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

Strategic Plan for Economic Development

The State of North Carolina has published a strategic plan for economic development  to guide policymakers and practitioners in their work to bring more economic prosperity to the state.

The plan, titled First in Talent, recognizes that investing in North Carolina’s workforce is the key to building a more prosperous and resilient economy for all North Carolinians.

The comprehensive economic development plan is a four-year plan that identifies three key goals critical to the state’s economic development strategy:

  • Prepare North Carolina’s workforce for career and entrepreneurial success.
  • Prepare North Carolina’s businesses for success by growing and attracting a talented workforce.
  • Prepare communities across North Carolina to be more competitive in growing and attracting a talented workforce and businesses.  

The full plan, as well as a supplemental report containing important economic data, is available elsewhere on our website.

North Carolina's Commitment To Address Climate Change And Transition To A Clean Energy Economy

The Department of Commerce helps lead efforts to build a clean energy economy in North Carolina.

Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 80 (EO-80) in October 2018, and on October 1, 2019 N.C. Commerce published a report offering an assessment of the state's workforce with regard to clean energy and clean transportation as part of this broad initiative to transform the state's economy.

We published an extensively researched report on March 3, 2021 looking into North Carolina's potential to enter the offshore wind energy supply chain, which found the state stands well positioned to attract a significant portion of a more than $100 billion market opportunity from this growing part of the clean energy sector.

In 2022, a special taskforce convened by Governor Cooper began its work to support development of offshore wind in North Carolina.  NCTowers, the North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies, provides expert advice to Governor Cooper and state policymakers on ways to advance offshore wind energy projects in North Carolina, with a special focus on economic development and job creation.  Commerce staffs and supports this taskforce in its work.

For more information about Commerce's clean energy efforts, contact Jennifer Mundt, Assistant Secretary for Clean Energy Economic Development by email.  There's also more information about the broader program online at the Department of Environmental Quality's website.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are a top priority.  That's why we have an entire office dedicated to advance this important area of corporate governance and society. Learn more about this office's work and current programs elsewhere on our website.

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 for more on each principle and updates on new programs such as Finish Line Grants, which help cover unexpected 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. 

This page was last modified on 08/30/2023