Local leaders, residents can meet representatives

In an effort to learn more about what is happening in the state and federal legislature, the Union County Chamber of Commerce has arranged a luncheon allowing multiple representatives to mingle with business leaders and residents on Sept. 17. 

The Government Affairs Luncheon will be held at the Rolling Hills’ Country Club located in Monroe at 2722 W. Roosevelt Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The luncheon will include North Carolina Representatives Mark Brody, Craig Horn and Dean Arp; North Carolina Senators Tommy Tucker and Fletcher Hartsell; Chris Carter who is representing U.S. Representative Richard Hudson, and Robert Becker who is representing U.S. Representative Robert Pittenger. 

The representatives will participate in a panel discussion about the North Carolina General Assembly short session, which began in May, and give the business leaders some highlights that could impact them. 

The luncheon should also “give us an indication of what the next session will look like,” and what the business leaders should keep an eye on, said Pat Kahle, president of the Union County chamber.

Although the discussion will be more of a general overview and not on one specific topic, there will still be plenty to discuss from both state and national legislatures, she said. 

“A lot around education, members are very concerned about workforce development,” Kahle said of what could be discussed. “At a national level, I have no doubt (attendees) will want to hear more about things related to health care, regulation and exporting. On a state level, I suspect a good part of the discussion will be on teacher pay, workforce development and the City Privilege Tax.” 

Workforce development is a big concern among chamber members in the manufacturing industry, Kahle said, and is tied to teacher pay and education. 

“I think what (business leaders) want to hear, what our members want to hear, is there is a plan in place and the plan will be implemented,” she said adding at the state level, workforce development has been in the spotlight and garnered a great deal of attention.

Besides hearing a plan for workforce development, business leaders want to know there’s a representative who cares. Leaders want to hear “there is an understanding of the problem itself and the challenges businesses are facing when looking to hire qualified workers,” Kahle said. 

If all goes well at the luncheon, Kahle hopes to make the panel discussion an annual event. She said the chamber has been focusing on connecting elected officials with chamber members, which she hopes the members find valuable. Kahle also hopes to have great participation from both Union County leaders and residents. 

The cost for the luncheon is $20 for chamber members and $30 for non-members. Visit www.members.unioncountycoc.com/events/details/government-affairs-luncheon-9-17-14-5654 or call Theresa Byers at 704-289-4567 for more information.

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Laura Edington

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