Wednesday, March 10, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
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This is an online event. 
Please CLICK THIS LINK to register and a ZOOM link will be sent in your confirmation email!


John Galles 
Carolina World Trade Association (CWTA) 




NEW!!!  CWTA Jeweled Lapel Pins 

Don’t miss your opportunity to purchase the new CWTA Jeweled Lapel Pin, engraved on gold-tone metal with a magnetic fastener (no holes in clothing) and featuring a crystal jewel representing the greater Charlotte region. Look for the CWTA Jeweled Lapel Pin on your Registration Form!




Carolina World Trade Association

Founded in 1964, CWTA is a chapter of the North Carolina World Trade Association (NCWTA), which promotes growth of trade between North Carolina and the world by providing education and networking opportunities for our global ecosystem.

As a business-driven non-profit organization, CWTA’s mission is to promote, foster and encourage international commerce success and expand economic growth in the Carolinas region. We do this by:

  • Advocating the interests of businesses engaged in international trade on local, regional, state and federal levels;
  • Educating businesses and their employees to the issues, policies, and practices within international trade;
  • Promoting opportunities for expanding inbound and outbound international commerce; and
  • Celebrating the successes of international trade in the region.

































































CLT: Advocating a Regional Mobility Network

A Clarion Call for Expanding Transit Mobility Planning Across the Region

Centralina Regional Council’s and CATS’ CONNECT Beyond: A Regional Mobility Initiative is the first regional effort to create a single, coordinated transit system that includes multiple transit modes. Attend this presentation envisioning real mobility solutions and opportunities across two states and 12 counties—the greater Charlotte region!                                                                                                                                                                                    The Carolina World Trade Association (CWTA) is pleased to invite you to a program on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from 2:00 - 3:00 PM via ZOOM focused on a regional effort to create a single, coordinated transit system that includes multiple transit modes as put forth by the Centralina Regional Council and the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) initiative: CONNECT Beyond: A Regional Mobility Initiative.

Michelle Nance of Centralina and Jason Lawrence of CATS will make a presentation envisioning real mobility solutions and opportunities across two states and 12 counties—the greater Charlotte region—with informative maps that show the basis and the vision of this regional mobility network.

CONNECTBeyond Presentation

The Charlotte region has vast natural advantages as well as infrastructure attributes to support business growth, compete effectively for business relocation, engage in robust international trade, and attract foreign direct investment. To the extent we can be nimble, resilient, and creative enough to adapt to our region’s continual growth and challenges like the pandemic, we can maintain the momentum of current growth and grow even stronger.

Our region of 2.6 million is expected to add 1.4 million more people by 2045. Over the next two decades, the Charlotte region is expected to receive two-thirds of North Carolina’s growth. In the upstate of South Carolina, York and Lancaster counties have the highest growth rates in the region.

As our region continues to grow, access to reliable, efficient and well-connected transportation options is one of the most important factors to ensure everyone can benefit. The Charlotte region needs a bold regional transit vision and plan that provides real mobility solutions and opportunities for residents and visitors across two states and at least 12 counties.

Reliable transportation options provide access to jobs, education, medical facilities and services, and serve as the foundation to our region’s continued economic competitiveness and quality of life.

Charlotte MOVES has made a great start on transportation mobility across Mecklenburg County with its recently issued Charlotte MOVES Task Force Report. Now let’s EXPAND that vision ACROSS the Charlotte region!

The Charlotte Regional Transportation and Planning Authority (CRTPO, pronounced "cart-po") is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) designated to distribute federal and state transportation funding for Mecklenburg, Iredell and Union counties and is tasked with mobility planning as well. CRTPO represents a vertical swath of the region only; the entire region consists of no less than five MPOs. (Read this excellent article on Charlotte’s fractured metro transportation planning written by UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s Mary Newsom.)

Would some realignment of CRTPO with adjoining MPOs be in order? The state automatically reconfigures MPO boundaries every 10 years according to decennial Census data. The 2020 data will be available for all states by Sept. 30, 2021. It may be timely to consider some combination of the MPOs themselves for more efficient, unified and cohesive planning and potentially increased funding and funding opportunities.

This discussion is being presented in support of CWTA’s mission is to promote, foster and encourage international commerce success and expanding economic growth in the Carolinas region. One of the objectives of that mission is to promote regional assets and opportunities for expanding inbound and outbound international commerce. We expect this educational and informative webinar will demonstrate the expanding assets and value of this region to international trade.

Michelle Nance

Michelle E. Nance, AICP                                                                                                                                        Regional Planning Director, Centralina Regional Council

Michelle Nance is the Regional Planning Director for the Centralina Regional Council, providing planning services to nine counties in the greater Charlotte region.

Michelle directed the creation of the Charlotte region’s growth framework, CONNECT Our Future, co-founded the Centralina Health Solutions Center, led a team to develop the greater Charlotte region’s freight mobility study, and is currently directing the creation of a two-state, 12-county regional transit plan, CONNECT Beyond: A Regional Mobility Initiative.

Michelle holds a Master of Public Administration and B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University, and is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. She is past president of the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association and was honored as one of the 2017 50 Most Influential Women in the Charlotte region and was named 2017 Woman of the Year by the Mecklenburg Times.

Contact Michelle at the Centralina Regional Council in Charlotte at 704-348-2709 or mnance@centralina.org.

Jason Lawrence                                                                                                                      Jason Lawrence                                                                                                                                                    Senior Transportation Planner and Interim Manager of Service Planning & Scheduling, Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)

Jason Lawrence joined the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) in 2000 and for the past 20 years has built a reputation of collaboration across the Charlotte region. Since 2015, he has focused on a comprehensive update of CATS 2030 Transit System Plan. Through a proactive public and stakeholder outreach program, the update achieved a broad base of regional support that will guide CATS transit efforts for the next 15-20 years. Through his efforts the Metropolitan Transit Commission in 2019 adopted a 26-mile LYNX Silver Line Light Rail program, 30-mile Bus Rapid Transit project, and a 5-mile southern extension of the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail.

In 2020, Jason, in partnership with the Centralia Regional Council, began the development of a regional transit vision across 12 counties in North and South Carolina through a regional mobility initiative called: CONNECT Beyond.

In 2017 Jason was selected as the 2016 City of Charlotte Employee of the Year. Jason has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Earth Science from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Contact Jason at CATS in Charlotte at 704-336-4106 or jason.lawrence@charlottenc.gov.

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