NC Commerce secretary, chief deputy secretary visit Greenville for community conversation


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Greenville ENC Alliance and NC Rep. Brian Farkas hosted two state leaders on Friday.

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders and Chief Deputy Secretary Jordan Whichard came to Greenville for a tour and community conversation.

“To have them here in a place they call home really makes a big difference when we’re talking about where we need to go in the future in terms of economic development, what our communities need,” said Farkas, who represents District 9 in the NC House of Representatives.

Both Sanders and Whichard are from Eastern North Carolina. They said they understand the potential this region has. They also said their main focus is to create good-paying jobs and build a better economy.

“Pitt County is a place that is thriving economically, that there are jobs that are being created, that there are opportunities in the future and that we can continue to hone on our top asset, which is our diverse skilled talent here in North Carolina,” said Sanders.

Their visit started with a tour of Thermo Fisher.

“What I saw there today was not only the great work they do,” said Sanders. “I saw economic growth. I saw the diverse skill sets that are required for their jobs.”

Then, they went to the Greenville Museum of Art to meet with local university and business leaders. Lack of broadband access was a hot topic. Uconda Dunn said the Greenville ENC Alliance is working with elected officials to keep broadband expansion a priority.

“Not just because our children need it for their education, but we also need it for our employers here and for their employees for training purposes,” said Dunn, who is the vice president of business development for the Greenville ENC Alliance.

Sanders said her team is focused on North Carolina’s post-pandemic recovery. The goal is to make our state more resilient, so we’ll be prepared for the next disaster that might come our way.

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