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Panel To Discuss State Of NC Economy April 21 At Duke

State, Duke leaders will focus on how seven key NC industries have adapted to changes in US, global economy

How seven key North Carolina industries have adapted to major changes in the U.S. and the global economy over the past several years is the focus of a panel discussion Monday, April 21, at Duke University.

The discussion will include leaders from the state Department of Commerce, Durham Technical Community College and Duke. The event is free and open to the public and takes place from 3-5 p.m. at 103A Erwin Mill, 2024 W. Main Street, Durham. Parking is available in the Erwin Mill lot.

Much of the information to be discussed is included in an updated website produced by Duke's Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness (, which launches April 21.

"The website itself details the trajectory of seven industries that are vital to the health of the state's overall economy -- textiles and apparel, furniture, tobacco, banking and finance, biotechnology, information technology and hog farming," said Gary Gereffi, a sociology professor at Duke and director of the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness.

"The website also provides a wealth of economic data about each of the sectors while serving as a centralized location for tables, charts and maps that help illustrate the changing dynamics of North Carolina's business profile."

The state's strengths and competitive advantages are also detailed on the site in an analysis of each industry from a global value chain perspective.

Monday's event also will provide a forum to highlight the contribution of the students in Gereffi's Bass Connections class. Duke's Bass Connections program has students engage with faculty on research initiatives. The students' work on the N.C. in the Global Economy website is an example of this collaboration.

In addition to Gereffi, panelists at the forum will include:

-- Derek Chen, director, foreign operations, N.C. Department of Commerce;

-- Douglas Aitkin, program director, corporate services, Durham Technical Community College;

-- Lukas Brun, senior research analyst, Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness;

-- Stacey Frederick, research scientist, Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness.