Regional Conference June 2-3, 2011 Addresses Closing Skills Gaps and Increasing Jobs Growth

Kannapolis, NC, May 25, 2011 --( The Re-employment Bridge Institute (RBI) today announced an upcoming conference entitled Bridging Business and Workforce Development to be held June 2-3, 2011 at the Embassy Suites, 5400 John Q. Hammons Drive NW, Concord, NC. The conference focuses on how government agencies, educational institutions and public-private partnerships can help businesses develop hard- to- find talent that will fuel future company growth, and ultimately, job creation in the Carolinas. The program is co-sponsored by Business Innovation & Growth (BIG), a non-profit membership organization supporting high growth entrepreneurs, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Centralina Workforce Development Board, Employment Security Commission/JobLink Career Center, NC Research Campus and the NC Workforce Development Training Center.

“One thing we hear over and over again,” says Dr. Nick Gennett, Project Director of the Re-employment Bridge Institute, “is that business can’t find talent with the appropriate skills and qualifications to fill open positions. This is particularly troublesome when our area has nearly 10% unemployment and people are begging for opportunities.”

This best practices conference is the first known event of its kind where workforce development professionals will come together with business people to understand how they can collaborate to improve focus, develop training programs and enable job creation. “This conference is about creating a positive dialog that helps get Americans back to work,” says Dr. Gennett.

Speakers and presenters from around the region and nation include:

· Dr. Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary from the U.S. Department of Labor (broadcast-opening greeting)
· Ronnie Bryant, President and CEO of Charlotte Regional Partnership (keynote)
· Steve Manz, BIG - Chairman of the Board of Advisors (keynote)
· Dr. Darius D. Caldwell, VP, Novant Medical Group/President of the Rowan Regional Medical Center (keynote)
· David Hollars, Executive Director, Centralina Workforce Development Board (keynote)
· Dr. Helen Parker, Regional Administrator, US Department of Labor/ETA Region 3 (closing remarks)

In addition to the keynote addresses, a total of 25 presentations will be available for attendees to learn best practices in training, development and aiding displaced workers. Examples include:

· Meeting the needs of today’s expanding industries to maintain a competitive position
· Building a 21st Century workforce: a technology skills perspective
· Evolving patterns of university involvement in workforce development
· Developing integrated community approaches to serving the dislocated

These sessions will be led by notable experts such as Dr. Yi Deng, Dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at University of North Carolina Charlotte; Dr. Nicholas D. Gillitt, Director, Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory North Carolina Research Center (NCRC); Dr. Marcy Corjay, Dean of Science, Biotechnology, Mathematics and Information Technologies at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College; Terry Cox, President of BIG; as well as others from area businesses, training organizations, educational institutions, workforce development agencies and the Employment Security Commission.

In particular, persons from workforce development board members, the business community, JobLink Career Centers, state employment services, community colleges, commerce departments, vocational rehabilitation, aging and adult services, corrections, the faith-based community, economic development and other community-based organizations, and four-year academic institutions are encouraged to attend. For details, go to or contact Erin Ploplis at the RBI at (704) 216-7202.

About RBI
The Re-Employment Bridge Institute (RBI) is a teaching/learning institute based in Kannapolis, NC, adjacent to the new N.C. Research Campus. Funded by a two-year grant from the Centralina Workforce Development Board and the North Carolina Department of Commerce, RBI is committed to sharing best practices among workforce professionals. RBI seeks to share ideas and help local institutions and agencies become catalysts for economic recovery. RBI offers workshops and customized consultation for serving displaced workers.

Re-Employment Bridge Institute
Julie Nance
Nick Gennett (704) 754-6376