North Carolina Should Better Leverage Military Presence, Perdue Says
North Carolina ranks third in the number of active-duty personnel by state but only takes in 1 percent of the nation’s expenditures on military contracting, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D) said last week.
That gap needs to be narrowed, she said at Fort Bragg during the last in a series of military summits intended to strengthen the state’s defense economy.
“Some of us believe we need to focus more aggressively on this cluster,” Perdue said, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
Currently, the military ranks second among the state’s industries, accounting for $23 billion in annual spending. Speakers pointed to a variety of challenges the state needs to address to overcome the disparity:
- increase the number of information technology workers;
- take advantage of the state’s community college system;
- increase air service between Fayetteville and Washington, D.C.; and
- address the shortfall in needed schools and infrastructure outside growing installations.
- prepare firms to compete for a share of military contracts to repair and refurbish worn-out equipment.