County Assets: Education and Service - Posterous

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Eastern Carolina Workforce
Development Board , Inc.

1341 South Glenburnie Rd.

New Bern, NC 28562

(252) 636
-
6901

Fax: (252) 638
-
3569

www.ecwdb.org



Region Q Workforce
Development Board

1385 John Small Ave.

Washington, NC 27889

(252) 974
-
1815

Fax: (252) 940
-
1601

www.regionqwdb.org



Turning Point Workforce
Development Board, Inc.

4036 Capital Dr.

PO Box 7516

Rocky Mount, NC 27804

(252)
443
-
6175

Fax: (252) 443
-
4468

www.turningpointwdb.org












North Carolina’s

Eastern Region




State of the Workforce
Report

















Ju
ly

2
010































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Prepared by:

Thomas P. Miller & Associates

1630 North Meridian Street
,
Suite 430

Indianapolis, IN 46202

www.tpma
-
inc.com



Bureau of Business Research

College of Business

East Carolina University

In partnership with:

Bureau of Business Research

East Carolina University, College of Business

114 Slay Hall,

Greenville, N
C 27858
-
4353

www.ecu.edu/business/bbr.cfm




















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Table of Contents


Introduction

................................
................................
................................
................................
....

4

Acknowledgements

................................
................................
................................
.........................

6

Current Stat
e of the Eastern Region Workforce

................................
................................
.............

7

Changes in the Eastern Region Workforce

................................
................................
...................

12

County Input Sessions

................................
................................
................................
...................

15

Carter
et County

................................
................................
................................
.........................

17

Craven County

................................
................................
................................
...........................

20

Duplin County

................................
................................
................................
............................

24

Edgecombe Coun
ty

................................
................................
................................
...................

27

Greene County

................................
................................
................................
..........................

30

Jones County

................................
................................
................................
.............................

33

Lenoir County

................................
................................
................................
............................

36

Nash County

................................
................................
................................
..............................

39

Onslow County

................................
................................
................................
..........................

42

Pamlico County
................................
................................
................................
..........................

45

Pitt County

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

48

Wayne County

................................
................................
................................
...........................

51

Wilson County

................................
................................
................................
...........................

55

Bringing Innovation to Scale in the Eastern Region

................................
................................
......

58

Workforce Development

................................
................................
................................
...........

59

Educat
ion

................................
................................
................................
................................
...

60

Youth

................................
................................
................................
................................
.........

67

Military

................................
................................
................................
................................
......

70

Digital Literacy and

Access

................................
................................
................................
........

78

Current Targeted Business Clusters

................................
................................
..........................

80

Competency Model for a Core Post
-
Secondary Curriculum

................................
.........................

85

Action Agenda for “Strategic Doing”


Talent to Technology

................................
......................

90

Priorities for Implementation

................................
................................
................................
.......

95























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Introduction


It is not news that our economy is changing rapidly.
The economic and social volatility we are
experiencing is not likely to decrease,
as

we are in the throes of a major transition to a
knowledge
-
based economy.

Some of our nation’s geographic regions will seize the moment
and accelerate out of the current recession with new
visions for innovation

that

will

create
sustainable regional str
uctures for economic growth.

Other areas
that do
not

use the
opportunity to evaluate regional strategies will not be as well
-
positioned for future growth
.

Th
is

2010
State of the Workforce Report

allows the Eastern Region to reflect on the changes
that ha
ve occurred in
our re
gion’s workforce and industry composition
, evaluate the current
state, and make plans for future growth and development.

While we know that there have been major changes in unemployment levels and an uneven
impact of the recession ac
ross the region, we also find that the current recession has served to
further expose and exacerbate many of the issues that were previously raised


issues such as
declining manufacturing jobs, skill levels not keeping up with demands, and underlying soci
al
challenges
.
We also find in 2010 a range of new opportunities that can help us address these
issues in new and creative ways


new technologies in education, the “green” movement
generating new types of jobs, and an aggressive approach for bringing mil
itary and government
leadership together for job creation and talent retention. We have plenty of reason
for

optimism, as the report will illustrate.

Our hope is that the report will be valuable to multiple audiences by:



Assisting the collaborating Workfor
ce Development Boards in refining priorities and
action strategies that can be addressed on a regional basis;



Accelerating actions that can be taken by education and service providers to assist laid
-
off workers
, the underemployed and unemployed
in
accessing current job openings and
building skills to advance;



Focusing on specific, county
-
based activities in the region that can be expanded in the
individual counties, and can also be candidates for broader replication throughout the
region;



Assisting
economic development stakeholders in attracting

new employers to the region
and expanding existing businesses in the thirteen counties;



Supplying local businesses with county
-
specific data that can assist in business
development initiatives;



Providing s
pecific recommendations for acquiring currently
-
available funding sources to
address regional issues and build on the region’s assets; and




















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Providing a compendium of data that can be readily used by grant writers in the region
to prepare applications for fu
nding.

Two primary differences from the 2006 report are the inclusion of four additional counties

(Edgecombe, Nash, Pitt and Wilson)

to provide a view of the entire economic development
region, and an increased level of detail on a county
-
by
-
county basis o
f tactics and best practices
that can be brought to regional scale. We are optimistic that regional “strategy” and local
“tactics” can coexist in a highly
-
impactful way, as we have found the participants in sessions
throughout the region to be highly loyal

and committed to their individual counties while
maintaining a view that the county’s success was inseparable from strengthened coordination
on a regional basis.

We also found throughout the region
that strong partnerships and collaborations

exist among
leaders on both t
he county and regional levels.
This may lead the region’s leaders to embrace
an approach to action that has been labeled “Strategic Doing.” Such an approach focuses on
action that can and should be taken now while
we build on the already
strong networks for
viewing progress and recalibrating as needed based on what we learn. Technological advances
also provide us new tools for regional planning and coordination, as on
-
line discussions can be
used effectively to supplement face
-
to
-
face sess
ions. We encourage
use of
on
-
line communities
of interest to both coordinate planning and to continually interact with the residents of the
region.






















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Acknowledgements


The State of the Workforce Report that follows would not have been possible without the

support and assistance from many partners. Thomas P. Miller and Associa
tes (TPMA) expresses
our thanks to
Dr. Jim Kleckley and his staff at the Bureau of Business Research

(BBR)

of East
Carolina University’s College of Business for their expert data coll
ection and analysis
.



TPMA greatly appreciates the daily efforts of the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development
Board, Region Q Workforce Development Board
,

and Turning Point Workforce Development
Board
and their
staff
s

during the completion of the repo
rt.
We especially thank Tammy
Childers, Executive Director of the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, for her
sound guidance and feedback throughout the report process and Ellen Sink, Administrative
Assistant of the Eastern Carolina W
orkforce De
velopment Board, for her extensive support in
planning county and youth input session
s

and capturing

detailed

minutes from these local
meetings.


Finally, TPMA thanks the many county stakeholders and youth who shared their opinions and
insights in county i
nput sessions,
youth input sessions
,
individual interviews

and feedback
during the review process of this report.

While data analysis serves as a fundamental
foundation, without these local insights the State of the Workforce Report would lack context
and the regional story behind the data. We appreciate the time and thoughts shared by
everyone involved.





















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Current

State of the Eastern
Region
Workforce


The nation’s economy is finally beginning to show some signs of life. As one can see from
Figure 1, the country’s employment increase in February 2010 was the largest since the
recession began in January 2008. (De
cember 2007 was the peak of the business cycle and
signaled the end of the expansionary period.) In fact, this 162,000 monthly rise in seasonally
ad
justed employment was only the third

time in 27 months that the number of workers
increased. The previous
rise of 14,000 was in January 2010. However, February’s gain is
modest compared to the total job loss (8.36 million) during the recession.

Figure 1


Source:
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many economists argue that this period in our nation’s history marked the most severe
economic crisis since the Great Depression. Few, if any, regions of the country were immune,
and the impact on North Carolina’s workforce was more severe than in the nat
ion as a whole.
The national job count, as measured
by establishment jobs, fell 6.1%
from December 2007 to
December 2009. North Carolina lost 7.0
%

of

its workforce from its employment peak in
February 2008.

The
shape of the
downturn in North Carolina
also differed from that of the nation. As one can
see in Figure 2, the Tar Heel economy was growing much more rapidly prior to the beginning of
the recession and, as suggested above, North Carolina’s employment did not begin to fall until
March 2008. As
the figure shows, beginning in November 2008 and continuing through
December 2009, the year to year drop in jobs was more severe in North Carolina. Only recently
has that trend reversed.



-1000
-800
-600
-400
-200
0
200
400
# of Workers (Thousand)

US Employment Change

Month
-
to
-
Month Change in the Number
of Workers




















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Figure 2


Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

The th
ird chart
, found on the following page,
brings us to the relative performance of North
Carolina’s Eastern Region. This map of establishment employment shows a trend that is very
similar to the movement seen throughout the state. Both the Eastern Region a
nd the state saw
small drops in employment during the 1990
-
1991 recession. Still, 25 months elapsed before
employment reached its previous May 1990 high. The next recession was between March and
November 2001, although job losses began in North Carolina
in July 2000 as many
manufacturing companies closed their domestic doors. It took 67 months (five years and seven
months) for the economy to recover from the 2001 recession and employment to return to its
peak June 2000 employment level.












-0.07
-0.05
-0.03
-0.01
0.01
0.03
0.05
Establishment Employment Growth

Year
-
to
-
Year Percent Change

United States
North Carolina



















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Figure

3


Source: Employment Security Commission of North Carolina

Note: Data is seasonally adjusted by Bureau of Business Research, College of Business, East Carolina University

The story for the Eastern
Region
is similar, as is suggested by Figure 3. For example, in the
1990
-
1991 recession, the region began losing jobs before loss appeared in the statewide
numbers; the next peak in employment was in August 2000, and it took the region 74 months
(6 years and two

months) to recover all losses. If it takes as long to recover the jobs lost during
the current recession, complete recovery may be expected in the year 2014.

There is a huge difference between the two time periods, however. Much of the job loss in the
2001 recession was the result of a structural change in the economy. As mentioned earlier, a
large part of North Carolina’s manufacturing base disappeared

and
will not come back. Recent
losses are more cyclical in nature. In other words, the slowdown in

the economy caused
employers to reduce their workforce. Although some of these jobs will also likely never return,
it is more probable that the number of jobs overall will return more quickly than after the 2001
recession. Still, the recovery poses enor
mous challenges for economic developers,
businesses,
government, educators

and other organizations’ training programs. Many of the

unemployed
and underemployed adults and youth
must be retrained, and there will be increased
competition for jobs as new wor
kers enter the regional labor market.

The change in the number of jobs has been very uneven across the Eastern Region, as one sees
in Table

1

below
. The table shows a variety of “peak employment” months and many
differences in the strength of local growth
. Three counties (Edgecombe, Lenoir, and Pamlico)
saw their workforce peak in the 1990’s. Three other counties (Carteret, Jones, and Wayne)
realized their largest workforce numbers
in
this decade, but
all three peaked
either
prior to or
in
2006
. One cou
nty, Onslow, saw its employment peak in July 2009.

270000
290000
310000
330000
350000
370000
390000
410000
2500000
2700000
2900000
3100000
3300000
3500000
3700000
3900000
4100000
4300000
Regional Employment

State Employment

Establishment Employment

North Carolina
NC's Eastern Region



















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Table 1

Employment Change

Seasonally Adjusted Establishment Data


Percent Change

Location

September 2009
Employment

Month of Peak
Employment

From Peak

From 2006

Annual Average

North Carolina

3,793,956

December 2007

-
7.3%

-
4.1%

NC
's Eastern Region

368,637

February 2008

-
6.5%

-
3.2%

Carteret

22,380

June 2006

-
6.5%

-
4.6%

Craven

38,344

July 2007

-
8.9%

-
7.4%

Duplin

20,055

January 2008

-
4.1%

-
0.7%

Edgecombe

18,822

August 1996

-
29.3%

-
14.8%

Greene

4,148

November 2007

-
8.3%

4.7%

Jones

1,739

September 2005

-
13.0%

-
3.3%

Lenoir

25,333

September 1997

-
20.0%

-
9.8%

Nash

40,488

March 2008

-
8.9%

-
2.0%

Onslow

45,915

July 2009

-
2.3%

7.5%

Pamlico

2,934

August 1999

-
15.5%

-
4.9%

Pitt

68,906

December 2007

-
6.8%

-
0.1%

Wayne

43,107

March 2000

-
7.9%

-
2.8%

Wilson

36,410

December 2007

-
10.0%

-
7.6%

Source: Employment Security Commission of North Carolina

Table 1 also shows how the economy has changed since the 2006 workforce report. As of
September last year (which

is the latest

seasonally

adjusted

information available for the
counties), employment in only two counties has grown over their 2006 annual averages
(Greene and Onslow). In two counties (Duplin and Pitt), employment declined less than one
percent. In
two more counties (Nash and Wayne) employment also declined, but relatively less
than for the entire region. The remaining counties saw their workforces decline at a faster pace
than in the region as a whole.

The loss of job opportunities has implications

in many areas, from increasing the
unemployment rolls to suppression of income in the county or region (shown in tables in the
data scan for the region and all counties). The type of job loss, or gain in some instances, also
has varied across time and pl
ace. For example,
in net terms,
the region has lost nearly 3,500
jobs since 2000, most of which were in manufacturing and construction. Job gains show in
other regional industries, most notably the following sectors: Educational Services; Health Care
and

Social Assistance; Arts Entertainment and Recreation; and Accommodation and Food
Services. Some sectors in the region, such as retail and wholesale trade, lost jobs even as
employment in the labor area as a whole increased.

The decline of job opportuni
ties in the region over the past few years has certainly put a strain
on the workforce. As mentioned earlier, some sectors will not
recover. The textile industry is a



















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likely example of jobs that will not come back; many were moved overseas to low wage
co
untries. Other parts of manufacturing should grow, but the skills needed in new techno
logy
-
driven industries will require more worker education and training. Recovery in some industries,
construction, for instance, is dependent on the strength of the econ
omy.

Finally, one must remember that job opportunities for the workers in one county might be
located in the jurisdiction next door. This means that while the local area economy might not
be
growing;

more opportunities might be available in neighboring
counties that are growing.
Moreover, when contiguous counties lose jobs, the demand for local jobs rises. As seen in
earlier recoveries, increased demand puts a premium on the trained, educated, and skilled
worker.
























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Changes in the Eastern
Region

Workforce


The thirteen
-
county Eastern Region has a total population of 986,548 (2009).

Since 2004, the
population
has grown 4.3%, an increase of
40,336 individuals.

Compared to the state’s
population change (10.1%), the region has seen considerably slower growth.
1


On the other hand, the region’s population is similar in age to the rest of the North Carolina.
The median age in the thirteen counties is 37.3, only
slightly older than the state’s (37.1). At
the time of the previous report, in 2004, the Eastern Region’s median age was only 34.3.
2



The labor force in the Eastern Region has also grown s
ince 2004
. As seen in Table 2, in 2009
there were 3
1,473

more
individuals
in the labor force than in 2004; this is an increase of
7.3%
.

Considering that the total population in the region has only grown by 4.3%, the labor force has
grown at a
much faster rate. There are a number of factors that could be respo
nsible for this
rapid increase including the necessity for more families to have two incomes because of the
recession.

Also important to note is the high increase in unemployment rates


from 5.9% in
2004 to 10.4% in 2009.



Table 2

North Carolina's Ea
stern Region

(Annual Averages)


2004

2009

Labor Force

429,977

461,450

Employed

404,509

413,668

Unemployed

25,468

47,782

Unemployment
Rate (%)

5.9

10.4

Source: Employment Security Commission of North Carolina


In addition to the civilian population growth, there has also been significant growth in the
military personnel in the region. At
MCIEAST (
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps
Air Station New River, and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
)

the a
ctive duty and civilian
personnel has increased by 12,980 since 2006. Growth plans
predicted
that in 2010, there
would be 71,963
active duty and civilian personnel

at the three installations; instead, there are
currently 75,061 active duty and civilian pe
rsonnel.







1

North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, certified population estimates; US Census Bureau (for
2009).

2

North Carolina Data Center. Eastern Region median age estimated as weighted average of county median ages.




















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Figure
4

Marine Corps Installations East (MCI EAST) (2006
-
2010)




2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Civilians

10,351

10,351

10,738

11,258

11,353

Active Duty

51,730

53,705

56,623

62,169

63,718

Total Actual

62,081

64,056

67,361

73,427

75,061

Total Planned

62,081

64,056

68,434

70,147

71,963

Source: Military Growth Task Force





0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
60,000
70,000
80,000
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
Civilians
Active Duty



















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Skill levels

The Eastern Region out
-
performs both the state and nation in the percentage of individuals
who have their high school diploma or equivalent (31.4%),
individuals with some college
experience (22.7%) and those with an Associate’s degree (8.8%). Where the region is not as
competitive is in the number of individuals that have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. It is also
true that there is a higher percentag
e of individuals in the region that have less than a high
school diploma than in the state or country. Figure 5 shows educational attainment as
estimated in 2006
-
2008.

Figure
5

Educational Attainment


Source: American Community Survey 3
-
year Estimates,
2006
-
2008


S
ince the previous State of the Workforce Report, progress has been made toward improving
educational attainment levels in the Eastern Region
. In 2004, the number of individuals 25
years or older that held a Bachelor’s degree or higher was 15.0
%.
3

The 2006
-
2008 estimates
from the American Community Survey show that this number has increased to 18.4%.
4

Similarly, the percentage of residents with an Associate’s degree also grew


from 7.4% in 2004
to 8.8%.






3

Data for 2004 is from the State of the Workforce Report 2006.

4

2006
-
2008 American Community Survey 3
-
year estimates.

15.5%

17.1%

18.6%

29.6%

28.9%

31.4%

20.1%

20.2%

22.7%

7.4%

8.2%

8.8%

27.4%

25.6%

18.4%

0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
United States
North Carolina
Eastern Region
BACHELOR'S DEGREE
OR HIGHER
ASSOC. DEG
SOME COLLEGE
HS GRAD
LESS THAN HS



















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101


County Input Sessions

Because each of the thirteen counties in the Eastern Region has unique assets and challenges,
individual county input sessions were conducted to capture county
-
specific insights and ideas.
Participants at the county input sessions represented economic dev
elopment, K
-
12 education
and post
-
secondary education, workforce development, vocational rehabilitation, and industry.

Individual county conversations were framed with an initial review of local data. Participants
were then led through interactive exerc
ise
s

to identify what assets and challenges stand in the
way of progress and how behaviors can be adapted to overcome obstacles and seize
opportunities.


Cross
-
cutting Themes from County Input Sessions

Strong partnerships and collaboration



Throughout

the thirteen counties, it was nearly
unanimous that the collaborative relationships at the county level as well as the regional level
are one of the Eastern Region’s greatest assets. JobLink Career Centers,
C
hambers of
C
ommerce and many others serve as f
acilitators for multi
-
agency collaboration. Networks such
as the Eastern Region Science and Engineering Forum convene stakeholders from several
counties for topical conversations and information
-
sharing.

Educational assets



The community colleges and t
heir bran
ch

locations were praised in each
county input session for the responsiveness they showed to business and continued
involvement in developing the region’s 21
st

century workforce. K
-
12 education boasts
innovative laptops programs, early college hi
gh schools, and entrepreneurship education.

Military influences and opportunities



Although some counties like Onslow, Craven, Carteret
and Wayne feel the impact of the military bases more than others, all thirteen counties
acknowledge that the military

has a significant effect on the Eastern Region’s economy. From
MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River in Onslow County
, MCAS Cherry Point in Craven
County, and Seymour Johnson AFB in Wayne County

to defense opportunities in Wilson County,
the military impac
t can be felt throughout the region.

Tourism



The natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities of the Eastern Region
draws many tourists, especially to the coastal communities. Counties that rely heavily on the
tourism industry have found ther
e to be both positive and negative consequences; although it
attracts newcomers and their wealth, it also encourages seasonal homeowners and low
-
wage
jobs.

Entrepreneurship and small business support



Stakeholders in many of the counties reported
existi
ng entrepreneurship training and education as well as resources for small business
including business incubators, small business centers at the community colleges, SCORE
chapters, and programs like North Carolina Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learn
ing (NC



















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101


REAL) and the Growing America through Entrepreneurship (GATE) program. County
participants stressed the importance of encouraging lifelong entrepreneurial interests


from
youth to retiring military personnel.

Career Readiness Certificate

(CRC)



The North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate is
promoted in all th
irteen counties of the region. It provides the region with the ability to boast a
documented workforce with the basic skills needed by all employers.
Utilization, however,
can
be more consistent
through the region
; em
ployer recognition of the credential also varies

throughout the Eastern Region
.



Economic development successes



New businesses and the jobs that they bring do not just
affect the county in which they

are

loca
te
d
. They also impact the surrounding counties that
offer commuters, suppliers and regional assets. In almost every county session, the attraction
of new employers like Sanderson Farms, Spirit AeroSystems, MasterBrand Cabinets was a cause
for excitement
and pride.

Technology as a driver



Individual county input sessions often included conversations about
either leveraging existing technology assets or developing a firmer technology foundation. A
few of the rural counties struggle with limited internet a
ccess, making opportunities like e
-
commerce or distance education difficult. Other counties have
high
-
tech rankings, but can
promote them better. In several counties, K
-
12 education has been a leader in using
technology programs


like one
-
to
-
one laptop
initiatives


to ensure that students are prepared
for 21
st

century careers and opportunities.





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How Carteret County
differs from the Eastern Region




POPULATION. 49.0% of Carteret County’s population is 45 years or
older, compared to 35.9% for the Eastern Region. Carteret’s median
age is 44.36, second only to Pamlico County in the region
5
.



INCOME. The per capita pe
rsonal income in Carteret County is $34,241
($4,000 more than the Eastern Region average of $30,048
6
).



INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE. The
largest i
ndustrial sectors

by employment

in Carteret County are Trade, Transportation and Utilities (22.7%),
Education and

Health Services (19.7%) and Leisure and Hospitality
(18.1%). This differs from the Eastern Region profile. The
r
egion’s
economy is led by Education and Health Services (26.0%), Trade,
Transportation and Utilities (19.5%), and Manufacturing (12.3%)
7
.



ED
UCATION. The percentage of students passing ABCs end
-
of
-
grade
exams is considerably higher in Carteret County than in the region
(Carteret: 79.2% in reading, 89.4% in math; Eastern Region: 62.9% in
reading, 76.9% in math).

8


How Carteret County has chan
ged since 2004



POPULATION. The population in Carteret County has increased by
2.9% from 2004 to 2008 (from 61,742 to 63,520).



INCOME. Carteret County’s average household income has grown by
19.7% from 2004 to 2008 (from $52,628 to $62,999). The 2006 State of
the Workforce Report projected that the average household income
would only
be
$54,877 by 2009.



UNEMPLOYMENT. Because of

the recession, the unemployment rate
in Carteret County has nearly doubled over the last
five
years,
consistent with the rest of the region. Unemployment was
approximately
5.
5
% in 200
4

and
grew to 9.3% in March 2010.



EDUCATION. The number of degreed indi
viduals (Associate’s Degree
and higher) rose slightly in Carteret County over the past few years.
Individuals with Associate’s degrees increased from 7% in 2004 to 9.5%
in 2008. From 2004 to 2008, residents with Bachelor’s degrees or
higher rose from 20%

to 23.3%.
9





5

Population data is from the North Carolina Data Center, 2008
.

6

Per capita income data is from the
North Carolina Data Center
.


7

North Carolina Employment Security Commission, 2008

8

http://dpi.state.nc.us/docs/research/dropout/reports/2008/0708report.pdf

9

American Community Survey, 2008










County Assets: Planning
and Development

Business Advisory Network
(Program of the Carteret County
Chamber of Commerce)

Carteret County Chamber of
Commerce

Carteret
County Economic
Development Council, Inc.

Carteret County Tourism
Development Board

Eastern Carolina Council

Eastern Caro
lina Workforce
Development Board, Inc.

North Carolina’s Eastern Region

North Carolina Marine Sciences
and Education Partnership

Small
Business Resource Alliance


County Assets: Education
and Service

Carteret County JobLink Career
Center, Morehead City

Carteret Community College

Carteret Community College,
Military Business Center

Carteret County Public Schools

Coastal Community Action, I
nc.

Eastern North Carolina Science
and Engineering Forum

Employment Security Commission,
Morehead City

North Carolina Marine Trades and
Education Center

Port of Morehead City



*This is not intended as an exhaustive index.

C

arteret County




















Page
18

of
101


Key Themes from County Input Session

o

TOURISM. The county is clearly a magnet for tourists, but this has proven to be a double
-
edged
sword. On the positive side is high quality of life, attraction of wealth, and exposure of the county
to
potential employers and entrepreneurs. On the negative side are low service
-
economy wages,
absentee owners of property, and an aging population.

o

TAX BASE. 40% of tax bills are mailed to individuals living out of state. 47% of the county property
tax base i
s paid by out
-
of
-
county homeowners
.
10

o

MARINE INDUSTRIES. The physical location provides unique opportunities for development in
ma
rine trades and sciences. S
trong educational partners
hips exist for development of this

sector.

o

MILITARY PRESENCE. Military emp
loyment provides 21% of the county’s wage income.
11

Expansion
at military installations in the region will serve to increase that number. Opportunities for local
employers to provide goods and services to the military will likely expand; programs to help
em
ployers seize the
se

opportunities should be strengthened. The county’s reliance on military
income also presents vulnerability; the county would be impoverished if these jobs went away.

o

TIGHT
-
KNIT COMMUNITY. Strong partnerships exist among business, educat
ion, and workforce
development. Small business roundtables are very active in the county. The Economic
Development Council site houses multiple partners who coordinate responsiveness. The JobLink
site serves as a focal point for multi
-
agency coordination f
or employers and job seekers. The
resident population has a strong sense of community.

o

STATISTICS MISLEADING. Viewing the county based on average income/wages can mask the real
economic story. There is tremendous disparity within the county


poverty is ma
sked by high
wealth at the other end of the spectrum. The Cherry Point average annual income is $58,000 while
the tourism industry average is $15,000. Extremes also exist on cost of housing, making average
costs highly misleading in that category also.

o

EDUCATION STRENGTHS. The county has excellent K
-
12 schools that prepare many of our best
students to gain admission to colleges outside of the region; a combination of low wage structure
and lack of affordable housing
discourages

their return to the county
. Business
-
education
partnerships in the county are strong and growing, ranging from use of Career Readiness
Certificate to “2 plus 2” programs. The community college system is increasingly the entry point for
skills leading to employment in the county:
pa
rticipants reported that
enrollment is up by 20% and
courses up by 15%.

College affordability issues are also serving to increase community college
enrollments, with 8 of 10 community college students demonstrating financial need.

o

VISIBILITY OF OPPORTUNIT
IES. A recurring theme was lack of public awareness on a number of
fronts:
underemployed and l
aid
-
off workers’ awareness of education and services available;

and
employers’ awareness of assistance available in helping to move to new markets, new products,
and new technology.

o

COLLABORATION WITH OTHER COUNTIES. Through initiatives like the Eastern North Carolina
Science and Engineering Forum, a partnership of Carteret and Craven County Schools, 4
-
year
universities, community colleges, Fleet Readiness
Center
East, and workforce and economic
development, Carteret County is looking beyond its borders for true collaboration.




10

Carteret County Economic Development Council. “Carteret County Economic Analysis: SWOT.” February 2009

11

Carteret County Economic Development Council. “Carteret County Economic Analysis: SWOT.” February 2009




















Page
19

of
101


Spotlight on….

North Carolina
Marine Sciences and Education Partnership (MSEP)

A coalition of marine sciences education leaders and researchers as well as economic development
and other county stakeholders, the Marine Sciences Education Partnership was formed in 2002 to
identify the pa
rtners’ combined services to better prepare for future opportunities. The coalition
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For more information, visit

www.ncmsep.com
.





Options for Leveraging County Assets for Regional Growth

o

Promote a
Business Innovation Alliance
from the current base of partners housed a
t the Economic
Development Council site. Engage partners from the workforce development and education
systems to expand and formalize an ongoing business contact program. Each contact should result
in a specific action plan tied to the employer’s needs. Th
e Alliance can also sponsor sessions for
employers on processes for gaining government contracts, along with assistance available for
technology upgrades to move into new products and markets.

o

Create a
Tourism to Technology
initiative to assist low
-
wage wo
rkers in the tourism sector to
create job and skills pathways to new technology jobs

in the region.


With county strengths in
healthcare and education services, the initial focus can be on technical skills needed in those
sectors. Tourism jobs provide an e
xcellent base for development of work ethic and customer
service skills, which can then be supplemented with technical skills via classroom and on
-
the
-
job
training combinations.

o

Join other counties in the region in bringing the employers’ usage of
Career R
eadiness Certificates
(CRC)
to scale. Building on the county’s established communications channels and trust between
the business community and educational providers,
t
he CRCs provide the key translation device for
specific matching of job seekers’ skills
with employers’ defined needs. The critical

component in
establishing the
strength

of the CRCs is employer usage in hiring decisions

and support from
education
.


o

Select another industry cluster to replicate the successful
Marine Sciences and Education
Partnership (MSEP)

model. While another sector may not have all the types of partners in the
MSEP, structures can be built to provide continuity of credentials from high school to community
college to 4
-
year institutions, including transferability of credi
ts for industry certificates in
partnership with participating employers.

o

Form a
Fair Share for Carteret
fund development alliance to combine grant writing and data
analysis talent to create a strong needs
-
based database for grant applications. As county
-
b
ased
statistics often serve to hide deep pockets of needs within the county, such a database will be
essential in building a needs
-
based case required for many human services, education, and
workforce development grants.



Page
20

of
101





How
Craven County

differs from the Eastern Region



POPULATION. Craven County
is home to 10% of the Eastern Region’s
population (
98,529
).
12

The median age is 34.7, compared to 37.3 for
the region.
13




INCOME. The per capita personal income is $33,242, higher than the
Eastern Region aver
age of $30,048.
Craven has a significant retiree
community with 25.4% of population receiving main source of
income from retirement.
14



INDUSTRY. The top three industrial sectors in Craven County are
Public Administration (17.6%), Healthcare & Social Assistance
(17.0%) and Retail trade (13.0%). While manuf
acturing accounts for
12.1% of employment in the region, only 8.7% of jobs in Craven
County are in the industry sector.
15



EDUCATION.

Craven County has a higher percentage of adults 25
years or older with a Bachelors’ degree or higher (21.1%) than the
Easter
n Region (18.4%).
16

How Craven County has changed since 2004



POPULATION. Craven County grew 5.3% from 2004
-
2009, higher
than the regional average of 4.3% and only trailing Pitt (12.2%) and
Onslow (6.1%) counties.
17



INCOME. From 2004


2007
, per capita person
al income increased
by 17.4% in Craven County

(from

$28,304 to $33,242)
.
18



UNEMPLOYMENT. Due to the recession, the unemployment rate
nearly doubled

from 5.4% in January 2004 to
10.3%

in
March

2010.
This is consistent with figures in the rest of the region.
19




12

North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, certified population
estimates; US Census Bureau (for 2009).

13

North Carolina Data Center (2
008)

14

Regional Economic Information System, Bureau of Economic Analysis, US
Department of Commerce

15

Employment Security Commission of North Carolina
. Note: Fleet Readiness
Center East, classified under Transportation and Warehousing by ESC, is the
large
st industrial employer in North Carolina east of Interstate 95.

16

US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2006
-
2008 3
-
year estimates

17

North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, certified population
estimates; US Census Bureau (for 2009).

18

Regional Economic Information System, Bureau of Economic Analysis, US
Department of Commerce










County Assets: Planning
and Development

Craven County Convention and
Visitor’s Center

Craven County Economic
Development Commission

Eastern Carolina Council

Eastern Carolina

Workforce
Development Board, Inc.

Havelock Chamber of Commerce

Leadership Craven (Program of the
New Bern Area Chamber of
Commerce)

New Bern Area Chamber of
Commerce

New Bern Riverfront Convention
Center

Neuse River Community
Development Corporation

Nort
h Carolina’s Eastern Region

County Assets: Education
and Service

Coastal Community Action, Inc.

Craven Community College

Craven Community College’s Small
Business Center

Craven County JobLink Career
Center, New Bern

Craven County Schools

Craven Early
College

Employment Security Commission,
New Bern

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry
Point

North Carolina Military Business
Center


*This is not i
ntended as an exhaustive index.

raven
County

C




















Page
21

of
101




EDUCATION
. Dropout rates for grades 9
-
12 decreased from 5.38% in 2004
-
05 to 4.56% in 2007
-
08. Craven County saw increased utilization of technology in schools with the number of students
per internet connected PC improving from 3.6 in 2003
-
04 to 2.1 in 2
008
-
09.
20



Key Themes from County Input Session

o

MILITARY PRESENCE. MCAS Cherry Point is Craven County’s largest employer employing 9,732
active duty and 5,453 civilian employees with an estimated economic impact of $2,179,353,050
for Fiscal Year 2009.
21

Ove
r 35,000 residents in Craven County (more than
a third

of the total
population) are connected to the military in some form as: active duty

military
,
retired milita
ry,
civilian employees
, or
family members.
22

Cherry Point is critical to the continued prosper
ity and
growth of Craven County.
T
he
county needs to ensure its voice is heard in Washington, D.C.,
particularly related to aircraft maintenance contracts associated with the Fleet Readiness Center
East

in order to help solidify the existence of military r
elated jobs in the area
.

o

ACTIVE BUSINESS
-
LED ORGANIZATIONS. The New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce and the
Havelock Chamber of Commerce are very strong within Craven County. The New Bern Chamber
operates small and large business committees; has an organized

Leadership Craven program to
grow new leaders in the County; a young professionals group; and convene
s

a group of nonprofit
leaders to collaboratively discuss, approach, and support planning efforts and pursu
e

funding
opportunities. The Havelock Chamber maintains an active calendar of events and close interaction
with MCAS Cherry Point. The Craven County Economic Development Commission and its
Committee of 100 lead economic development efforts for the county. O
rganizations value
collaboration and work well together for the betterment of the county.

o

K
-
12 EDUCATION STRENGTHS. Craven County Schools operates innovative programs including
Craven Early College, a high school located on the New Bern campus of Craven Community College
where students focus on
a defined career pathway
such as
manufacturing, ed
ucation, engineering,
health sciences, information technology
. T
he

program is

tuition free and students have the
potential to graduate
in five years
with
a high school diploma and
A
ssociates in
S
cience degree in
or tw
o years of transferable credits
. Crave
n EDGE allows high school students to take college
-
level
courses at Craven Community College’s New Bern and Havelock campuses tuition free. In
partnership with Piedmont Biofuels, high school students retrofitted a school bus with a biodiesel
processor that

is then used to

produce biodiesel to
power the school bus.

Furthermore, a new
local course, R
enewable Energy and Agriculture, has been approved by the North Carolina
Department of Public Instruction to be implemented in Fall 2010 in Craven County Schools
.


o

COMMUNITY COLLEGE INVOLVEMENT. Craven Community College operates campuses in New
Bern and Havelock. At the New Bern campus, t
he Bosch
and Siemens Advanced Manufacturing
Center

provides
state
-
of
-
the
-
art training in
advanced
manufacturing methods and pr
ocesses to
students, employees of BSH Home Appliances Corp.
,

and workers from other area manufacturers.
At the Havelock campus, the Institute for Aeronautical Technology supports the Aviation Systems
Technology Program that provides workforce training and
development for the civilian and
military aviation maintenance community at MCAS Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East.






19

Employment Security Commission of North Carolina

20

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

21

FY09 Economic Impact MCAS Cherry Point

22

FY09 Economic Imp
act MCAS Cherry Point




















Page
22

of
101


Craven Community College provides customized training programs for employers and
is
viewed as
an asset for supporting workforce d
evelopment in the county.

o

ENTREPRENEURIAL SUPPORT. The Small Business Center at Craven Community College provides
business seminars and workshops and conducts a free Entrepreneurship Academy for aspiring and
current entrepreneurs. A Military Business Cent
er is also located at Craven Community College to
help local businesses tap into available business opportunities at MCAS Cherry Point and other
Eastern Region military facilities.

o

EX
-
OFFENDERS. Reengaging ex
-
offenders into the workforce was identified as

a challenge in
Craven County. Individuals with felonies have difficulty obtaining employment and often end up
back in the prison systems. The Employment Security Commission provides support services for
ex
-
offenders but many employers don’t know about tax

incentives or want to take the risk.
However, some employers have seen success with employing ex
-
offenders. BSH Home Appliances
Corp. has successful
ly

hired individuals and seen retention rates of over 80%.

o

HOUSING. There is a lack of quality, functiona
l housing for low
-
income residents in the county.
Organizations such as the Neuse River Community Development Corporation support
development projects and provide credit counseling and assistance to low
-
income county
residents. Efforts to link home ownersh
ip counseling with job and training opportunities could be
strengthened.

o

RETAINING TALENT. Craven County has difficulty in retaining talent to stay in the area after high
school or once military service is complete. Some highly skilled positions such as en
gineers
working

under

contracts at MCAS Cherry Point can be difficult to immediately fill. Craven
Community College has developed a partnership with North Carolina State University to offer a
2+2 program where students can complete

their

first two years of

the
program at the Havelock
campus and final two in Raleigh. The county and region have implemented efforts to support
transition
ing

military personnel (ex. I Hire Military initiative).

o

HEALTHCARE TRAINING CONSTRAINTS. Programs in Nursing are consistentl
y maxed out and
expansion is difficult due to lack of faculty. Specific allied health specialties (ex. Respiratory
Therapy) are not offered through Craven Community College due to

the
non
-
competitive nature
of the community college system in North Carolina

which forces students interested in programs
to commute

to

other community colleges.
























Page
23

of
101


Spotlight on….

Craven County Schools’ “Farm to Fuels” Project


Craven County Schools, in partnership with
Piedmont Biofuels has developed a renewable fuels
training program benefiting West Craven High and Havelock High School students, local farmers,
and community members. The school district received a $49,000 grant from the Biofuel Center of
North Carolina t
hat was used to purchase a school bus that was going to be removed from the
district’s fleet to convert it into a biofuels processor. Piedmont Biofuels recently completed the
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For more information, visit
http://www.enctoday.com/news/vanceboro
-
64439
-
nbsj
-
burns
-
well.html
.




Options for Leveraging County Assets for Regional Growth

o

Coordinate an approach to ensure
C
raven County has a
voice in Washington, D.C.

for
MCAS
Cherry Point
and Fleet Readiness Center East missions. Work with members of
the
C
ongressional
delegation and Governor’s office, particularly focusing on current maintenance contracts and
anticipated activities related to the Joint Strike Fighter. Investigate
available
funding to conduct a
mission competitiveness analysis comparing Craven County with other competitor communities
throughout the United States.

A Craven County approach can serve as a model for a regional
voice in Washington, D.C. that represents the multip
le military installations in the Eastern Region.


o

Develop a
Craven Goes Green

initiative focused on corralling
green
training, programming, and
activities within the county to form a common vision for the county. This could be a Chamber
-
led
initiative

and/or part of the efforts of Craven Community College and Craven Public Schools.

o

Promote available
employment opportunities to college students from Craven County

currently
away attending four
-
year colleges and universities using the
Young Professionals

G
roup

as a
vehicle. Events that provide presentations on current opportunities and county
-
based quality of
life amenities could be offered during Christmas and summer breaks.

o

Develop a package of materials on
employment of ex
-
felons

for employers that i
dentif
ies

tax
incentives that employers have available (ex. Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) tha
t can
reduce an employer’s federal income tax liability by as much as $2,400 per qualified new worker)

and provide c
ase studies of successful programs n Crave
n County (ex. BSH in New Bern)
;
investigate offering
Career Readiness Certificate (CRC)
training and
t
esting

at
Craven Correctional
Institution
.


Page
24

of
101






How Duplin County differs from the Eastern Region



POPULATION. The county has seen positive growth in its population
over the past several years,
but its population has increased slightly
slower than the Region’s (3.9% growth in Duplin compared to 4.3% in
the Eastern Region from 2004 to 2009).
23




INCOME. Per capita personal income is significantly lower in Duplin
County than in the Eastern Region ($
25,214 in Duplin County versus
$30,048 in the Region)
24
.



INDUSTRY. Manufacturing (28.7%), Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and
Hunting (14.0%), and Health Care and Social Assistance (10.0%) are
the three largest industries in Duplin County. While
H
ealth
C
are and
M
anufacturing are also dominant industries throughout the region,
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting have a much larger impact
in Duplin County
25
.



EDUCATION.

34.0% of Duplin County residents have less than a high
school diploma, which is considerably higher than the Eastern Region
(18.6%). On the other hand, only 9.2% have a Bachelor’s degree or
higher, compared to 18.4% in the Region
.
26


How Duplin County h
as changed since 2004



POPULATION. From 2000
-
2004, Duplin County’s population grew
4.3%. Over the past few years, however, that growth has slowed to
3.9% (2004
-
2009).



INCOME. Since 2004, per capita personal income increased by
11.4% in Duplin County (fr
om $22,633 in 2004 to $25,214 in 2007).



UNEMPLOYMENT. Unemployment in 2004 was 6.4%. Since the
recession, the percentage of unemployed individuals increased to
9.2
%

in March 2010
. Duplin County had one of the lowest
unemployment rates in the region,

second only to Onslow County.







23

NC Office of State Budget and Management; US Census Bureau (for 2009 data).

24

Regional Economic Information System, Bureau of Economic Analysis, US
Department of Commerce

25

Industry data and unemployment rates are from the Emp
loyment Security
Commission of North Carolina.

26

United States Census Bureau










County Assets: Planning
and Development

Beulaville Area Chamber of
Commerce

Duplin County Center for
Leadership Development

Duplin County Economic
Development Commission

Eastern Carolina Council

Eastern Carolina Workforce
Development Board, Inc.

Kenans
ville Chamber of
Commerce

North Carolina’s Eastern Region

Rose Hill Chamber of Commerce

Wallace Chamber of Commerce

Wallace Committee of 100

Warsaw Chamber of Commerce


County Assets: Education
and Service

Coastal Community Action, Inc.

Duplin County
Business
Technology Center

Duplin County Center, NC
Cooperative Extension

Duplin County JobLink Career
Center, Kenansville

Duplin County Schools

Duplin Early College High School

Employment Security Commission,
Kenansville

James Sprunt Community College

Jam
es Sprunt Community College
Small Business Center




*This is not intended as an exhaustive index
.


uplin

County

D




















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EDUCATION. Since the 2003
-
04 school year, schools making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) ha
ve

varied. The number of middle schools that
did not

make AYP decreased, from 67% in 2003
-
2004 to
33% in 2008
-
2009, but more high schools failed to make AYP (33% in ‘03
-
‘04, 75% in ‘08
-
’09)
27
.


Key Themes from County Input Session

o

QUALITY OF LIFE. Duplin County’s quality of life is a great asset that can be

promoted and
leveraged to attract businesses, residents and visitors. The county boasts a low
-
cost of living while
still offering excellent schools and a multitude of housing options. Recreation and cultural
opportunities in Duplin County range from wal
king trails and golf courses to historic districts and
museums.

o

MILITARY OPPORTUNITIES. With its close proximity to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and
Marine Corps Air Station New River, one of the priorities in Duplin County is to continue to engage
an
d retain men and women exiting the military. Efforts to ease the transition from military to
civilian life, specifically by correlating military skill sets to civilian employment and addressing issues
of reciprocity for exiting military personnel and thei
r spouses, are ongoing.

o

ENTREPRENEURSHIP. The Duplin County Business Technology Center, Small Business Center at
James Sprunt Community College and strong partnerships that exist create an environment in
Duplin County that welcomes and supports entrepr
eneurship. The new “green” economy can be a
focus for entrepreneurs given the county’s agricultural assets and opportunities.

o

CAREER PATHWAYS. A recurring theme was the opportunity to present career pathways in both
the classroom and the workplace. Em
ployers can assess their workforce and help them identify
internal paths to move along the career ladder. Career awareness and exploration in middle school
can help students plan career and education pathways earlier in their education.

o

TECHNICAL AND VO
CATIONAL TRAINING. Duplin County stakeholders recognized the importance
of emphasizing the whole range of post
-
secondary options.
In addition to traditional college
experiences which may not be appropriate for everyone, students can be exposed to t
echnic
al
training, skilled trades, and entrepreneurial options after high school
.

o

BUSINESS


EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP. E
mployers in Duplin C
ounty are keen to be involved with
workforce development and education. Their continued involvement in experiential
learning
options like internships, job shadowing and career fairs not only keeps employers connected to the
emerging workforce and existing resources that can benefit their operations, but also helps
educators remain up
-
to
-
date on the latest industry trend
s and employer expectations. Employers
however, express that they need information on existing resources and ways to get involved.

o

WELLNESS PROGRAMS. Due to the uncertainty surrounding health care, promoting wellness
programs


both in the workplace and
throughout Duplin County


was repeatedly mentioned.
Employers can offer wellness benefits and programs; government services can encourage healthy
habits and incentives.

o

REGIONAL THINKING.

A more regional approach to certain initiatives can create
efficien
cies and
build collective clout on issues like reciprocity for exiting military and military spouses or gaining
employer support of the Career Readiness Credential.




27

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction: School Report Cards




















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Spotlight on….

Duplin Winery


Located in Rose Hill,
Duplin Winery is the world's largest Muscadine winery and the oldest winery
in the state of North Carolina.

T h e wi n e r y
c u r r e n t l y p r o d u c e s o v e r
30 0,0 0 0 c a s e s

o f wi n e
a n n u a l l y
a n d

i s t h e r e c i p i e n t o f ma n y a wa r d s.

Du p l i n Wi n e r y n o t o n l y p r o d u c e s t h e b e s t s
e l l i n g wi n e i n No r t h C a r o l i n a, b u t a l s o h a s o v e r
1 0 0,0 0 0 v i s i t o r s e x p e r i e n c e t h e R o s e Hi l l wi n e r y e a c h y e a r. Wi t h d a i l y t o u r s, wi n e t a s t i n g s, T h e
B i s t r o r e s t a u r a n t, a n d a p o p u l a r Di n n e r T h e a t e r S e r i e s, Du p l i n Wi n e r y h a s l e v e r a g e d i t s s u c c e s s a s
a wi n e i n d
u s t r y l e a d e r t o l a u n c h i t s e l f i n t o a n e w a r e n a, a g r i
-
t o u r i s m.

F o r mo r e i n f o r ma t i o n
,
v i s i t
www.d u p l i n wi n e r y.c o m
.









Options for Leveraging County Assets for Regional Growth

o

Create a
Business


Educ
ation Network

that provides a venue for continuous information sharing
and collaboration among individual employers, industry associations and groups, and all levels of
education and training. The Network can facilitate “open doors” in both the schools an
d business to
ensure that knowledge flows freely between both.

o

Encourage entrepreneurship and leverage the county’s green assets through a
Growing Green
Business
Initiative

that presents seminars and workshops on opportunities in the “green” economy
and c
onnects interested individuals to resources like how to create a “green” business plan, how to
market “green” products and services, and how to navigate through government regulations or
incentives.

o

Continue to promote the
Career Readiness Certificate
(CRC)

to individuals and employers. The 34%
of residents who have less than a high school diploma can be targeted for the CRC
, not as a
substitute or equivalent of a diploma, but s
o that they can certify their skills and abilities when
seeking employment.

To gain further employer support and utilization of the CRC, Duplin County
can “piggy back” o
n major regional employers
who give preferential interviewing to CRC holders.

o

Develop a
Resource Map

that outlines the many services, programs and opportunities that exist to
assist stakeholders. Sub
-
categories can be targeted toward Employer Resources (internships, on
-
the
-
job training programs, product and market diversification support, small business

resources),
Student/ Worker Resource (training programs, financial aid, childcare, transportation), and
Community Resources (faith
-
based initiatives, government services and support).








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How Edgecombe County differs from the
Eastern Region



POPULATION.

While the Eastern Region gained 4.3% from 2004
-
2009, the county’s population decreased (
-
2.9%).
28

Over half of the
county population is African American (56.4%), compared to the
region’s African American population which was 2
9.6%.
29




INCOME.

The per capita personal income in Edgecombe County is
lower than that of the Eastern Region, $26,605 in the county versus
$30,048 in the region.
30

The county also has a significantly higher
percentage of its population that receives cash

public assistance or
food stamps (Edgecombe County: 20.7%; Eastern Region: 12.7%).
31
.



INDUSTRY.

Edgecombe County’s economy is more heavily tied to
manufacturing than the Region. Manufacturing accounts for 18.1%
of jobs in the county and 12.1% in the Eas
tern Region
32
.




EDUCATION.

26.7% of residents have less than a high school diploma
in Edgecombe County; in the thirteen
-
county region, 18.6% have less
than a high school diploma.
33


How Edgecombe County has changed since 2004



POPULATION.

From 2000


2004, the county lost 4.0%; from 2004
-
2008, the county lost only 2.9%



INCOME.

The per capita personal income in Edgecombe County
grew 9.4% since 2004
-
2007

(from $24,311 to $26,605)
.



UNEMPLOYMENT. The county unemployment rate is the highes
t in
the region,
15.6
% in
March
2010. In 2004, unemployment was 9.4%



EDUCATION.

The percentage of middle and high schools in
Edgecombe County that
did not

meet Adequate Yearly Progress
(AYP) has improved. In 2003
-
2004, 50% of middle schools
did not
make

AYP; that percent decreased to 25% in 2008
-
2009. Similar
trends occurred in high schools.
34





28

North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management; US Census Bureau

29

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey

30

Regional Economic Information System, Bureau of Economic Analysis, US
Department of Commerce

31

US Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census, 2006
-
2008 American Community
Survey 3
-
year Estimates

32

Employment Secur
ity Commission of North Carolina

33

US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2006
-
2008.

34

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction: School Report Cards










County
Assets: Planning
and Development

Carolinas Gateway Partnership

North Carolina’s Eastern Region

Rocky Mount Area Chamber of
Commerce

Tarboro


Edgecombe Chamber of
Commerce

Turning Point Workforce
Development Board

Upper Coastal Plain Council of
Governments


County Assets: Education
and Service

Down East Partnership for
Children

Edgecombe Community College

Edgecombe County Public Schools

Edgecombe County Public Schools,
1:1 Laptop Initiative

Edgecombe Early College High
School

Employment Security Commission
,
Rocky Mount & Tarboro Offices

North Carolina Wesleyan College

Shaw University, College of Adult
and Professional Education (CAPE)


Rocky Mount













*This is not i
ntended as an exhaustive index.


dgecombe County

E




















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101


Key Themes from County Input Session

o

TECHNOLOGY AS DRIVER. The Milken Institute recently ranked the Rocky Mount area the #1 Small
Metro Area for High Tech Growth
. This serves to underscore the importance of broadband access,
digital literacy of our residents, and on
-
line applications for education and civic engagement as
growth issues for our region. Edgecombe County should also see a boost in high
-
speed broadband

access because of its inclusion in the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Rural Broadband Initiative. This
increases the urgency for preparing our students and workers to have the skills to use technology
in their jobs and daily lives.

o

RECLAIMING DISADVANTAGED POPU
LATIONS. Like most counties, Edgecombe County has
populations that will be left behind in the new economy without taking aggressive steps to engage
them in education and employment. These include ex
-
offenders, older workers, gang members,
and school dropou
ts. Non
-
profit organizations such as the
Opportunities Industrialization Centers
(OIC)
can be models for such engagement and will need to work hand
-
in
-
hand with workforce
development and education leaders to turn this liability into an economic development

asset.

o

POSITIVE ATTITUDES OF OUR RESIDENTS. There is a “can do” or survival mentality of residents of
the county. There is a real loyalty that causes residents to roll up their sleeves and build new skills
and new organizations rather than pack up and mo
ve to another area. This is perhaps the county’s
biggest asset and competitive advantage.

o

PROMOTION OF PROGRAMS. Good partnerships exist among many of our development and social
services organizations, but many employers remain unaware of resources they ca
n tap into for
help. Edgecombe County can promote these resources and also mount advocacy campaigns for
changing laws and policies to make the resources more employer
-
friendly.

o

MOTIVATING OUR STUDENTS & WORKERS. While technology is fundamentally changing
the
nature of work and the skill sets needed to succeed in today’s economy, there remains an
underlying complacency in a large portion of the workforce that must be addressed. The county
must use all tools at our disposal to address the underlying “soft sk
ills” issues of responsibility,
commitment to learning, and overall healthy lifestyles. The Career Readiness Certificate is one
valuable resource that helps chart career paths tied to demonstrable employer needs and
opportunities.

o

FRAGMENTED DEVELOPMENT.
There are multiple economic development organizations in the
local workforce area, and regions that exist for workforce development, economic development
and education that do not match geographically. Stakeholders know that economic development
is a regio
nal issue, but any definition of “region” will remain somewhat arbitrary, particularly in
Eastern North Carolina. Edgecombe County should move forward with a sense of urgency, and on
a regional basis, and not wait for these issues to be solved for us. It i
s essential that economic
development groups be brought together to define priorities, roles, and champions for the things
we need to accomplish. Different issues and existing networks may define different regions.
























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Spotlight on….

Edgecombe Early College High School


Located on the campus of Edgecombe Community College, Edgecombe Early College High School
(EECHS) was opened in Fall 2005 as a part of Governor Easley’s Learn and Earn program. Students
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of college credit or an Associate’s degree. Edgecombe Early College High School offers small
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Options for Leveraging County Assets
for Regional Growth

o

The recent ranking of #1 Small Metro High Tech Growth area serves as an ideal backdrop for
Edgecombe County to accelerate our efforts at increasing the digital literacy of citizens. Increases
in technology must also result in increases in skills needed to
use the technology. Two programs,
in particular, offer models for doing so: the
1:1 Laptop Program
has been a model program for
student connectivity and educational access; the
Beehive
sponsored by a national non
-
profit
organization, One Economy, is operat
ing in Greene County and may be an ideal candidate for
promotion of digital literacy in Edgecombe County.

o

The roll
-
out of expanded broadband access in the county via the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Rural
Broadband Initiative provides an opportunity for short
-
term, targeted promotion of
computer
literacy classes

in the newly
-
accessible areas. The Workforce Development Board and the
Community College can collaborate on scheduling and promotion of the training with a schedule
tied to new access areas.

o

The Governo
r’s JobsNOW Program has been successfully implemented in the county and has
served to strengthen ties between training programs and the county’s employers. With a new U.S.
Department of Labor emphasis on OJT (on
-
the
-
job training) as a tool for rapid re
-
emp
loyment of
laid
-
off workers at a time of high unemployment rates, we can build on the success of the
JobsNOW implementation to create a new
OJT Program

that also provides supplementary
computer skills training tied to the employers’ technology platforms. T
his can be particularly
effective as the skills training will have immediate application to the workplace, greatly increasing
the skills retention.

o

The Turning Point Workforce Development Board has been charged by the group to convene the 5
econo
mic development groups and facilitate a discussion that springs from the County Input
Session and the subsequent State of the Workforce Report. The goal should be the establishment
of an ongoing forum, an
Economic Competitiveness Roundtable,
to coordinate
efforts and create
a single strategic planning document that all of the collaborating development organizations can
use for tactical and operation responsiveness.