Institute for Emerging Issues

As technology advances, certain jobs will be lost to machines and automation in the future. Some fast food restaurants are already using more self-serve kiosks instead of cashiers.
Beau Giles / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina is home to a growing number of startup companies that are trying to stay ahead of today's constant need for innovation.

The upside of that innovation is business opportunity. Cities and states across this region are redirecting investments to try and claim the title of Silicon Valley of the South. 

InnovateNC, Institute for Emerging Issues, Wilmington
NC State

A new initiative to help spark innovation across the state will focus on five cities.  The announcement was made Friday at NC State's Hunt Library.

“Next up we have Greensboro!  Come on up Greensboro!” shouted Christopher Gergan, CEO of Forward Impact.

Gergan helped make the "InnovateNC" announcement.

Michelle Mills
Leoneda Inge

North Carolina’s manufacturing story is old and complicated.  In just the past decade, the state has seen many traditional manufacturing operations shut down, devastating tens of thousands of workers and their families.

But this decade has also witnessed the growth of a new kind of manufacturing. Next Generation manufacturing is cleaner and more nimble and requires highly-skilled workers.  And you have to start early building a talented workforce.

Obama at Vacon
White House

Manufacturing jobs across the state are holding steady in some regions.  A report released Thursday takes a look at modern manufacturing and how it can help North Carolina thrive.

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) says the formula for creating a new manufacturing platform in the state is re-branding, networking and training youth, as young as possible.

Anita Brown-Graham is director of the Institute.  She says you can also let people know how much money they can make.

North Carolina has a long history in manufacturing.  Thousands of jobs have been lost to competition elsewhere.  But a conference today at the Raleigh Convention Center sets out to show the future is again bright for manufacturing.  Anita Brown-Graham is the Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues.  She says this week’s conference is called “Manufacturing Works.”

Leoneda Inge

North Carolina’s workforce continues to evolve as the economy evolves and digs its way out of the last recession.  The Institute for Emerging Issues at N-C State says in order to continue this positive trend, it is imperative for the state to begin strategically investing in Generation “Z.”  Most of the young people making up Generation “Z” were born in the 1990s and are approaching college age. Even though this group is the nation’s most diverse and most technologically savvy, how will they fit into the workplace of the future?

This year’s Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh is taking a close-up look at the so-called Generation “Z.”  The conference sets out to better understand and prepare this age group.