North Carolina legislators are making progress towards enacting an FY2021-2023 state budget. On June 25th, the Senate passed its budget proposal, which directs spending for the more than $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds the state received from the federal government. Included in the Senate’s proposal were several provisions for councils of governments (COGs).
On June 30 and July 1, local pandemic recovery stakeholders across the state came together to present “American Rescue Plan Act: Regional Informational Sessions for Local Government.” Besides reviewing Governor Roy Cooper’s proposed ARP budget, speakers provided information on varying topics about ARP funding.
As Congress left for the July 4th week recess, infrastructure negotiations were continuing after President Biden and a group of 21 bipartisan Senators reached a compromise on a framework for an infrastructure package. The bipartisan group consisted of 11 Republicans, including both North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, and 10 Democrats.
As the career centers resume a somewhat normal pace, the upcoming fiscal year brings more opportunities for the Centralina WDB to better serve all customers. The Centralina Virtual Career Marketplace, initiated by the Board in early 2019, offers an innovative and creative way to connect career seekers looking for new or better opportunities with local businesses wanting to hire people right now.
At the June 8, 2021, virtual meeting, the Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) presented long-time Board member, Brenda Speece with the Bob VanGorden Leadership Award.
In the 2022-2027 update to the CEDS, the EDA introduced a new requirement for economic resilience, an area’s ability to prevent, withstand and quickly recover from major disruptions. The requirement promotes planning for implementing resilience and establishing information networks. The CEDS economic resilience component supports a stronger and more resilient Centralina region.
On March 29, President Biden announced that the administration was taking further action to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines. One action included in this expansion is that, through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL), ACL would provide nearly $100 million to help increase vaccinations among older adults and people with disabilities.
On June 9th, the Centralina Executive Board approved the organization’s workplan for the upcoming fiscal year. The FY22 Workplan, organized by the seven regional goals that are part of Centralina’s current strategic plan, includes the regional projects and services that you’ve come to expect from our organization, as well as new initiatives.
Centralina Regional Council started an initiative in February 2021 to inventory and evaluate accomplishments in the region that tie back to CONNECT Our Future and highlight specific data and stories that may inform new actions or priorities for Centralina staff as they continue to support local initiatives that implement the region’s priorities. CONNECT Our Future was an initiative that united residents, businesses, educators, elected officials, non-profit organizations and other interest groups around a common desire for more cooperation in the region and the need to work together to fulfill shared goals.