Gov. McCrory signs bill to privatize job recruitment in NC

Posted by John Frank on June 24, 2014 

Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill Tuesday to privatize part of the state’s commerce department, moving its recruiting, marketing and tourism functions to a nonprofit entity.

The Republican called it “one of the most significant pieces of legislation in our state’s history,” saying it would make North Carolina more competitive in luring companies. He signed it at the Capitol surrounded by House and Senate lawmakers who helped craft the measure.

The legislation, House Bill 1031, represents a significant victory for McCrory, who made the privatization effort a top priority soon after he took office in 2013. The measure didn’t go as far as the administration first proposed, but Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker called it a “great first cut.”

The timeline to transition the recruitment and marketing functions to the private nonprofit, dubbed the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, is still unclear, Decker said.

Under the bill, the nonprofit must raise $250,000 from private individuals, companies and groups before it launches. Decker said commerce officials have met that benchmark, though she would not say how much money the nonprofit has raised to date.

The key difference between the nonprofit and the state commerce department is speed, Decker said.

She said the nonprofit will “streamline the approval process” for recruiting companies to the state. However, the decisions on the incentives used to lure companies will remain in the commerce department.

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