Lt. Gov. Meets with Small Business Owners before Touring CIT and Simon Buildings
WINTERVILLE—Lt. Gov. Dan Forest visited Pitt Community College Sept. 26 to meet with local business leaders and tour campus.
Forest, who was elected in 2012 and began his duties in January, started his day at the PCC Greenville Center, where he took part in a roundtable luncheon organized by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). The meeting, he said, gave him an opportunity to hear firsthand from small business owners about the challenges they are experiencing in today’s economy.
“I’m out here to listen to the people of North Carolina,” Forest said. “Every elected official should do the same, regardless of political affiliation.”
Forest said that through the town halls and luncheons he’s held across the state, he’s discovered that the concerns of small business owners are pretty much the same: taxes, health care requirements, and the ability to secure capital.
He said the meetings have given entrepreneurs a chance to point out the government regulations that don’t make sense to them and to offer suggestions on how they could be fixed.
“Business owners know what it takes to make their businesses work,” Forest said.
Following the NFIB luncheon, the lieutenant governor toured PCC’s Construction and Industrial Building, which houses the college’s Automotive Systems Technology and Building Construction Technology programs. He also stopped by the Herman Simon Building, which is home to several health sciences curricula.
Through his travels as an elected official, Forest says he has discovered that the people of the Tar Heel State are proud of the education and training their community colleges are providing.
“Every community I encounter feels that their community college is the best in the state, and they mean it,” he said. “And that’s a good thing. What it tells me most is that our community colleges are doing a great job.”
Forest said community colleges are on the front line of combating the state’s economic challenges, due to their ability to address specific business needs in a short period of time. He said that in addition to providing a skilled workforce for the businesses in their respective communities, the colleges also serve as a tremendous recruiting tool for the state to attract new business and industry.