The Institute for Emerging Issues [IEI] at NC State University will head to Pinehurst in the Sandhills Regional Prosperity Zone on Tuesday, June 7, as part of its statewide FutureWork Prosperity Tour.

The regional convening will introduce data, themes, and resources from the 31st Emerging Issues Forum, FutureWork, where more than 1,100 business, education and policy leaders gathered to consider the question: As technology and demography shift, how can North Carolina prepare today to create enough good jobs for tomorrow?

Hosted by Sandhills Community College, guest speakers include Pat Corso, executive director for Moore County Partners in Progress, and Donnie Charleston, economic policy manager for Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University.

The Disruption Index projects that, within a single generation, automation and related technological advances will cause North Carolina counties to lose more than 25% of their current jobs and nearly 20% of current wages on average.

The Sandhills Region—where 4 out of its 10 counties are among North Carolina’s top 20 most vulnerable to jobs disruption due to automation—is projected to lose 23% of its existing total wages, resulting in an economic loss of greater than $2 Billion. The Region includes Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland Counties.

IEI engages with local high schools, higher ed institutions, policy leaders and businesses to share region-specific data and insights from the IEI FutureWork Disruption Index for North Carolina and highlight county-by-county vulnerability statistics. IEI will challenge the groups to take a hard look at whether their regional talent development system is “FutureWork ready.”

“Emerging Issues Forum participants were stunningly clear in their feedback to IEI this February: North Carolina will not be ready for the future of work unless more leaders understand the volume and pace of change that lies just beyond the horizon,” said Anita Brown–Graham, IEI director. “Since the Forum, we have worked with sector leaders to redouble our efforts to identify high-impact opportunities to build FutureWork-ready talent development systems. Now it is time to raise awareness across the regions of our state.”

With support from our corporate partners Duke Energy Foundation and Local Government Federal Credit Union, IEI staff and friends will travel to each of North Carolina’s eight Prosperity Zones.

To learn more about your county’s vulnerability to jobs disruption due to automation, for tour dates and destinations, and to register to participate in a convening in your region, visit

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