Recently, Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton sat down with Gary Salamido, President and Chief Executive Officer of the NC Chamber, via Zoom and filmed the seventh episode in a video series called Critical Conversations. In this series, Scott talks with professionals about economic development issues affecting the state.
Salamido provided his perspective on North Carolina’s workforce and talent development.
The NC Chamber is the leading business advocacy organization in North Carolina. The NC Chamber works in the legislative, regulatory, and political arenas to proactively drive positive change, ensuring that North Carolina is one of the best places in the world to do business.
During the conversation, Salamido addressed the challenges of the labor shortage. He mentioned that many workers are going through what is being termed as the Massive Reset or the Massive Rethink. The Massive Reset or Massive Rethink refers to people in the workforce resetting their career path by getting reskilled for different careers by attending college. It also refers to workers who are rethinking their career choice and either going ahead and retiring or exiting the workforce altogether. Many factors are attributing to this workforce mindset including flexibility in work schedules, need for child or elder care, or burnout from frontline work. Salamido contends that one community at a time will help address the worker shortage. Salamido indicated that each system will evaluate needs and address those needs and use collaboration in the solutions.
Salamido indicated that many organizations are collaborating to help address industry demand. Golden LEAF helps build the workforce by supporting community college training programs with industry demand and rural students who attend these colleges through scholarships. Community Colleges are working more closely with industry to fill their needs and engaging with populations that are less traditional to build back the needed talent for industry.
The NC Chamber recently held its Ag Allies Conference. He mentioned that the NC Chamber supports agribusiness and agriculture by protecting, advocating, and educating about the industry. Salamido noted that as the number one industry in North Carolina, it is important to help grow the state’s agriculture industry to continue to be able to safely feed the world. He pointed out that North Carolina has tremendous resources in its two land-grant universities, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical Institute. Salamido said these institutions help grow agriculture innovation, which is a necessary part of the industry.
One aspect of a healthy economy is the creation of new jobs. Salamido mentioned that Golden LEAF’s new SITE Program is helping address one key component, which is location. The other component he mentioned was the business climate. North Carolina’s business climate is very competitive, said Salamido. The key challenge is related to the talent pipeline. The NC Chamber Foundation is working on programs to help connect people to training opportunities so that the talent pipeline remains predictable.
Lastly, Salamido talked about the NC Chambers’ Coolest Thing Made in NC contest. He mentioned that North Carolina has a long history of innovation in manufacturing helping make lives better. This contest celebrates the innovation, creativity, and importance of our state’s manufacturers.
Critical Conversations is a feature in the Golden LEAF newsletter every month. The next edition will be in our December 9th edition of LEAF Lines.