Here in Eastern North Carolina, our economy is showing some positive signs: housing starts and sales are improving, and unemployment rates are declining.
However, we all know there is still a long way to go to get our region, state and country economies moving again. That’s why there are three key things that I am laserlike-focused on to help our communities create jobs and our citizens get those jobs.
• Come to the N.C. Business and Economic Development Summit. Our businesses, job seekers and chambers of commerce all need access to different resources to spur job creation and ensure that job applicants have the skills needed for the jobs that are available. Access to capital, workforce development and federal resources are among the many topics that will be discussed at the 17th annual Business and Economic Development Summit, which will be held Sept. 9-10 in Washington, D.C.
This free summit will provide an opportunity to meet with federal government officials, collaborate with fellow North Carolinians and discuss policies affecting North Carolina businesses and job creation. For more information about attending the N.C. Business and Economic Development Summit, visit my website at www.mcintyre.house.gov or contact Kara Spencer in my Washington office at 202-225-2731. This will be a great opportunity for you to network, learn about successful business strategies and make your concerns heard at the federal level.
• Read our five-point Job Creation Plan. Our job plan provides a compass for helping our businesses and job seekers. Improving access to capital, reducing regulation, speeding up permit times for construction, increasing high-speed Internet, and reducing and reforming taxes are parts of the plan that I am working on in Congress to help our businesses in Eastern North Carolina grow and create jobs. To help our job seekers, I am working with companies and community colleges to make sure career training is matched with what is needed in the business world. Science, technology, engineering and math education are critical components to ensuring students are prepared for jobs in the 21st century, and I have continuously supported investments in these key areas for our schools. Our plan can be found at http://mcintyre.house.gov/index.php/issues-a-legislation/jobs-and-the-economy. I encourage you to read it and share your thoughts.
• Call us if you need help with small-business issues, resources, contracting, grants, etc. Your congressional office has a full-time staff devoted to doing all we can to help local and state economic-development leaders, small businesses and individuals create jobs, tackle small-business issues and review federal funding options and solutions.
Tony McEwen, our economic-development director, works closely with folks all across Eastern North Carolina and keeps me personally abreast of the issues that we are working on and the challenges we have. Together, we discuss ways that our office can help. In addition, we have a periodic e-newsletter that provides a comprehensive list of opportunities for tax credits, grants and loans that can help business grow and create jobs. Please feel free to call Tony at 910-399-1134 and sign up for our grants newsletter at http://mcintyre.house.gov/index.php/contact-mike/signup-for-e-newsletter.
Eastern North Carolina is a special place to live, work, worship and rear a family. Ensuring that our citizens are employed and our communities are vibrant is the No. 1 issue for me, and I will continue to partner with business and local officials to help get North Carolinians the work opportunities they need.
U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre represents Johnston County in the U.S. House of Representatives.