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N.C. State chancellor lauds area

020819Chamber-meeting
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N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson, center, talks with Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce President David Farris, left, and Steve Stroud, chairman of NAI Carolantic Realty, on Thursday during the 115th annual meeting of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce at Nash Community College.

John Barker.jpg
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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Friday, February 8, 2019

N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson told the annual banquet of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce he was going to be brief in his remarks — and he was.

Woodson on Thursday evening spoke approximately 10 minutes to the civic group at Nash Community College's Brown Auditorium.

Woodson first congratulated the Chamber's 2019 award recipients, saying, "This is a passionate community."

Woodson said he was thrilled to be invited to the event for a couple of reasons.

"No. 1, this community has it going," he said. "I mean, you've got a lot going on."

Additionally, he told of going on a tour earlier in the day of the Rocky Mount Mills commercial and residential development.

"And what a phenomenal example of believing in a community, investing in a community," he said. "And you see that all throughout this room. "

During the rest of his remarks, Woodson spoke about N.C. State University.

"We're very competitive these days," he said. "If you look at what we do, we try to be relevant to the needs of North Carolina."

He emphasized N.C. State always has been, particularly in fields such as agriculture and manufacturing and the continuing lifeblood areas of the state's economy.

"So we think one of the challenges we face as a university — and this is true of other universities like ours — is that the demand to get into the universities is at an all-time high," he said.

He noted N.C. State just had fall admissions and already had 32,000 applications for 4,500 freshmen spots. He said N.C. State works hard to bring people from all over the state to the campus in Raleigh.

"And one of the ways we do that is through great community college partners. And Nash Community College is one of our greatest partners," he said.

He noted N.C. State and NCC have a community college collaborative program, in which amazing young people from this part of the state transfer to N.C. State.

"You may not know some of things that we're doing in this part of the state," he said.

He said N.C. State has been quite involved in some of the recruiting of companies moving to Rocky Mount.

"And part of that is because of the talent we produce," he said.

He also noted N.C. State has a strong collaboration in Rocky Mount with East Carolina University.

"We have offices here," he said. "And we're partnering with all of the universities in the UNC System — except when we play basketball or football. But we do partner with all the universities in the system because this is the greatest public higher education system in America." 

"We're proud to be part of it — and we're going to do everything we can to work with ECU, to work with (N.C.) Wesleyan (College), to work with the community college system to really create the workforce that North Carolina needs going forward," he said.

Earlier in the evening, the Chamber presented its 2019 awards.

Retired banker John Barker accepted honors as the distinguished citizen of the year, while Shane Lancaster of Coastal Credit Union accepted honors as the Chamber ambassador of the year.

Erin Gall of Allegra Marketing Print Mail accepted honors as the volunteer of the year and the president's award went to David Joyner of Joyner Media and Strategies.

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