Media Advisory: Sociologists from around the state gather to discuss N.C. economy

Sociologists from around the state will gather Friday, Feb. 24, to address the changing N.C. economy at the annual meeting of the N.C. Sociological Association.

In a 9:45 a.m. keynote address, Ian Taplin, a professor of sociology at Wake Forest University who studies work and society, will discuss what’s on the horizon for the state’s economy.  The meeting will be held at the Winston-Salem Marriott (425 North Cherry St.)

Despite high unemployment rates and budget deficits, Taplin says there is good news to share about the N.C. economy:

  • Health care and biotech sectors continue to grow
  • Charlotte’s loss of banking jobs has been offset by growth in higher education and manufacturing
  • Cities with a higher proportion of highly educated workers such as Raleigh-Durham show signs of faster wage growth for less educated workers, too.
  • Employers in the textile and furniture industries have found locating plants in N.C. can be cost effective.
  • Many signs indicate a possible halt in the decline of manufacturing in the state.

Other highlights will include:

Leslie Hossfeld (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) will discuss the proliferation of farmer’s markets across the state and how the success of small, specialized farms are transforming agriculture and rural economic development.  (10:45 a.m.)

Nichola Lowe (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) will address new industries bringing new types of jobs to the state. With a focus on biotech, she will provide an overview of how these jobs can have multiplier effects in the regions where they locate. (10:45 a.m.)

Ana-Maria Wahl (Wake Forest University) and Stephen Sills (UNCG) will discuss what has happened to Latino workers who moved to N.C. for agricultural and construction jobs and the jobs they have held since the economic downturn. (11:55 a.m.)

Wake Forest graduate Marcus Hill, currently a resident of downtown Winston-Salem, will talk about efforts in community development that are spurring growth and enhancing community awareness in the downtown area. (2:30 p.m.)

Media are invited to cover the event.  Taplin is also available for interviews before or after the event.  Contact the Wake Forest news office to arrange an interview with Taplin or with the other speakers.


Cheryl Walker, 336-758-6073,
Stephanie Skordas, 336-758-3826,

Categories: Media Advisory