboard, computer,
Wikimedia Commons

Numbers from the state Commerce Department show the unemployment rate fell all across the state during the past year.  But analysts say the economic recovery is still modest.

Who has the lowest unemployment in the state? Chatham and Orange Counties - 4.6 percent. 

Where is the highest jobless rate? Graham County - 12.7 percent.

While the jobless rate fell in all 100 counties, the number of people who reported having jobs decreased in about one-third of the counties.

A picture of the newspaper want ads
Creative Commons / http://mycareerinfo.ca

The state unemployment rate is dropping, but the labor force is also shrinking. 

The North Carolina Department of Commerce reports unemployment fell from 8.8 percent in January 2013 to 6.7 percent in January 2014.  But that number doesn't include people who have stopped looking for work.  The state's labor force is made up of people who work or are trying to find jobs, and that pool shrank by more than 60,000 people during the year. 

North Carolina State University Economist Michael Walden said 2013 was somewhat of a disappointing year for job growth.

Richard Lindenmuth began work in his position of interim CEO of the Economic Development Partnership in early January.
NC Department of Commerce

Gov. Pat McCrory’s plan to move parts of the state’s business recruiting functions to a private nonprofit have been delayed, as the new organization’s managers are setting up a plan for the transition and finding costs to cut, officials said Tuesday.

Parts of the state Commerce Department will be transferred to the Economic Development Partnership no sooner than July this year, according to a department letter given to legislators Tuesday. Two of the department’s divisions had been scheduled to be moved by June and three more by December.

NC Department of Commerce
NC Department of Commerce

  

  A new Report by the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Office of Science & Technology  shows the state is a leader in innovation, but it also points out the many ways in which we need to improve. 

NC Commerce

The state Commerce Department has hired a new leader to re-vamp and privatize economic development across the state.  Richard Lindenmuth is the new Interim CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Lindenmuth has served as CEO of more than ten companies, and was president of ITT's Business and Consumer Communications Group in Raleigh.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker promised a total re-organization of her department.  So, today, she and Governor Pat McCrory announced their choice for head of the new state partnership.

Sharon Decker
NC Commerce

North Carolina’s Economic Development Board is reviewing strategies and making suggestions on how to help re-vamp the state Commerce Department.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says she’s pretty positive the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina will be a reality.

“It’s a total re-organization, it is indeed.  Redesign, I guess is a better way to say it," said Decker.

Military Jobs
usmilitary.com

A report by the state Commerce Department highlights the economic impact of the military in North Carolina.

The Commerce Department says the state has a tremendous opportunity to grow the economy by helping military personnel find employment after their service ends. 

More than 60,000 people stationed in North Carolina are projected to leave the military over the next five years.  Commerce spokesman Josh Ellis says many of them will stay here.

NC Department of Commerce

Big changes are coming to the state commerce department.

A new public/private non-profit will be taking over some of the duties of recruiting new business to the state next year. But critics of the N.C. Partnership for Prosperity say similar efforts in other states have failed. Host Frank Stasio talks to 

   about the controversy.

NC Jobless
NC Policy Watch

The state Commerce Department was scheduled to release North Carolina’s September jobless rate today.  But figures are on hold because of the federal government shut down.

Just like every other state across the country, North Carolina’s jobless numbers are crunched by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  But the 16-day government shutdown has resulted in a delay to the states.  Most of the people responsible for analyzing the data were furloughed.

Job Fair
Wake Tech Community College

The state unemployment rate is up for the first time since January. 

North Carolina's Commerce Department said this morning July's jobless rate was 8.9 percent, up from 8.8 percent the previous month.  The rate had been dropping or staying level for five straight months until now. 

NC Exports Up
NC Commerce Department

North Carolina’s export business around the world continues to boom.  Numbers from the U.S. International Trade Administration show merchandise exports jumped by 6% compared to this time last year – up to $14.8 billion.

Jean Davis is the Director of International Trade for the state Commerce Department.  She says excluding a dip in 2008 during the recession, exports have been on the rise for the past decade.

The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged for the month of June.  But analysts say there are underlying problems the state should be concerned about.  North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 8.8% in June.  The same as in May.  The national unemployment rate also remained steady at 7.6% in May and June.