Asheville Metro Economy Outlook Demographic and Economic Trends

ASHEVILLE NC – The 17th Annual Asheville Metro Economy Outlook announced today it will feature Dr. Jim Johnson of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill, a nationally renowned expert on economic development and U.S. workforce trends. As the keynote speaker at noon on Monday, September 12, Johnson will present impactful demographic trends reshaping the U.S., state, and local economy. Johnson will highlight strategies for how local businesses and communities can better compete despite market ambiguity and shifting diversity in the workforce.

“Employees and communities that understand how to respond effectively to the new normal of ‘certain uncertainty’ in the highly volatile global economy of the 21st century will be the most competitive and sustainable,” said Dr. Johnson.

Fast Company named Johnson one of the “17 brightest thinkers and doers in the new world of work.” Johnson frequently appears on national network news programs and is widely quoted in national media on U.S. workforce trends. He will discuss solutions to the achievement gap affecting communities’ and businesses’ ability to compete in a hyper-competitive global economy. He’ll also provide a toolkit to help individuals weather an environment where uncertainty is the new certainty.

Dr. Johnson is also the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Before coming to UNC Chapel Hill, he spent 12 years on the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

We remain highly focused on talent attraction and development so local businesses can continue to be successful.” said Heidi Reiber, Director of Research for the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and EDC. “Dr. Johnson’s insights on demographics and the changing economic landscape will be extremely valuable and timely.”

The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) will share an update on AVL 5×5: Vision 2020, Asheville and Buncombe County’s five-year job creation plan to create 3,000 new direct jobs paying an average annual wage of $50,000, attract $650 million in new capital investment, and facilitate 50 new “high-growth” companies in Asheville that raise $10 million in equity investment.

The program will be held at noon at the new Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center on A-B Tech’s campus. The Metro Economy Outlook is presented by Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP and Parsec Financial Wealth Management.

The Metro Economy Outlook is open to the public and will be held at the new Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center at 340 Victoria Road in Asheville. Registration and networking starts at 11:30 a.m., followed by the program and lunch at noon, provided by Everyday Gourmet. Free parking is available in the adjacent parking deck. Tickets are $25 for Asheville Chamber members, $30 for the public, and $12 for students. Attendees must register in advance on the Chamber’s website: http://web.ashevillechamber.org/events.

The event is hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC).

Sponsors of the 17th Annual Asheville Metro Economy Outlook include Dixon Hughes Goodman, Parsec Financial Wealth Management, Duke Energy Progress, ERC Broadband, Johnson Price Sprinkle PA, Carolina Alliance Bank; McGuire, Wood & Bissette, P.A.; BMW of Asheville, HomeTrust Bank, UNC Asheville, WCQS Public Radio, and FASTSIGNS.

The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) for Asheville-Buncombe County is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions.  The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing and recruitment. The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and over 80 private investors through AVL 5×5. Visit www.ashevillechamber.org/economic-development. Learn more about AVL 5×5 at www.asheville5x5.com.

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with over 1,700 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Chamber is home to a 4,000 square foot Visitor Center which welcomes over 208,000 visitors per year. To get active in the Chamber, visit www.ashevillechamber.org.

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