North Carolina has a huge, growing, and dynamic economy – larger than the economies of all but 21 nations in the world. Through the hard work of generations of our citizens and leaders, we have developed assets in a diversity of industries – science and technology, manufacturing, banking and finance, healthcare and medicine, education, agribusiness, transportation, and others – that make us the envy of many states.

However, as we continue to make the steady transition from a traditional manufacturing and agriculture base to a vibrant, innovative knowledge-intensive and advanced manufacturing economy, not all regions and people have felt the same progress. More work is necessary to ensure that North Carolina, especially Eastern North Carolina, is attractive to new industry; that our existing businesses and entrepreneurs are positioned to grow in an increasingly competitive world; and our economy works for all our people, including those who have been impacted by automation, globalization, and larger structural economic forces.

During the upcoming 2018 legislative session, we will seek to implement a vision of creating a better educated, healthier and more prosperous state with opportunity for all to live more abundant, purposeful lives. In implementing this vision, the Republican controlled N.C. General Assembly will continue to focus on creating jobs and investment throughout the state, with a special emphasis on rural economic development as well as workforce development to support these efforts.

North Carolina’s economy is a conglomeration of unique regional economies – each tied to conditions across the state, the nation, and the world to varying degrees. Therefore, each region requires its own analysis and objectives in order to make meaningful change.

Last month, it was a distinct honor and pleasure to introduce Senator Bill Cook at the Dare County Republican Party Trump-Reagan Day Dinner. Lt. Governor Dan Forest was the keynote speaker.