N.C. A&T to Host Inaugural Community and Economic Engagement Summit on Oct. 27

By Jackie Torok / 09/14/2021 Academic Affairs

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2021) – The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Office of Community Engagement will present its first Community and Economic Engagement Summit, “Pathways to Economic Recovery,” on Oct. 27.

The free, hybrid (in-person and virtual) summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is open to the public. It will feature a diverse slate of dynamic speakers, including N.C. Secretary of Commerce Chief of Staff Marqueta Welton and publisher C. Sunny Martin, author of “The Making of a Black Millionaire,” along with North Carolina A&T faculty and alumni. Work sessions centered on entrepreneurship and several breakout panel discussions are scheduled throughout the day.

The summit, which will be offered annually, is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners, regional and state community members, government officials who are involved in fiscal policy, and all members of the Aggie family. It will focus on strategies that inform participants about the connectivity between building personal wealth and building healthier sustainable communities.

“N.C. A&T is well-positioned to be an anchor institution for strengthening networks of people and organizations that will be necessary for the advancement of wealth-building strategies during a period of economic recovery,” said Lonnie Cockerham, Ph.D., the university’s executive director of community engagement. “During the summit, several respected experts in their fields will share information and resources in interactive sessions with participants. This is an opportunity to build upon existing knowledge from any level of exposure or experience as a small business owner or community-engaged partner.”

In addition to workshops on entrepreneurship, registered participants can attend sessions on topics including considerations for women-business owners; guidance for actualizing academic research to make community and economic impacts; a government roundtable discussion; information about federal and state certifications and contracting; inclusive and equitable entrepreneurship ecosystems; innovative wealth-building and community-capacity-building strategies; serving the needs of non-traditional, under-, and never-served communities; cybersecurity concerns; raising capital for your business; respect for diversity and equity in a post-pandemic society; and agribusiness.

The summit is strategically scheduled during A&T’s Homecoming Week, Oct. 24-31, as a way to involve as many Aggies as possible in rebuilding, establishing, maintaining and growing community and economic engagement in the areas where they live and work, Cockerham said.

“We recognize that the scope of Aggie influence is unlimited,” he said. “This summit is intended to bring stakeholders, experts and leaders together to learn from each other in a truly inclusive environment and collaborate to fulfill our mission of creating innovative solutions that address the challenges and economic needs of North Carolina, the nation and abroad.”

This summit is supported by the North Carolina Small Business & Technology Development Center at A&T, the North Carolina Department of Administration Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses, and The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub at UNC-Pembroke, among other organizations and corporate partners.

The summit will take place at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, 2907 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, North Carolina, 27401. In-person capacity is limited. All current COVID-19 protocols must be followed: mask wearing and proof of vaccination or negative test results are required.

Summit events also will be shared on a virtual platform to allow for full participation.

Registration is under way. For more information, including updates on speakers and events, visit the Community and Economic Engagement Summit webpage.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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