Tom Barkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, recently visited Nash and Edgecombe counties to listen and learn about workforce and housing opportunities in Eastern North Carolina.
Edgecombe Community College President Dr. Greg McLeod welcomed President Barkin and members of his team and Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton and members of his team on a tour of the Center for Innovation. The Center for Innovation features an advanced manufacturing work cell, as well as a computer integrated manufacturing lab, instrumentation lab, hydraulics and pneumatics lab, electronics lab, motor control lab, and logistics/simulation lab.
In 2018, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $462,568.41 to Edgecombe Community College to upgrade training equipment and purchase robotic and process control equipment to enable advanced manufacturing programs to meet current industry standards and skills requirements at the Center.
After the tour, President Barkin met with Golden LEAF, the presidents of Edgecombe and Nash community colleges, and East Carolina University officials to discuss how partnerships between the three colleges work. One of the partnerships discussed was the Eastern Region Pharma Center.
In 2021, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $1,899,350 to East Carolina University to support the Eastern Region Pharma Center. The Eastern Region Pharma Center is designed to teach advanced manufacturing techniques to students and current pharmaceutical employees and to meet the need for four-year graduate pharmaceutical employees in an area of eastern North Carolina known as the BioPharma Crescent. The companies that currently make up the BioPharma Crescent employ thousands of employees.
President Barkin learned that the Eastern Region Pharma Center focuses on partnerships with community colleges and industries to reach students where they live and work so they can gain advanced skills without leaving their jobs, families, and communities. The agreements between the colleges and East Carolina University help to keep a pipeline of workers filling the quality jobs in the BioPharma sector. The Eastern Region Pharma Center partnering community colleges include Edgecombe Community College, Johnston Community College, Nash Community College, Pitt Community College, and Wilson Community College.
President Barkin visits towns and cities in the region served by the Richmond Federal Reserve to understand the different economies and how to help them thrive within the national economy. Learn more about President Barkin and the work of the Richmond Federal Reserve by watching a January 2022 Critical Conversation or by visiting this site.