Kerr-Tar Council of Governments and a bevy of partners representing a cross-section of the business, education and government agencies across the five-county region are joining forces to present Vision 2022: Regional Economic Development Summit later this month in Roxboro.
The event will be held Thursday, Mar. 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex in uptown Roxboro, and Person Economic Development Sherry Wilborn said participants will have the chance to learn from leading experts as well as enjoy what uptown Roxboro has to offer visitors.
There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Register by Mar. 21 at
Wilborn and Lou Grillo, workforce development director for Kerr-Tar COG, joined John C. Rose on Wednesday’s Town Talk to share details of the upcoming event.
“We’re thrilled to have people coming in to Person County,” Wilborn said. Participants will get vouchers in their registration packets to exchange for lunch at uptown restaurants and food trucks that are driving in for the event.
Grillo said there will be many opportunities for networking among participants, and said the day’s events are geared toward employers, employees, business partners and local and regional governments to gain insight on what is currently transpiring in the workforce.
Many employers are having to figure out how to adjust to the changing labor market and work with the current workforce conditions, Grillo said.
“It’s an opportunity to get the community together to talk about some critical workforce issues,” he said, and to understand the situations that companies are currently experiencing.
“Come and get an understanding of what the post pandemic economy is going to look like –
What the current talent pipeline is going to look like.”
Polywood is one Person County employer that is poised for expansion and Wilborn said it and several other employers across the five-county area are going to share some of their strategies and innovations for keeping their existing employees and for finding new workers in the post-pandemic economy.
Wilborn said unemployment is about 3.3 percent in Person County, which makes for a tight labor market.
A vital piece of the economy puzzle includes partnerships and networking from agencies like NCWorks and area economic development offices to community colleges and private business, Grillo said.
“It takes partnership and communication to understand the opportunities that are available,” he said. “We’re preparing our workforce needs of the future” through holding events like the summit.
The keynote speaker is Peyton Holland, a nationally known expert who will speak on how to grow the workforce in a time where skill is hard to find, opportunities are plentiful for jobseekers, and results are needed immediately.
Grillo said he’s heard Holland speak before, and he considers him a great resource for helping to align the various community partners to be most effective in creating qualified workers through education and recruiting and retaining employees in the workforce.
Other speakers include N.C. Secretary of Commerce Machelle Sanders and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond CEO Tom Barkin. Managing Partner with Economic Leadership, LLC, Ted Abernathy will join live through virtual video conference.
Sponsors include the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments, Kerr-Tar workforce development board, and Duke Energy, with collaborative partners from the Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Commissions, and Vance-Granville and Piedmont Community Colleges.