Our View: We hope the 'best is yet to come'
It goes without saying that we hope new NC Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker is right in saying that "the best is yet to come."
Decker made the remark at a luncheon hosted by the Rutherford County Commission in her honor Tuesday.
Decker, who was named to the state post by Gov. Pat McCrory in December, will certainly have her work cut out for her as she enters facing a state with unemployment near 10 percent and an economy that, while upticking, is still struggling to recover.
We agree with Decker that North Carolina does have "a lot to offer" is that the climate for business is great and the workforce in this community in particular is ready to work.
But, in order for others outside North Carolina to realize just what we have, changes have to be made.
This state has to undertake serious tax reform and restructure its tax system to make it more competitive and attractive for outside agencies to consider the state for location.
Currently, North Carolina has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the southeast and that has been a detriment for many years. Our neighbors to the south, while having less of a workforce to draw on, does provide a lower tax rate that can lure companies in that would, otherwise, have a better opportunity for growth right here.
People may think that the issue with job creation is that the state isn't trying hard enough and that cannot be farther from the truth.
Individuals like Matt Blackwell with the Rutherford County Economic Development Commission work countless hours crafting proposals, conducting site visits and keeping the lines of communication open with the state and site firms to make sure that Rutherford County remains at the forefront of their minds.
But, more has to be done at the state level.
Our lawmakers in Raleigh have to be conscious of what they need to accomplish to make our economic climate better and make our landscape more attractive for potential industry to locate here.
We have all the elements for success right here in Rutherford County. We have a strong school system, Isothermal Community College ... and Decker herself.
The key here comes from Raleigh.
There has to be a sense of community coming from the state level. There has to be an understanding that, if we all work together with one common mission, we can succeed.
Of course, the need for coming together as a community starts right here at home.
With that, we certainly hope that Decker is right is saying that "the best is yet to come."
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark