RALEIGH – The Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is set to host an annual event that will include presentations from a variety of business and community leaders later today.

Launch 2022 will focus on emerging and new trends in business and the economy, including commercial real estate, talent and workforce development, economic development, entrepreneurship and venture capital, and the changing landscape of the Triangle, Adrienne Cole, the president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce told WRAL TechWire.

The event will be held in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, and will also be live streamed by WRAL starting at 2:30 p.m.

“Due to COVID concerns and the new variant, our team added additional safety procedures including virtual livestream viewing for those who would rather not attend an in-person event, mandatory masks for all attendees, additional space for registration and the reception, and assigned seating for the program,” Cole told WRAL TechWire.

The event agenda includes presentations from Ted Abernathy, the managing partner of Economic Leadership, who will discuss regional demographics and growth patterns.  Abernathy and his company were contracted by the North Carolina Technology Association, NC TECH, to compile a new index that tracks technology innovation in cities, which ranked each Raleigh and Durham within the top seven cities for technology innovation in the United States in the first report.

Additionally, Sarah House, a senior economist and director at Wells Fargo will discuss the economy and North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders will discuss the state’s economic development efforts.

NC Commerce Secretary Sanders and Department defend new economic development plan

In 2021, the North Carolina Department of Commerce updated the state’s economic development strategic plan known as “First in Talent,” and Secretary Sanders told WRAL TechWire upon the report’s release that further investment in North Carolina’s people ensures the state will have “a diverse, skilled, and healthy workforce, ready to support immediate and future business needs.”

Todd Olson, founder and CEO of Raleigh-headquartered Pendo, will present on the state of the labor and talent market.  Olson is expected to discuss how companies and local organizations can and should rethink and revise approaches to talent development, recruitment, and retention.  A spokesperson for Pendo shared Olson’s presentation with WRAL TechWire upon request, and it includes visuals about the trendline in monthly available jobs and monthly number of job seekers within North Carolina’s North Central Prosperity Zone throughout the prior 15 years.

Image: A slide contained within a presentation deck that Pendo CEO Todd Olson will share at the Launch 2022 event hosted by the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. (Pendo Image).

Olson’s slides also include ones focused on organizational culture, “upleveling” compensation and benefits packages, and enhancing office environments and community engagement.

Other presentations will be delivered by Brian Leary, the COO of commercial real estate firm Highwoods Properties, and Cindy Eckert, CEO of the venture capital firm The Pink Ceiling.  Highwoods Properties acquired a portfolio of seven North Carolina properties in April 2021, and is also the owner of the MetLife Global Technology Campus buildings, one of which will be leased to Apple.

“We have a fantastic group of speakers who will share an inside look at new trends and forecasts for 2022,” said Cole.  “Our expert speakers will cover the forces affecting our economy and what to expect in the Triangle Region and North Carolina as well as 2022 trends in commercial real estate, talent, economic development, entrepreneurship, and demographic shifts.”

“Our Launch 2022 event gives us a strong starting point for the year ahead,” said Cole.

The state of Raleigh: Upbeat Chamber president goes 1-on-1 with TechWire