Economic plan to bring business, jobs

DURHAM On Tuesday, Durham's Chamber of Commerce announced its plans to create 9,000 new jobs through it's Vision 3-D economic strategy plan.

Organizers say it's going to take a community effort to make it happen. But Durham's Chamber of Commerce says it's ready to take the lead.

"We've gone from being a city that had tobacco as its major employer today to a city where we have great diversity in terms of medicine being a big employer, Duke University Medical School and hospital complex, a number of companies located in the park, all of which is in Durham County," Vision 3-D Chairman Bob Ingram said.

The chamber has already raised $1.5 million from major companies in the Triangle. The goal is to rake in a million more from smaller businesses.

Ultimately, the money will be used to attract more businesses and new jobs to Durham.

"There's a series of strategies to attract new companies to help with the expansion of existing companies and all of that will help fuel job growth," said John Stallings, president central North Carolina Region SunTrust Bank.

At a time when businesses are scaling back, chamber leaders are encouraging them to invest in the city's potential. More jobs mean more income for consumers and pumping millions in to the local economy.

"This chamber is important to raise money in order for us to have a great chamber, but we need some money to help it along," said Victor Dzau, M.D., Duke Chancellor for Health Affairs and President and CEO of the Duke University Health System.

Durham leaders say if the Vision 3-D plan is a success it could help generate millions of dollars annually in consumer spending.

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