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Topic: Unemployment Outlook (Panel Discussion)
As we look into 2010, one of the things that continues to concern our nation is our jobless rate. In order for us to feel that our country is recovering financially, we want to see a decrease in the jobless rate and an increase in job creation. So, where are we on this? Are we seeing recovery in North Carolina? In the Triangle? What do our organizations need to prepare for in terms of hiring, job creation and competition for employees in 2010? What should job seekers expect from employers in 2010?
In this session, we will hear perspectives from three areas of our employer community: Marqueta Welton, Director of Human Resources for Durham County, will share her perspective from a large, public agency. Pam Higdon, Owner of Express Employees Professionals, will give her perspective as a small business owner and Bruce Clarke, CEO of Capital Associated Industries (CAI) will bring his perspective from a non-profit employers' association.
About the Presenters:
Marqueta Welton is the Human Resources Director for Durham County Government where she oversees the County’s full array of personnel services. She is a licensed attorney in North Carolina, Michigan and Nevada where she began her public career with the City of North Las Vegas as Deputy City Attorney. She later served as Interim Director of Human Resources representing the city in employment and labor matters, including negotiations with seven bargaining units. In addition to her government experience, Welton is a certified mediator and has successfully mediated numerous employment disputes. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Executive MPA program at North Carolina Central University. She is one of the original appointees to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ NACo 457 Deferred Compensation Advisory Board. Welton also volunteers with several community non-profit agencies, serving on the boards of directors for Senior PharmAssist and The Volunteer Center of Durham. She also serves on the National Association of Counties Labor and Employment Steering Committee as well as the Women’s Leadership Council Steering Committee of Triangle United Way. Welton earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wayne State University and her law degree from Wayne State University Law School.
Pam Higdon, SPHR is the President of Express Employment Professionals with franchises located in Durham/RTP and Raleigh. Her North Carolina owned company is a nationally certified WBE and is classified as a small business. Express helped over 1000 local people find jobs in the Triangle last year in both private and public companies staffing for positions that range from entry level to mid-level in most job classifications. Her company has W-2’d more than 15,000 individuals since opening their first office in Durham in 1997. In addition Express has placed hundreds of individuals in full time positions.
Her company was selected as the Durham Small Business of the Year in 2001. In that same year Pam was selected as one of the Top Twenty Five Women in Business in the Triangle. Express has been listed in the Triangle Business Journal as one of the top 10 Woman Owned businesses and one of the top 10 Employment Services in the Triangle consistently for the last several years.
Pam and her husband, Sam, were selected as the Express Services and International Franchising Association Franchisees of the Year in 2004 and honored at the 2005 meeting of the IFA for their committed community involvement, encouragement of others inside and outside the business, and fostering a positive company culture.
Pam Higdon's career in HR and staffing began in 1985. Her experience includes 12.5 years of management and sales for 3 staffing companies in NC, DC, and Maryland before opening her business in the Triangle in 1997. Pam was 2001 TSHRM President and served on the board for 10 years. She is an active member of both TSHRM and Raleigh-Wake. She has served in various roles on the NC State Council including her 2009 role as Co-Director of Membership. She currently serves as Chair of Human Capital for the Wake County Business Advisory Board, as Director on the BB&T Durham Advisory Board, as a Director for the Durham Tech Foundation. Her company is an active member of four area chambers the Durham Chamber where she has served as a past Director and has chaired many Chamber committees to include the Multicultural and Business Network. Her company's charitable contributions include the Children's Miracle Network (Duke Children's Hospital), SHRM Foundation, Durham Tech Foundation, Komen Foundation, Heart Association, among others. Pam’s degree is a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Hawaii.
Bruce Clarke was born and raised in Asheville NC. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in Business Administration. He earned his law degree from UNC with Honors.
Bruce practiced labor and employment law with the national labor law firm of Ogletree Deakins for 18 years. He became managing partner of the firm’s Raleigh office, and later the General Counsel of the national law firm. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was selected as one of North Carolina’s Legal Elite by Business North Carolina Magazine in 2001.
In 2001, Bruce joined Capital Associated Industries, Inc.(CAI) as its President and CEO. CAI is a Raleigh and Greensboro-based employers’ association dedicated to helping member companies MAXIMIZE employee engagement and MINIMZE workplace liabilities. He is Vice Chair of the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, on the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Subcommittee of NAM, a founding Director of the Employers Coalition of NC, President of the Association Executives of NC and is past-chair of the national Employer Association Group.
Bruce and his wife have three chronologically adult children and live in Raleigh with their recently rescued English Coonhound, Scarlett.