What does economic development mean to you? For some it may mean having many community events that increase the quality of life for the community (social infrastructure) while for others, economic development may look like business recruitment, retention or physical infrastructure. While economic development has many “faces” and opportunities, one thing is consistent — it starts at the local level and takes each of us working together.
Within 1990 to 2012, North Carolina lost roughly 80 percent of traditional manufacturing jobs. One thing is for certain, the nature of work is changing and in order to have growth for North Carolina and Sampson County, we need now more than ever to work together to support our local businesses, invest in improving physical infrastructure, and support community events and programs in order to sustain and grow Sampson County.
This past Monday, Oct. 28, I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Listening Tour with NC Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and Tony Almeida, senior advisor to the governor on Jobs and the Economy. While the listening tour is traveling throughout North Carolina, this past Monday’s event was for the counties classified in the Sandhills (South Central) Zone, which includes Sampson.
The importance of the event was for the communities to voice our “thoughts, ideas, and priorities for North Carolina’s 10-year Economic Development Plan” as stated by Secretary Decker. During this event, the panel wanted to know what are our barriers and threats to progress and the opportunities we have for economic growth within Sampson County. We had the opportunity to ask questions and give insight on the tools we feel like we need in order to grow our local economy in the most effective way.
I was honored to take the questions and barriers the Chamber has received and thoughts from the 2013 Sampson Perspective to this event to serve as the voice for Sampson County. Many topics were discussed throughout the event; however it was evident that throughout the Sandhills Zone and North Carolina, key topics are crucial to our future success. The topics discussed in great detail included: regulations that are constraining economic development, physical infrastructure, and workforce development.
I encourage you to let your voice be heard about the threats and barriers Sampson County has for economic development by completing a survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B6PRKVY to ensure they know our needs when developing this comprehensive plan.
For more information about the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce give us a call at 910-592-6177 or visit www.clintonsampsonchamber.org . We thank you for your support as we are “working together for total community development”