Down East Seniors hear from development director

Published 12:43 pm Friday, February 26, 2016

The Down East Seniors Club held its Feb. 24 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Ed Hamrick led the meeting. Chip Ide led the singing of “God Bless America” and Charlie Mike Smith gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Charlie Mike Smith introduced Martyn Johnson, director of Beaufort County Economic Development. Johnson has served 18 months and has handled 69 inquiries from parties interested in establishing a facility in Beaufort County. The most requested accommodation is an existing building. In his work, he frequently interfaces with local, regional and state economic development agencies as well as businesses, colleges, and school systems. The state economic development group combines Beaufort and Pitt Counties into what is known as the Greenville-Washington Combined Statistical Area. This area has a population of over 222,000; a workforce of almost 108,000; and 165 manufacturing establishments of which 24 employ more than 100. He is currently working with a local committee of manufacturers and schools to expand workforce development, that is, to create a larger pool of skilled people available for employment. The training for this needs to start in junior high school.

Ed Bolen won the 50/50 drawing.