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Economic development team will study workforce talent

Two economic development specialists from Henderson County have been chosen to participate in a training program aimed at improving workforce talent.

Emily Martin, director of business development for the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, and Scott Queen, vice president for economic & workforce development at Blue Ridge Community College are on one of five teams selected across for the Talent First community cohort, a new intitiative created by the Institute for Emerging Issues at N.C. State University.

The opportunity focuses on a peer learning network that prioritizes strategies for diversifying, developing, and enhancing regional workforce talent, with a focus on underrepresented and/or marginalized groups of workers. Other economic and community development leaders in Western North Carolina chosen for the initiative include Samantha Cole, Workforce Partnership manager for the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce; Hunter Jones, business development manager for the Transylvania Economic Alliance; Rich Price, executive director of Economic Development & Regional Partnerships for Western Carolina University; and Emily Nicholson, executive director for the Land of Sky P20 Council.

Members of the cohort will also be enrolled in the N.C. Workforce Development Leadership Initiative, which is an intensive, six-month professional training program. Graduates of the program receive the professional designation of Certified Workforce Developer by the National Association of Workforce Boards.