The solution to the countrys economic woes could be in Charlotte, national leaders said and its not related to the DNC.
At the Forum on American Competitiveness, held Wednesday in the Knight Theaters Wells Fargo Auditorium, a panel of economists and business leaders lauded Charlotte as a model of economic efficiency in todays modern global economy.
Charlotte is a metaphor for the kind of steps that need to be taken, really, (from the) bottom up with the business community at the regional level, to actually address (global competitiveness), said Michael Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at the Harvard Business School.
The discussion, sponsored in part by Duke Energy, focused on the viability of what Porter calls clusters masses of a particular industry in a particular location. Porter specifically praised Charlottes energy cluster which includes 260 energy companies and 30,000 jobs as a hub for fostering job growth and global competitiveness.
Charlotte has recognized this critical mass in the energy field and started really building on it, and were seeing the enormous vitality you can create when that happens, Porter said. What the research shows is clusters are overwhelmingly important in driving job growth. Its not isolated companies that drive job growth, its where you can build a critical mass of clusters ... and Charlotte has become a model for that.
But Charlottes energy industry cluster has done more than just create jobs and bring international attention to North Carolina, according to Kathryn Jackson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Westinghouse Electric. She said Charlottes energy cluster is flexing its political muscle to help bring a more business-friendly environment to the state.
The cluster can raise its hand and say Some policies need to change, Jackson said. Theres national and state (policies) the cluster needs to leverage to be able to shoot its product to the market.
David Gergen, moderator of the discussion and a CNN political analyst, said independence from Washington will be necessary for other regions, due to political inefficiency in the federal government.
We have found that the actual delivery of national policy has been very, very slow, Gergen said. But its what happens at the city levels and what happens at the state level that actually makes a big difference in the lives of people that live in those areas.