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Future Work Prosperity Tour In Boone July 7 To Focus on Job Disruption and Emerging Skills


The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University will head to Boone, NC in the Northwest Regional Prosperity Zone on July 7 as part of its statewide FutureWork Prosperity Tour. With support from Duke Energy Foundation and Local Government Federal Credit Union, along with regional partners, Appalachian State University and Catawba Valley Community College, IEI staff and friends will travel by bus to each of North Carolina’s eight Prosperity Zones, as defined by the NC Department of Commerce.

The regional convenings will introduce communities to data, themes, and resources from the 31st Emerging Issues Forum, FutureWork, where more than 1,100 business, education and policy leaders gathered to consider: As technology and demography shift, how can North Carolina prepare today to create enough good jobs for tomorrow?

IEI will engage with local high schools, higher ed institutions, policy leaders and businesses to share region-specific data and insights from the IEI FutureWork disruption Index for North Carolina and highlight county-by-county vulnerability statistics. IEI will challenge the groups to take a hard look at whether their regional talent development system is “FutureWork ready.”

“Emerging Issues Forum participants were stunningly clear in their feedback to IEI this February: North Carolina will not be ready for the future of work unless more leaders understand the volume and pace of change that lies just beyond the horizon,” said Anita Brown–Graham, IEI director. “Since the Forum, we have worked with sector leaders to redouble our efforts to identify high-impact opportunities to build FutureWork-ready talent development systems. Now it is time to raise awareness across the regions of our state.”

The Disruption Index projects that, within a single generation, automation and related technological advances will cause North Carolina counties to lose more than 25% of their current jobs and nearly 20% of current wages on average.

Regional leaders have been unsettled by projections about the scope of inevitable upcoming job loss. But, this Prosperity Tour offers them an opportunity to focus on using the job loss numbers to determine whether their region is prepared to grow the talent demanded by the occupations that will remain in high demand, and those occupations that are yet to be created.

The Northwest Region is projected to lose 27% of its existing total wages, resulting in an economic loss of greater than $2 Billion. The Region includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

To learn more about your county’s vulnerability to jobs disruption due to automation, for tour dates and destinations, and to register to participate in a convening in your region, visit emergingissues.org/FutureWork/Tour.

About the Emerging Issues Forum and the Institute for Emerging Issues:

Every February since 1986, the Emerging Issues Forum has attracted leaders in business, education and public policy to discuss an issue with profound implications for North Carolina’s future prosperity. For more than three decades, the Forum has helped catalyze the policy reforms, public investments and other proactive responses required to build an enduring capacity for progress in North Carolina.

In 2002, the UNC Board of Governors established the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) to lead and expand this important work. IEI is a non-partisan public policy organization that exists to enhance North Carolina’s economic competitiveness. Today, the Forum stands as the signature element in IEI’s diverse program of year-round engagement work across the state. Please visit emergingissues.org for more information.