"Today we’re really going to speak to workforce development and what that means to this community,” began Michael Haley, Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development, during the Workforce Development Panel at PNC Arena. Haley moderated the panel featuring four notable guests: Anthony Caison, Vice President of Workforce Continuing Education; Pat Sturdivant, Executive Director, Capital Area Workforce Development; Sara Lloyd, Regional Customized Training Director, North Carolina Community Colleges; and Tom White, Director of Economic Development Partnerships, North Carolina State University.
Haley started the panel discussion by asking panelists how growth around the region of Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle has impacted businesses within the region.
“We need to diversify the way workers are able to access our job postings,” said Sturdivant. Sturdivant acknowledged the regions continued growth is producing a flux of jobs and is forcing businesses to make applications and job information available both online as well as in brick and mortar companies.
“Talent development is key,” emphasized Haley. He emphasized how fluid the workforce is in Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle, stressing the importance of proper training for workers. Sturdivant noted that the primary focus of those involved in workforce development is to adequately train and prepare people for jobs as they become available.
Anthony Caison added to the conversation and described how the booming economy is providing more jobs for the region. “This region is a talent magnet,” said Caison. “We have to provide a ladder for those who already live here to make sure they’re receiving the same opportunities for work,” Caison said.
Haley reported that the region is expecting to create more than 30,000 new jobs in the next five years. Salient points of the panel discussion focused on multijurisdictional partnerships and the ability to collaborate regionally on workforce issues.
After the panel discussion, audience members participated in a Q&A segment focusing on educational training and internship opportunities within the region. Attendees asked panelists what they are doing to increase workforce training, to which White replied that colleges within the region are actively seeking apprenticeship opportunities for students. Lloyd elaborated and said, “they aren’t just jobs, they are careers, and it’s critical that we get students the proper training to prepare them for their careers.”
Haley concluded the panel discussion by focusing on the three takeaways from today’s event. “First, I’m going to repeat our goal from this morning which is purposeful partnerships, second are shared goals, and third is to think and do.” Haley thanked the audience members and panelists for their time and participation.
Thank you to the following sponsors: Dominion Energy (Presenting Sponsor); S.B. Ballard Construction Company (Bag Sponsor); VisitNorfolk (Opening Reception and Dinner Sponsor); Principle Advantage (Mayor’s Reception Sponsor); Williams Mullen (Dinner Sponsor); PNC (Luncheon Sponsor); Safelight Auto Glass, James White (Scholarship Sponsor); Cox (Supporting Sponsor).