Research Triangle Region's Charles Hayes Takes Part in White House Business Council's Economic Development Forum

Research Triangle RegionResearch Triangle Region, N.C. (August 20, 2014) -- Charles A. Hayes, president and CEO of Research Triangle Regional Partnership, joined an elite group of economic development professionals from around the U.S. on August 5th for the White House Business Council’s Forum on Economic Development. Hayes was among 58 attendees from 25 states and the District of Columbia taking part in the all-day event at the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.

The event was an opportunity for professional economic developers, leaders in their field, to weigh in on U.S. economic policies and programs. “The event was well-staffed with federal government officials, all of whom were listening closely and scribbling notes,” says Hayes. But the gathering was a two-way dialogue, with briefings and presentations from top economic policymakers from across numerous cabinet departments and White House offices. “There was a lot of brainpower in the room sharing perspectives about the state of the economy, about hidden challenges, untapped resources and workable solutions,” says Hayes.

Federal government economists are forecasting 1.6 percent growth in the U.S. economy this year, but are expecting growth in 2015 to hit 3 percent. But a deeper dive into the numbers offered encouragement about the state of manufacturing in America, news that applies to several Research Triangle Region counties. The nation’s manufacturing is significantly outgrowing the rate of our overall GDP, participants were told. Policy makers are considering options for unleashing the nation’s federal research labs to further fuel the current manufacturing renaissance. “This is the sort of intelligence that benefits counties in our region region that have large manufacturing sectors,” Hayes says.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce spoke of the need to gain better insight from the ocean of business and commercial data gathered and stored by their department. Examining such data more closely could produce actionable market intelligence for global businesses pursuing foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade opportunities. Government-gathered data sits largely unanalyzed by economists, business researchers or academics at the moment. “That spells big opportunities for our region and the expertise and leadership we have in business analytics and data-mining,” Hayes says. Participants also discussed the state of programs and policies surrounding workforce readiness, entrepreneurial development and infrastructure building.

Charles Hayes - White House Economic Development ForumThe Forum was organized with help from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a Washington, D.C.-based professional association. Hayes was one of only two North Carolina economic developers to attend. “It was a real benefit having Charles’ participation as part of the White House Forum on Economic Development,” says Aaron Brickman, deputy executive director of SelectUSA, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration that provides counseling, ombudsman services, information and advocacy in support of U.S. job creation and economic growth. SelectUSA worked with the White House in hosting the Forum. “Considering the range of topics we covered that are so critical to job creation and economic growth across our country, Charles’ perspective was of great value,” Brickman says.

Last fall, Hayes participated in a SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC, as a panel moderator. His session, “Taking Advantage of the World’s Deepest Technology & Services Market,” addressed the current state of the nation’s technology industry, leading “clusters” and opportunities for global companies. High-level executives from, Google, Inc., and Samsung, NA, joined Hayes in sharing perspectives on how policies governing trade, R&D, workforce readiness and other issues are shaping the future competitiveness of the U.S. technology industry

About The Research Triangle Regional Partnership

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) provides marketing and strategic economic development coordination for North Carolina's Research Triangle Region. RTRP comprises economic development organizations that represent a wide range of partners to ensure the region remains economically competitive at a global level. Among its many distinctions, RTRP received the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Award for Excellence in Economic Department Regional Competitiveness Strategic Planning.  For more information, visit


Lawrence Bivins