Regarding “Infosys to hire 2,000 in Wake County” (July 6): It’s tremendous that Wake County continues to receive commitments from international companies like Infosys, Credit Suisse and others to bring jobs to the area. But let’s not forget rural areas of the state where unemployment rates continue to remain stagnant, including Edgecombe and Scotland counties, which lead the way at 7.8 percent. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, N.C. Department of Commerce and other state agencies need to think outside the box in an effort to spur significant economic development in economically depressed areas of the state.
One need look no further than the economic impact BMW had on South Carolina since arriving in 1994. The University of South Carolina conducted an economic-impact study in 2014 that indicated BMW’s annual economic output amounts to $16.6 billion and vehicle production supports 30,000 jobs within the state. New jobs anywhere within North Carolina are a good thing. But let’s continue working to recruit companies that can make significant long-term impacts in areas that are struggling for economic lifelines.
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“North Carolina Republicans continue to meddle in education” (July 2) accused me of being “low-profile,” inexperienced and beholden to others. Since becoming state superintendent, I have visited over 60 communities and groups across the state to hear from constituents. These are not one-stop photo-ops. We meet with educators to hear their concerns. We visit schools to see new, innovative programs. As everyone is impacted by education, we also meet with community leaders and stakeholders.
The same editorial suggested that my “inexperience” makes me a lackey for N.C. legislators. As a parent, a former teacher, a former local district leader and as the former corporate counsel for a technology company, I’ve got the right experience needed now. We will evolve the state’s education department into a stronger, more efficient agency, better equipped to support public education in North Carolina in the 21st century. My experience and hard work drove results this legislative session. We secured a significant state investment to modernize software systems for local districts. We supported the creation of a bipartisan council made of leaders from DPI and Governor Cooper’s cabinet to determine how we can get broader access to quality preschool options. We successfully lobbied for more funds for rural school construction and more vocational education opportunities. I was elected to make DPI better, not to do more of the same. Make no mistake, I do the bidding of the voters of North Carolina – and I am implementing the changes they demanded.
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Raleigh