02/02/10 — Regional summit held on job training

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Regional summit held on job training

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on February 2, 2010 1:46 PM

ROCKY MOUNT -- More than 100 educators, business leaders and citizens packed Brown Auditorium at Nash Community College Thursday to hear the future workforce needs of the 13-county North Carolina Eastern Regional Partnership for Economic Development and discuss how businesses and schools can work together to prepare students for jobs.

"Today we had a great opportunity to see where the East wants to go as a regional economy and what it's going to take from our education system to get us there," said Dalton. "The challenge is to promote cooperation between businesses and schools throughout the region to help the vision become reality and create the workforce of the future for eastern North Carolina."

The 20-member JOBS Commission is charged with making recommendations to the State Board of Education and the General Assembly about how the state's early college high schools can align themselves more closely with the economic development needs of their regions.

Part of the process is learning the needs of the regions. In the 13-county Eastern Region, Partnership President and CEO John Chaffee laid the groundwork with a report on the region's vision plan for economic development.

"We have to bridge gaps in the labor force if we want to build the brightest future possible for our young people," said Chaffee. "I'm encouraged by what I heard today and the possibilities for a strong regional collaborative approach between our education and business communities."

The meeting featured a panel discussion comprised of both educators and employers who talked about regional workforce ends and how the schools are meeting those needs.

Among the panelists were Nash Community College President Bill Carver, Spirit AeroSystems Site Operations Director Rick Davis, University Health Systems Chief Human Resources Officer Tyree Walker, and Golden Leaf Foundation President Dan Gerlach.