The business community gathered at Fayetteville State University’s Rudolph Jones Student Center on Thursday, Dec. 7 for the final Power Breakfast of 2023.
Titled New Leaders + New Direction, the Breakfast featured a guest panel made up of leaders of staple community organizations that took on major leadership roles throughout 2023.
Panelists included CEO and General Manager of Fayetteville PWC Tim Bryant, President and CEO of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Nat Robertson, General Manager of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers Michelle Skinner and President of Fayetteville Technical Community College Dr. Mark Sorrells.
During the Breakfast, panelists discussed topics such as the specific market of Cumberland County, company collaboration and workforce needs.
“Would everybody agree with me that Cumberland County is kind of a unique business market? So, we're not recreating the wheel necessarily, but we're tweaking that wheel to fit what we do here because there's no other community as great as Fayetteville, North Carolina in Cumberland County. And thank God that we've gotten a steady revenue source with Fort Liberty and almost a billion dollars a month that they put into our economy. So we are different from the corporate capitals of Raleigh and Charlotte in other areas,” shared Robertson.
Other topics included cultivating and retaining new workers and becoming an appealing destination for the younger generations.
“Having a strong economy, having growth here, having opportunity, quite honestly, is what will keep our young folks here and again,” shared Bryant. “We have so many great things here. We pointed out Fort Liberty, our access to I-95, the university systems that you have here, all these things that we have here, we just need to show our young folks that they can have that dream and achieve their dreams literally right here. We’ve just got to continue to work through business partnerships through economic development to make those things readily available to them and literally pour into them.
Other topics also included touching on leveraging business resources and partnerships available in the Fayetteville area.
“I think what we've got to do is make sure that we build a nurturing supportive climate. At Fayetteville tech, we’re very fortunate for some resources that came from the Cumberland Community Foundation. We have Fayetteville State, Methodist, Cumberland Community Foundation and the Educational Attainment Initiative. Really, a third of our students never move into higher education and I firmly believe that education is the route to upward mobility, it is the key. And the more highly educated we have in terms of workforce, the more opportunity positioning folks are to take advantage of,” shared Dr. Sorrells.
Panelists also spoke on some of the promising changes and goals the community can expect to see in 2024.
“Next year is our fifth season here in Fayetteville. So we've got big goals for next year. We want to have over 230,000 people in the ballpark for our season. It's about a 15 percent increase from this year. We are refocusing more on group sales and then we're making sure we have the value there for the fans, the experience for the players and for all of our supporters here. So hopefully we're coming off that strong here and we're fully staffed and we're firing on all cylinders,” shared Skinner.
The Greater Fayetteville Business Journal’s quarterly Power Breakfast series will return in 2024!
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