Current Initiatives

There is a lot going on at N.C. Commerce, and here you'll find some of our department's key initiatives. 

NC Job Ready

Governor Cooper's NC Job Ready initiative lays out a workforce development framework to ensure that North Carolinians are ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The framework is built around three key principles:  

  • Skills and education attainment
  • Employer leadership: Employers know best what skills their workers need to succeed. 
  • Local innovation: North Carolina communities are succeeding with local models of workforce development. North Carolina should build on these and spread innovative solutions.

Check out NCJobReady.nc.gov for more on each principle and updates on new programs such as Finish Line Grants, which help cover undexpected expenses so community college students can finish their program of study, or the NCWorks Local Innovation Fund, which will help start or scale local workforce initiatives. 

Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones offer a new tool with the potential to attract investment capital into low-income areas of North Carolina. The Opportunity Zones program was created by federal tax legislation, known as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1). North Carolina Opportunity Zones will offer qualified investors certain tax benefits when they invest unrealized capital gains into these areas.

North Carolina’s 252 zones were certified by the United States Treasury on May 18, 2018.

The federal law allows each state to designate up to 25 percent of its total low-income census tracts as zone candidates. North Carolina has just over 1,000 of these tracts, so only 252 census tracts could be selected as Opportunity Zones.

Guided by data and driven by local priorities, North Carolina’s process to identify these tracts, coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, included an extensive review of census data, public input collected from the Department’s website and direct outreach, and close collaboration with local officials from across the state.

Call for comment on Administrative Rules

Periodically, the Department invites the public to comment on various administrative rules.  At the moment, an open comment period is underway for this administrative rule:

By the way, the law defines “public comment” as a written objection to all or part of a rule (see G.S. 150B-21.3A(a)(5). Additionally, pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A(c)(2), in order for the Rules Review Commission to determine whether the public comment has merit, the public comment must address the specific substance of the rule and address any of the standards of Commission review, as set forth in G.S. 150B-21.9(a).