April 23, 2009 by Joshua Wright
Special Projects Coordinator – High Country Workforce Development Board
Region D High Country Council of Governments
Boone, North Carolina
Rebecca Bloomquist used EMSI’s database of labor market trends and projections to help Appalachian State University target high-growth industries and occupations for one of its college awareness programs. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is an ASU-led initiative that works with disadvantaged children in middle and secondary school to help bolster their chances of graduating from high school and enrolling in college. Leaders of GEAR UP approached Bloomquist, Special Projects Coordinator at the High Country Workforce Development Board, wanting to know what sectors will be viable for students to enter in the next five to 10 years in northwest North Carolina, specifically Alleghany, Burke, and Avery counties. With EMSI, Bloomquist quickly was able to see that health care would continue to be a key economic driver while trade, transportation, and utilities were projected to have the biggest increase in jobs.