JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Chamber of Commerce in Onslow County hosted its State of the Community event Wednesday, giving community leaders a chance to reflect on the past year.

At the Eastern Regional Skills Center, community officials focused on health care, education, and local government growth and what’s to come in the future. 

Some of the officials in attendance at the event were from Onslow County Government, Marine Corps Air Station New River and Marine Corps Installation East.

Mayor Sammy Phillips mentioned that the current economy has been a struggle for everyone.

“The big thing right now with us is the economy and trying to adjust budget wise to the rising inflation,” said Phillips.

Phillips also mentioned issues with staffing, which is also a problem for Onslow County Schools, Onslow Memorial Hospital and Coastal Carolina Community College.

“The lack of being able to find good quality people to bring into the workforce,” said Phillips. “Those are big challenges that we have right now.”

He added there have been some improvements in the area, like the purchase of land in the Williamsburg Parkway area to help with the growing population.

“We know that that is an area in the city that’s going to grow population wise, because there’s already planned developments all over that area,” said Phillips.

Philips said that the relationship the city’s relationship with county officials is stronger than it’s ever been.

“We do a lot of things collaboratively,” said Phillips. “There’s a lot of opportunities on the horizon that we can work together on.”

All officials in attendance hoped to continue more collaboration with one another throughout 2022.