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Posted by Transylvania County on


For more information, contact:
Emily Nicholson, Executive Director, Land of Sky P20 Council
[email protected] or 252.916.2678

Six Western NC Professionals Chosen for Inaugural NC State University Opportunity
The Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University has chosen five teams from across the state to participate in its inaugural Talent First community cohort. This opportunity focuses on a peer learning network that prioritizes strategies for diversifying, developing, and enhancing regional workforce talent, with a focus on underrepresented and/or marginalized groups of workers. Economic and community development leaders in Western NC chosen for this initiative include: Samantha Cole, Workforce Partnership Manager for the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce; Emily Martin, Director of Business Development for the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development; Dr. Scott Queen Vice President for Economic & Workforce Development for Blue Ridge Community College; Hunter Jones, Business Development Manager for the Transylvania Economic Alliance; Rich Price, Executive Director of Economic Development & Regional Partnerships for Western Carolina University; and Emily Nicholson, Executive Director for the Land of Sky P20 Council.

Members of this cohort will also be enrolled in the NC Workforce Development Leadership Initiative which is an intensive, six-month professional training program. Graduates of the program receive the professional designation of Certified Workforce Developer by the National Association of Workforce Boards.

Hunter Jones from the Transylvania Economic Alliance states: “The chance to identify tangible next steps for moving forward a set of strategies that connect and/or engage underrepresented job seekers to high demand, good-paying jobs in their region is crucial to growing our local economies” and Dr. Scott Queen from Blue Ridge Community College said that this presents a “unique opportunity to share and learn from other regions across the state”. IEI will provide a statewide platform for each region to talk about its work at the February 13, 2023 Emerging Issues Forum, Talent First Economics, in Raleigh. In addition, IEI will track and communicate each region’s efforts in this program, capturing lessons learned and inspiring others to scale what works. For more information, please visit: