NC’s new economic development agency begins work

Source: Patrick Gannon, News & Observer, October 6, 2014

North Carolina’s new private economic development and marketing agency opened its doors Monday at 15000 Weston Parkway in Cary, taking over roles historically performed by the state Commerce Department. A public-private partnership for job recruitment and retention was one of the first changes Gov. Pat McCrory envisioned after his election in late 2012. Nearly two years later, email addresses and phone numbers were being assigned Monday to the first employees of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina…. Through a contract with the Commerce Department signed late last week, the partnership will oversee the state’s efforts in economic development and international trade, as well as tourism, film and sports development. Partnership officials say they will foster collaboration between businesses and government, local and regional development organizations, community leaders and state universities and community colleges. The partnership begins with 34 employees, most of whom previously promoted economic development at the Commerce Department. It is expected to grow as necessary in response to specific needs. A partnership official has said it could have as many as 60 employees by year’s end. Through the process of moving the Commerce Department functions to the new agency, about 22 former state employees lost their jobs without being offered jobs with the partnership, state officials have said…..

With McCrory’s signature, state economic development privatized
Source: Catherine Carlock, Triad Business Journal, June 24, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday signed into law House Bill 1031, which privatizes much of the state’s economic development, business and industry recruitment, marketing and travel and tourism efforts. The bill effectively splits off those functions from the existing N.C. Department of Commerce into a newly created private nonprofit, the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. Inc. CEO Dick Lindenmuth will lead that organization.

N.C. eco-devo privatization bill heads to Gov. McCrory for signature
Source: Amanda Jones Hoyle, Triangle Business Journal, June 19, 2014

A House bill that will split many of the economic development functions of the North Carolina Department of Commerce into a private partnership is headed to the Governor’s desk for signature. The Senate approved the proposed legislation under House Bill 1031 on Wednesday with a unanimous 49-0 vote. The House vote last week was 81-36 in favor of the bill….

Privatized N.C. Commerce takes first step during legislature’s short session
Source: Ken Elkins, Charlotte Business Journal, May 14, 2014

A bill to take the privatization of the N.C. Department of Commerce from an idea to reality was introduced this morning on the opening day of the General Assembly’s short session. The legislation, titled N.C. Economic Development Modifications, is far from a finished product. It appears to be a rewrite of Senate Bill 127, legislation introduced last year that would have paved the way for changes in the department, had it become law.

McCrory: NC Commerce privatization may be getting resistance
Source: Ken Elkins Charlotte Business Journal, April 10, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory’s efforts to privatize some functions of the N.C. Department of Commerce may be getting some resistance. Speaking at the British Consul General Awards dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte last night, McCrory hinted that not all are pleased with the changes his administration has proposed for the department. “We’re stepping on some toes … some well-established institutions here in North Carolina in looking at how we can reform the Commerce Department and make it more customer-service oriented,” he says.

NC Commerce Privatization Tries To Take Shape
Source: Michael Tomsic, WFAE, February 19, 2014

The private board that Governor Pat McCrory wants to take control of recruiting and retaining businesses in North Carolina met for the first time Wednesday. But there’s not too much that board can do until the state legislature gives it more authority. The board is called the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and it’s the private side of the public-private partnership Governor McCrory wants to recruit and retain businesses. … But Lassiter said the private board can start working on personnel issues, and it went into closed session to do that. The plan is to switch Commerce employees who handle selling and marketing the state to the private side of the house, or lay them off. That plan is based off legislation that didn’t pass last year. But Lassiter and Commerce Department officials are confident it will pass when the legislature reconvenes in May. …

New head of NC’s privatized business recruiting says tax breaks marginal in attracting jobs
Source: Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press, January 7, 2014

The new head of the North Carolina organization expected to run the state’s privatized job recruitment efforts said Tuesday that he knows as a former CEO that tax breaks and other corporate incentives have only a marginal impact in attracting businesses. …. Lindenmuth said that after advising and working as a corporate chief executive officer, he’s observed that tax breaks dangled to attract companies have less impact on increasing employment than broader factors like good schools, low living costs and a cooperative business environment. … An exception might be using big incentive packages to lure major manufacturers like South Carolina did in attracting auto-maker BMW and jet-builder Boeing to open factories that state, Lindenmuth said. For such big employers, tax breaks and other incentives are expected, he said. Critics contend adoption of similar public-private partnerships in other states created a growing appearance of insider dealing and conflicts of interest. North Carolina’s planning for the privatized marketing effort has considered missteps by similar organizations in other states, Decker said last month…

NC Commerce Talks Privatization
Source: Leoneda Inge, WUNC, December 11, 2013

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. … The proposed partnership would privatize many of the agency’s functions and reportedly eliminate dozens of positions, including the directors of the film industry and tourism. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst is Vice-Chair of the newly formed economic development board reviewing the proposal. …