Cabarrus Industrial Council Initial Meeting
May 11, 2015
Mr. Patrick Coughlin
Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development
The Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation launched an all new Industrial Council last week. The purpose of the Industrial Council is to address issues and needs for manufacturing and industrial sectors and to encourage collaboration among existing businesses.
The Chamber engaged Jared Nichols of The Jared Nichols Group to work with Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City high school academy students to provide a brief program.
Nichols engaged the Career Academy students in an exercise of future thinking. “In order to effectively plan for the future we must take in to account multiple possible futures,” Nichols said. “Technology, the environment, workforce, education, all come in to play in each of those scenarios.”
Prior to last week’s meeting, students gathered to examine several trends including the commercialization of autonomous drones, 3-D printing, genic modification in humans and foods, and weather modification. Nichols familiarized students with the S.T.E.E.P. method of analysis, looking at the Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political implications of each trend. The students then applied the process to the potential futures of Cabarrus County’s targeted industries of distribution, advanced manufacturing, motorsports/automotive, food/beverages, aviation and life sciences, and presented their findings to the Industrial Council.
The manufacturers asked the students questions about what they learned about the community and their possible career paths as a result of the project. Many students said they acquired a new appreciation for the businesses and careers in Cabarrus County. Each student shared their vision of their chosen college and career path. Many said they are now aware of careers in the county that they did not know existed.
“This project links business and education in a way that did not exist before,” Patrick Coughlin, President and CEO of the Chamber, said. “These students are tomorrow’s employees, managers, and leaders. We want them to apply their knowledge and perspective to companies right here in Cabarrus County.”
The Industrial Council will be issuing a survey to determine future topics for discussion and guest speakers they would like to hear from. The next meeting is scheduled for June 9, at Sysco, where a plant tour will be included. Interested industries can contact LeeAnn Nixon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704.782.4000 for more information on the Industrial Council.