Asheville Chamber Launches State of Our Workforce: Western NC Analysis

July 17, 2018

Asheville Chamber Joins with NC Chamber Foundation to Study Regional Workforce and Employment Challenges

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce today launched a regional analysis to study workforce and employment challenges in Madison, Yancey, Haywood, Buncombe, McDowell, Jackson, Transylvania, Henderson, Polk and Rutherford counties. The State of Our Workforce: Western NC is part of a statewide initiative organized by the North Carolina Chamber Foundation, powered entirely through regional efforts. RTI International will survey businesses in the Western region this summer and plan to release results in fall 2018.

“Workforce development is an economic development issue. As we look to the future, our community and region will need a robust workforce strategy to meet the needs of area businesses and to equip individuals with the necessary skills to match available jobs,” said Kit Cramer, President & CEO of the Asheville Chamber.

“Businesses in North Carolina are frustrated. We have a great climate for growth and job creation, but businesses just can’t find the skilled workers they need. To solve that problem, we need to fully understand it—including how the skills gap differs across our state,” said Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber. “The data and insights we’ll gain from the State of Our Workforce analysis will help guide regional solutions that work best for businesses, workers, students, and educators in the Western NC area, but they’ll also help inform statewide policy and decision-making. We’re proud to support the Asheville Chamber as they take this critical step toward solving our workforce challenges.”

Businesses of all sizes and across all industries are invited to participate in the The State of Our Workforce: Western NC. Information about the project and link to the online survey can be found at and on social media tagged #wnctalent.

The first State of Our Workforce regional analysis was conducted in the Triangle in late 2017. The study found that employers in the Triangle expect to add up to 37,000 new jobs through 2020, but they still have serious concerns about finding the right talent. The analysis was a partnership between the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, City of Raleigh, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Wake County Economic Development and others. For more information on this study, visit

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization of 1700 businesses representing more than 80,000 employees in Buncombe County and beyond dedicated to building community through business by growing jobs, advocating for a business-friendly environment and helping businesses thrive. The Chamber is home to the Asheville Visitor Center that welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. Learn more at