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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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New effort to connect NC small businesses to global economy

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The Port of Wilmington plays a large role in exporting North Carolina products to the world.

North Carolina is already a major player in exporting goods around the world, and a new initiative launches next week to help small businesses access global markets.

The North Carolina Minority Business Development Association and small business CyberAlliance will launch the North Carolina Export Initiative on Wednesday.

RTI International (Research Triangle Institute) will kick things off with a launch event at its Research Triangle Park headquarters, including offering programs on trade strategy and cybersecurity that improve export readiness.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at 3040 E. Cornwallis Road, Durham. To register click on this link.

Here’s some quick facts about North Carolina and exports from the U.S. Treasury: 

  • In 2023, North Carolina exported a record $42.2 billion of goods to the world.
  • In 2021, exports from North Carolina supported an estimated 128,000 jobs.
  • North Carolina was the 14th-largest state exporter of goods in 2023.
  • In 2023, North Carolina goods exports were $42.2 billion, an increase of 44% ($13 billion) from its export level in 2013.
  • In 2023, North Carolina exported $40 billion of manufactured products.
  • North Carolina exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 116,000 jobs in 2021. 
  • Goods exports accounted for 5.5% of North Carolina GDP in 2023.

The export initiative aims to ensure small businesses are aware of federal and state programs to help them develop trade strategies.

“The multiplier effect of exports benefits the entire supply chain and related industries, driving investment and infrastructure development,” said Angela Sellars, director of the N.C. Minority Business Development Association.

Speakers for Wednesday’s event include North Carolina Congresswomen Valerie Foushee and Deborah Ross and Durham Mayor Leonardo Williams.

Carolina Hurricanes looking for new general manager

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Don Waddell, president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced Friday, May 24, 2024, he would be leaving the team.

The Carolina Hurricanes are looking for a new president and general manager after Don Waddell announced his resignation Friday.

Waddell joined the Hurricanes as president in 2014 and assumed the additional duties of general manager in 2018.

Waddell says he told team owner Tom Dundon on Friday that “now is the time for me to move to the next chapter of my career.

“I have loved my experiences in the Triangle over the past 10 years, and together with a strong team, on and off the ice, we have accomplished many great victories,” Waddell says in a statement released by the team. “I am grateful for the support I have received from so many loyal Caniacs. This organization is in strong, capable hands and well-positioned for the future,” 

The Athletic reported that Waddell interviewed with the Columbus (Ohio) Blue Jackets on Thursday about its open general manager position and that the Hurricanes had already had conversations about a new general manager in anticipation of his departure.

Eric Tulsky has been named interim general manager, and a full search has begun for a permanent general manager. Darren Yorke will support Tulsky with managerial duties while continuing in his role as assistant general manager.

As president, Waddell oversaw team business operations. As the ninth general manager in franchise history, the Hurricanes won at least one round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs during each of his six seasons in charge of hockey operations. In comparison, the state’s other two major professional teams, the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Hornets, have not made the playoffs since 2017 and 2016, respectively.

The Hurricanes 2024 season ended with a 4-2 second-round playoff loss to the New York Rangers. The team beat the New York Islanders in the first round.

The Hurricanes also have sold out each of their last 67 games at PNC Arena, including regular season and postseason, marking the longest sellout streak in franchise history.

Waddell is a native of Detroit and previously served as general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers from 1998-2010 and won the Stanley Cup as an assistant general manager with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.

Tulsky has spent 10 seasons with the Hurricanes, originally joining the organization as a consultant in 2014, and then becoming a hockey analyst in 2015. He was named manager of hockey analytics in 2017, before being promoted to vice president of hockey management and strategy in 2018.

Since being named assistant general manager in 2020, Tulsky has been involved in all player personnel decisions, overseen pro scouting and the team’s hockey information department, and assisted with player contract negotiations, salary cap compliance, and other hockey-related matters.

The Philadelphia native holds a B.A. in chemistry and physics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

UNC System eliminates DEI policy across college campuses

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The UNC System Board of Governors, which oversees public colleges and universities in the state, voted Thursday to repeal and replace its policy on diversity and inclusion, a move that could lead to the elimination of diversity-related positions at schools across the state. Dozens of students planned protests before the final vote.

Charlotte airport workers walk off job before Memorial Day weekend

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Charlotte airport workers went on a 24-hour strike Thursday over pay and benefits leading into Memorial Day weekend, which is expected to be the airport’s busiest ever. Service Employees International Union said dozens of workers from ABM, a provider of airline and aviation services, made the decision to walk off the job after threatening to Wednesday.

AG Stein brings $12M suit against owner of closed Canton paper plant

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North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is suing Illinois-based Pactiv Evergreen. He alleges that the company closing Canton’s century-old paper mill and throwing more than 1,000 people out of work violated the terms of a $12 million state economic incentives grant Pactiv has refused to return. The Citizen Times reached out to Pactiv for comment.

Kitty Hawk Planning Board recommends proposal for more worker housing

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The Kitty Hawk Planning Board has helped make it easier to create more worker housing. According to Kitty Hawk Director of Planning and Inspections Rob Testerman, the proposed text amendment would “allow owners of non-residential properties the ability to construct residential units on their non-residential property, aimed at providing housing for workers in the area.”

Asheville hospital losing urologists, physicians

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Mission Hospital is facing an exodus of urologists, and five physicians from a local urology group refuse to practice at the HCA Healthcare-owned hospital, potentially reducing the number of specialists in the system to two by summer. The urologists’ departures follow a larger pattern of employee exits from the hospital during the past five years.

Neighbors of proposed ‘driving resort’ organizing to block it

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Some residents of northwest Moore County are organizing to try to block development of a proposed luxury driving resort just south of Randolph County that was announced last week. Two main concerns are the noise and the conversion of historically agricultural land into what opponents view as a frivolous, polluting playground for the wealthy.

Cape Fear PUA approves 4.6% average bill increase

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The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board has approved its fiscal year 2025 operating budget, a total of $120 million, a 6.3 percent increase from the FY24 budget total of $113 million. Under the new budget, the average residential customer’s monthly bill for combined water and sewer will increase by $3.38 (4.6 percent) beginning July 1.

FSU trustee helps launch college sports investment fund

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RedBird Capital and Weatherford Capital are launching a college sports-specific investment fund, one that could lend as much as $2 billion to athletic departments across the country. Tampa, Fla.-based Weatherford Capital is run by three brothers including Drew Weatherford, who played football at Florida State and is a member of the school’s board of trustees.