We all want a future that contains the familiar aspects that makes North Carolina such a great place to live. But we also want a future with lower unemployment, new opportunities for our young folks, and economic development in the rural areas of our state. In order to navigate the future, we need a map. A map that details the changes we’ve seen thus far. And map that shows us where are our assets and where are our hurdles. Clearly, this map will have many layers. Because so much change is driven by population changes, we’ve created a demographic map of the state that will help us begin to see how we can navigate to a better future for every county.
Emphasize that the business survey is not comprehensive and serves as an example, no any kind of definitive answer.
Introduce connection between people and economic development.
Introduce idea that “adequate workforce” means both sheer numbers AND more importantly training/education.
Stress the connection between population (bodies) and economic development. Workers, customers, and public opinion all are central to economic development.
Return to the map theme. Frame these as “Treasure maps” full of opportunities to take advantage and “Obstacle courses” to navigate, ALL through the lens of demographic changes.
“ As an example” electricity shows the deep connection between economic development and population. High prices in NCEMPA (NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency) is directly linked to a persistent debt burden which could be alleviated by population increase of more commercial activity. However, prices, along with many other factors, inhibit both population increase and business growth.
Reference earlier slide on adequate workforce for current jobs. And connection between population and jobs.
This and the next slide are “for examples” showing population PLUS training jobs. The take away here is that planning is required for communities, counties, and regions to succeed. Communities have to be flexible and prepared.
This and the previous slide are “for examples” showing population PLUS training jobs. The take away here is that planning is required for communities, counties, and regions to succeed. Communities have to be flexible and prepared.
Return to “navigate future” theme: K-12 is the trained workforce of the future. We need to prepare students who are prepared for a very dynamic jobs outlook.
Infrastructure sits at the intersection between demographic trends and economic growth. It is the glue that holds everything together. Infrastructure gets people to work, allows people to work, and creates thousands of jobs directly. Similar to electricity, internet access follows a similar pattern—low population leads to low deployment of broadband which causes exmigration and hinders business growth.
The next few traditional transportation infrastructure slides should link population to economic development.
Link demographics to tax policy. Discuss the complicated nature of taxes. Income level is related to demographics. Sales tax versus income tax burden is related to demographics. Retirement and tax base is related to demographics. And all of these policies impact business.
“ Moving beyond demographics” you have other opportunities to directly influence economic development through regulatory reform. These could be thought of as “Obstacle course” maps for business. Presents the perspective of business when they are navigating their future. Given some of the challenges that some counties face, regulatory reform may present an opportunity for regionalism and for attracting business.
Not everything is local. “As an example” the new health care bill is also part of the “Obstacle map” that businesses across the state must navigate.
Return to map theme. Demographic theme. Intersection between demographics and economic development. Importance of understanding how business navigate the “Obstacle maps” of regulations. Emphasize that this is the beginning of an engagement with NCACC and the county commissioners. Reiterate that in order to Navigate Your Future, we need maps which outline the opportunities and obstacles of a changing state.
Counties In Motion
N.C. Association of County Commissioners Annual Conference Thomas Stith • August 2012