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NC commerce leaders begin listening sessions

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DURHAM, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory's top lieutenants on economic matters are taking input from local business recruiters and community leaders as they assemble a new economic development strategy for North Carolina.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and McCrory senior economic adviser Tony Almeida scheduled their first "listening session" Friday afternoon at a Durham hotel near Research Triangle Park. They intend to hold events through November in each of eight new regional "prosperity zones" where counties will collaborate with the state.

Decker's agency is developing a plan that's expected to include a private nonprofit corporation that would take over many of state government's economic development duties.

There would also be less emphasis on current regional economic partnerships. The state would place employees in each prosperity zone to provide technical assistance for economic development.

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