The Charlotte Region’s Global Economic Vision

Vision splash

“The combined effect of the forces within big cities, great universities (and colleges) and powerful local leaders will provide the next economic breakthrough.”
- Adapted from “The Coming Jobs War” by Jim Clifton

View our Strategy for the Greater Charlotte Region Global Initiative or download a PDF.

The economic vision for the Charlotte region’s future is to become “a global hub of commerce,” a great inland port city leveraging its financial, energy, healthcare, educational, entrepreneurial, manufacturing and logistical resources to world prominence. The result will be greater regional prosperity with more jobs.

Economic Pillars

The Charlotte region is fortunate to have rich assets, including water, energy, air quality, education, finance, healthcare, roads, the airport and a skilled labor force.

Our economic pillars today include:

  • being the #1 energy hub and #2 financial center in the U.S.
  • offering world-class healthcare facilities and services, and wonderful higher education resources

As we work to realize our global economic vision, we will add four new economic foundations of:

  1. entrepreneurialism
  2. advanced manufacturing
  3. improved infrastructure, transportation and logistics
  4. improved higher education and workforce development

The economic future of the Charlotte region is limited only by our collective imaginations and will to seize the opportunities to achieve our vision one person and one organization at a time. The next decade will be exciting, dynamic and prosperous!

Implementation Strategies

An emergent group of 160 regional leaders have stepped up to guide the implementation of the global vision. This group of highly collaborative leaders have seized opportunities to broaden the assets of the Charlotte region by focusing on:

  1. Creating things better than our competitors by adopting entrepreneurialism and innovation as prominent and core values of the region and provide support for innovation and new business creators.
  2. Making things better than our competitors by growing our advanced manufacturing base and providing these businesses with world-class employees through exemplary education and training success.
  3. Moving things better than our competitors through the new intermodal center at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. We will move people and goods faster, cheaper and more efficiently through the consolidation of train, truck, air and ship transportation. In the process, we will become a natural leader in logistics and supply-chain management.
  4. Market the strategy so the world knows the importance of the Charlotte region as a global hub of commerce.


To date, the following has been accomplished

  • The Charlotte region had the largest percentage growth in exports in the country from 2012-2013 (U.S. Department of Commerce)
  • Site Selection magazine listed Charlotte as one of the top 100 global metro areas in 2014
  • 7th largest foreign investment region in U.S. says Site Selection magazine, 2014
  • 16 community colleges, covering 31 counties in 2 states serving approx. 3.5 million people formed the Charlotte Regional Collaborative for a Global Economy
    • conducted a training inventory against the CCOG identified industries
    • building new programs to respond to training gaps
    • conducting an economic development impact inventory
  • Exploration of increased partnerships with port authorities of Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah in order to grow jobs in trade and commerce
  • Collaborating with the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Charlotte – helping to develop an export strategy
  • Increased visibility for honorary consuls and recruited five new honorary consuls in a three-year time period (14 total in the Charlotte region)
  • Partnered with the Charlotte Douglas International Airport and suggested an economic development manager to city leaders, which they complied.
  • Established CPCC Global Logistics Center, certificate programs and an associate degree program in global logistics management

    “Metro leaders understand that cities are networks rather than governments, so they find the right institutions to organize these networks. These networks then address the big challenges that face cities and metros and, at their best, develop the game-changing ideas that will make the most of each place’s unique assets and bring shared benefits of growth.
    - Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley
    Brookings Institution