LETTER: N.C. economy in good trim

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
FILE PHOTO: Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce John Skvarla speaks in Edgecombe County on Tuesday

North Carolina’s economy generated nearly 129,000 net new jobs in 2016. Companies from Avadim to Yokohama Tire launched exciting business plans with our great state as their backdrop.There’s been no let-up in December: North Carolina’s Commerce Department has worked with companies this month to announce over 3,100 new jobs and a conservative estimate of a quarter-billion dollars in capital investment. North Carolina’s gross domestic product will get an estimated $2.9 billion boost as plans by Everest Textiles, INC Research, Citrix and GKN Driveline reach fruition.Additional good news lies ahead as our business development team works with a lengthy roster of growing companies to put the finishing touches on their relocation or expansion plans. Our pipeline of One NC and JDIG-driven projects alone contains nearly 18,000 potential jobs, with many of those looking hard at non-metro areas. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team and our colleagues at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina are working with other large and small businesses equally serious about growing here.Rarely has our job-creation horizon been more encouraging. North Carolina’s fiscal and operational house is in first-rate order and our state’s economy stands on a solid foundation. The success we enjoyed in 2016 is sustainable into 2017 and beyond so long as state leaders stay the course on the business climate policies that have made North Carolina’s economy arguably the best-performing in the nation.John E. Skvarla IIIOutgoing secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce under Pat McCrory