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RALEIGH – The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University will host its Emerging Issues Forum, Talent First Economics, on Monday at the NC State University McKimmon Center.

This year’s forum will examine ways to overcome barriers that have historically and systemically prevented underrepresented groups of workers from finding employment and staying engaged in the workplace.

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The 2023 Emerging Issues Forum will feature remarks from the following speakers:

  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
  • NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Senior Regional Economist Laura Dawson Ullrich
  • NC Works Commission Executive Director Annie Izod
  • New America Better Life Lab Director Brigid Schulte
  • Blue Meridian Partners Managing Director Othello Meadows, and many more.

Several panels will also take place throughout the day, giving attendees the opportunity to hear directly from service providers, local business leaders and employees about breaking down barriers to connect workers to meaningful employment. The full agenda and speaker listing can be viewed on the forum website.


The Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University is a nonpartisan public policy organization focused on the state’s vibrancy and economic competitiveness. Since 1986, the Emerging Issues Forum has attracted leaders in business, education and public policy to discuss issues with profound implications for North Carolina’s future prosperity. It has helped catalyze the policy reforms, public investments and other proactive responses required to build an enduring capacity for progress in North Carolina.