CEO's, business insiders, and community leaders predict strong growth for the Queen City at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce's Economic Outlook Conference.
But there's a new focus on those who are waiting to benefit from that growth.
Bank of America announced a $1.5 million investment in the Leading on Opportunity Council; a group designed to break down those systemic economic barriers. The money will help with staffing and infrastructure. "When you talk about economic mobility and those that are effectively locked out, those are primarily native born folk,” co-chair of Leading on Opportunity Council James E. Ford said. “So whereas we do a great job of importing talent, those who are born in the city, particularly those of poverty, are those who fail to mobilize."
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan predicts 2.4% growth for U.S. GDP despite an expected rate increase. "Rates may rise. It won't be enough to change the course of growth if they get it right,” Moynihan said.
Spreading the wealth isn't just a problem for workers, but for businesses. Entrepreneurs said finding capital is a key issue. "That early state capital is really tough,” AvidXchange CEO & co-founder Mike Praeger said.
The most sought after resource in Charlotte is workers. And right now the area's doing a solid job of attracting talent, with 44 people moving to Charlotte every day. But busisness leaders want to see more emphasis on developing the local workforce. “We do a worse job than most of our peers at educating the organic talent potential that exists,” Charlotte Chamber president & CEO Bob Morgan said.