Skip to main content
Director's Log

Director’s Log | July 2023

Sarah Langer Hall headshot
IEI Director Sarah Langer Hall

For the second year in a row, CNBC has named North Carolina as America’s Top State for Business. We were ranked first in the Workforce category of CNBC’s study and recognized as a leader in career education. At IEI, we are thrilled to help continue this trend by helping break down barriers to employment for underrepresented workers so they can find good jobs and stay engaged in the workplace. If you are interested in learning more about actionable steps you, your business or your community can take to break down barriers for underrepresented workers, I highly recommend checking out the Talent First Economics Task Force Recommendations Report that was released earlier this summer. 

Speaking of our work in workforce development, I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to Philip Cooper. As our practitioner-in-residence, Philip played a key role in shaping the 2023 Emerging Issues Forum and co-chaired the Talent First Economics Task Force with NCWorks Commission Executive Director Annie Izod. While his contractual time with IEI is officially complete, “Change Agent” Philip will always be a valued partner of Team IEI. I want to thank Philip for his advocacy and boots-on-the ground work supporting re-entry work in western North Carolina, and for bringing his time, talent and lived expertise to our team, helping us to support underrepresented workers effectively. On a personal note, getting to know Philip has been a highlight of my career. Thank you, Philip! 

It’s the middle of the summer, which means it is time for camp! For the fourth year in a row, IEI’s Summer Camp is bringing together local leaders virtually to learn new tools and strategies for on-the-ground community work. On August 17 and 31, we’ll be joined by staff from NC State University’s Cooperative Extension team to teach us about Ripple Effect Mapping and how it can be used to track the impacts (or “ripples”) of a program that has been implemented in a community. We hope to see you there!

Before I close out this message, I am excited to present you with IEI’s 2022-2023 Annual Report! This web-based report provides an in-depth look at our team’s work from the last fiscal year. Within it, you will find links to additional information and resources that may be useful to you and your community. 

From all of us at IEI, we look forward to continuing partnerships with you and your communities to support a North Carolina where people connect and collaborate to build a vibrant and prosperous future for all.