Prioritizing JOBS agenda

From S. Lewis Ebert, president and CEO, North Carolina Chamber:

The North Carolina Chamber and our broad-based membership – representing 35,000 members who employ 1.26 million workers in North Carolina – have a detailed 2014 JOBS Agenda.

As we advocate for pro-jobs legislation, we use North Carolina Vision 2030 as a lens to ensure each bill we support is based around strengthening the four pillars of a secure future: Education and Talent Supply, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Infrastructure and Growth Leadership. The 2014 JOBS Agenda outlines several priorities under each pillar.

Education and Talent Supply: The Chamber is committed to the implementation of college- and career-ready standards to ensure our economy grows, our communities thrive and our students succeed. We support strategies to recruit and retain excellent teachers and to require high professional standards with performance-based expectations. Finally, the Chamber supports strategies to develop a more effective and aligned workforce development system.

Business Climate: We will work to address issues within the tax code, including NEL to NOL conformity, single sales factor apportionment and franchise tax reform. We must build on the progress made to the workers’ compensation system in 2011, and enacted reforms need to be enforced to ensure the intent of the law is implemented. We will continue addressing concerns in our civil liability system, including employment fraud, business court reform and Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting. We oppose health care mandates that place additional cost burdens onjob creators.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The Chamber supports a transparent, consistent process to transfer the valuable research at our universities into product development and technology advancement. We want to develop strong protection against abusive patent assertion claims to provide North Carolina a strong advantage in attracting small businesses and technology start-ups.

Infrastructure and Growth Leadership: The Chamber supports initiatives to an all-of-the-above energy strategy to spur job creation in our state, while implementing protective measures and tough standards that safeguard our quality of life values. It is important to identify potential areas for diversification of revenues and transportation funding reform to meet the long-term demands of business and population growth, maintenance and construction.