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by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Considering that government doesn’t create jobs…

North Carolina has lost 303,700 jobs since the recession began in December 2007. That’s one sobering statistic in the State of Working North Carolina report released by the NC Justice Center on Sept. 2. Another is that the state would need an additional 198,000 jobs just to keep pace with a population growth of 4.8 percent.

Guilford and Forsyth counties have both logged 0-5 percent employment growth, which is comparable to most of the state’s other urbanized counties, including Mecklenburg, Wake, Cumberland and Buncombe; Durham and New Hanover counties, in contrast, experienced negative employment growth.

Conventional wisdom holds that an economic recovery requires that at least one out of three actors create a demand driver: consumers, the government or private industry. Consumers, at least those who are employed, are worried that they’re going to receive the next pink slip, and are holding off on new home and other goods purchases. Government, under the sway of a culture of austerity and worry about deficits, is scaling back on spending.

Those trends may have influenced the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, which launched the “One Job for Greensboro” at its “State of Our Community” luncheon on Aug. 31. The effort, which also includes the Guilford Merchants Association, the city of Greensboro and a host of private companies, encourages area companies to hire at least one employee to create a combined estimated impact of $192.0 million. Companies on the advisory council for the positive peer pressure campaign for private-sector investment include Cone Health, Koury Corp., Lincoln Financial Group and Senn Dunn Insurance. — JG

DUKE ENERGY AWARDS $246,000 GRANT TO GTCC

A GTCC workforce training program for avion ics technicians got a significant boost last week as Duke Energy announced that its community and technical college grant program awarded the school nearly $246,000. The grant will help upgrade the avionics program equipment acquired as a result of another Duke Energy grant of $244,000 three years ago, said Richard Pagan, chair of the college’s transport technologies program, in a press release. The grant will help increase the knowledge and skill set of avionics technicians working for Honda Aircraft and the Triad aviation industry’s cluster partners program.A portion of the new grant will go toward professional development of Honda Aircraft employees in support of the development of the HondaJet, an advanced light jet that boasts better performance than similar personal and corporate aircraft in its class, according to the company’s website.

“We can catapult the aviation electronics program to the next level of providing training in the latest avionics equipment available,” Pagan said. GTCC s efforts in the avionics industry come as a response to increasing demand for technicians who avionic equipment installation, troubleshoot and repair communication, navigation, flight management, weather, terrain, traffic and surveillance, and digital systems, said Pagan. — KTB

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