For Immediate Release
August 17, 2023
The Brunswick County Democratic Party’s Workforce Development Forum, held on Saturday, August 12th at the party’s Bolivia headquarters, highlighted a multitude of options for county residents interested in pursuing new careers.
“The opportunities are there,” said BCDP Chair Shelley Allen. “Training in the trade professions is readily available, and employers throughout the county are ready and willing to hire workers young and old who want to take advantage of programs that will help advance their careers.”
Attendees at the Forum heard a panel of speakers moderated by Timothy Randall, the former director of Workforce and Trades Education at Brunswick Community College (BCC). Included on the panel were Bettina Davidson, who succeeded Randall at BCC; April Scott, director of the Small Business Center in Leland; Marcel Hatten, manager of Workforce Solutions at NC Works; and Robert Norton, a board member on the Brunswick County Homebuilders Association.
Setting the tone for the day’s briefings, Randall suggested there needs to be a better balance in secondary education between college preparatory and trade curriculums. “Ask yourself this question,” he said. “Do all high school graduates need to attend a four-year college?
The answer from the panelists was a resounding “no.” Davidson discussed BCC’s expanding list of education opportunities for occupations ranging from small engine mechanics to healthcare and the arts. Scott discussed the opportunities her Small Business Center provides for Brunswick County entrepreneurs, while Hatten provided critical information on where the jobs are and how his organization helps people find them.
Norton, who owns a construction business, described how he channeled his ambition as a high school graduate into a multi-million dollar business in Brunswick County. He said the opportunity is there and businesses in the trades are looking for energetic and motivated job seekers.
Brunswick Community College generously provided a gift certificate for a workforce development/trades class, which was awarded to one of the attendees.
BCDP Chair Allen urged Forum attendees to spread the word about job opportunities and growth in Brunswick County. She added BCDP intends to hold more Workplace Development Forums in the future. “We’ll continue doing our part to encourage job growth in Brunswick County,” she said. “We want county residents to know we’re serious about growing our local economy and promoting the need to find meaningful job opportunities for everyone.”