On March 10th, I had the privilege of meeting with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ (AAPI) leaders from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida in Charlotte, NC.
The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce hosted a roundtable discussion with nearly 30 AAPI leaders from city council, non-governmental organizations, commerce and education. Topics of discussion included education rights for Asian Americans, federal resources available to help Asian American businesses’ and immersion schools grow, how to obtain credit as a coalition of Asian American firms, immigration reform and alleged discrimination against Asian Americans.
There is tremendous population growth in Charlotte and North Carolina. Foreign immigration and migration from northern and western states have made Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham two of the fastest growing cities in the country. Chinese Americans in the Carolinas are innovating and growing their businesses with foreign direct investment and utilizing the talent pool from the area’s highly educated workforce.
The 6th anniversary of the Carolinas Chinese Chamber of Commerce celebration was held at the Charlotte Marriott City Center with over 250 members and supporters. Distinguished guests included Deputy General Counselor Ming Li from the Chinese Embassy, U.S. Congressman Robert Pettinger, NC State Senators Tommy Tucker, Ralph Hinse and James Davis, Charlotte City Council Dimple Ajmera and Chapel Hill City Council Hongbin Gu.
My address to the audience included the Administration’s accomplishments over the last year to revive the economy and the continued focus on education reform, workforce development and job creation. I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the community, especially business owners, who have positive outlooks for their firm’s growth opportunities and talent acquisition.
Holly Ham is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.