2024 Legislative Priorities

The Chamber of Catawba County Unveils 2024 Legislative Priorities

As the leading advocate for businesses in Catawba County, The Chamber of Catawba County is committed to championing pro-business public policy at all levels of government which drives economic prosperity and fosters community growth.  

Led by our Advocacy Taskforce, The Chamber of Catawba County annually produces a Legislative Agenda which includes our guiding principles along with specific legislative priorities.  This document approved by our board of directors, encapsulates the business community’s vision for public policy solutions to address critical issues impacting business and economic growth in Catawba County.  I would like to summarize several of our legislative priorities as follows:

Investments in Infrastructure

We support forward-thinking investments in the infrastructure required to support a strong economy, including roads, broadband, water/sewer, and housing. The Chamber advocates for the completion of vital road projects in Catawba County, including NC-150 and Startown Road, alongside technical enhancements to the NC-321 project.  Furthermore, we call for state and federal funding to bolster the Hickory Regional Airport, fortifying its infrastructure to optimize its use for current and future commerce and to accommodate potential commercial airline service. Moreover, we champion transportation finance reform, advocating for a sustainable system that adequately funds the construction and maintenance of North Carolina’s roads and highways.

Ensuring Energy Reliability and Affordability

The Chamber stands firm in its support of policies that guarantee access to affordable, dependable energy. This is paramount for economic development through business growth and expansion and industrial recruitment, in addition to keeping up with the pace of technological innovation. A reliable and affordable energy supply is foundational to the success of businesses in Catawba County.

Workforce Development Initiatives

The Chamber believes that education is the cornerstone of progress, empowering individuals to realize their full potential and driving societal advancement while ensuring our businesses have the workforce to fill current and future jobs. The Chamber is dedicated to policies that support our educational system, from early childhood development to higher education. We advocate for programs that nurture and retain talented educators, reform the K-12 school performance grading scale to place equal weight on student growth, and secure additional funding for school construction to keep up with the pace of our growth while providing every student with a quality learning environment. Furthermore, we endorse calendar flexibility to promote educational attainment and support the expansion and centralization of grant-based programs to expand access to public and private higher education opportunities.

Nurturing Affordable and High-Quality Childcare

As guardians of our current and future workforce, we recognize the critical importance of accessible, high-quality childcare. The Chamber champions initiatives and public policy to expand childcare availability, offering incentives for businesses to provide childcare benefits and funding programs that address prevailing shortages and support the early childhood education workforce, ensuring working families have the support they need to thrive.

Economic & Community Development

The Chamber fervently supports the establishment of a state park in our county, enriching our quality of life and adding to our outdoor recreation amenities, while growing tourism revenue.

Additionally, we advocate for greater flexibility in economic development incentives, that award capital investments alongside job creation.

The Chamber of Catawba County affirms our unwavering commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment. We believe these critical priorities will support the growth and prosperity of our local businesses and the overall economy. On behalf of the Catawba County business community, I would like to express a special word of gratitude to our elected officials, including our County Commissioners, City and Town Council Members, School Board members, our esteemed state legislators, and members of US Congress, for their faithful service to Catawba County.

Learn more about our Advocacy@Work program here.

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