Chancellor Speaks On Economic Development in Union County

Chancellor Phil Dubois was the keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Hook and Slice Industry Appreciation Banquet presented by Monroe-Union County Economic Development on Thursday, Sept. 4.  In his remarks to an audience of about 100 industry leaders in Union County, Dubois emphasized UNC Charlotte’s shared goals of economic prosperity and other connections with Union County. He enjoyed meeting local elected officials including Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore, industry leaders and many alumni who are making a difference in Union County. 

One of the most powerful ties is the 1,700 UNC Charlotte students from Union County, which represent a nearly 8 percent increase from 2013. Of undergraduate students in the UNC System from Union County, one-third attend UNC Charlotte—more than double any other UNC campus.  Union County is the third largest source of students after Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties.   Some of the most accomplished students hail from Union County, with 54 students in the Honors College including six in the prestigious Levine Scholars Program.  A total of 20 student athletes proudly wear 49er green, including 10 young men who will take the field for the second football season.

UNC Charlotte is an economic force in Union County both through educating the population and through its academics, research and facilities that serve as resources for local industry. Students in the William States Lee College of Engineering Senior Design Program are providing engineering solutions to Union County companies including RSC Chemicals, ASSA-ABLOY - Norton Door Controls and Spiroflow using specialized, high-tech resources and guidance from faculty experts. Many companies also go on to recruit employees from this program, a win-win for students and industry partners.

UNC Charlotte researchers are also using technology developed by CEM, a Union County scientific instrument manufacturer, to develop applications for cancer research as part of a new partnership with the Levine Cancer Institute.  This work could mean more accessible cancer diagnosis and treatment for patients in Union County and throughout the region. 

Given that Union County has the highest geographic concentration of aerospace companies in the Carolinas; UNC Charlotte is particularly suited to aid economic growth in this community with world-renowned expertise in advanced manufacturing.  Engineering students, graduates and faculty work closely with the county’s robust aerospace cluster which now numbers 20 firms that employ approximately 3,000 people.

About 5,400 UNC Charlotte alumni call Union County home. They have an especially large footprint in Union County Public Schools, with 570 teachers helping to shape future leaders. Additionally, the New Teacher Support program is currently helping educators in high priority schools including Monroe High School, Forest Hills High School and South Providence High School.

Related: County shows appreciation for local industry

Photo: Chancellor Dubois with Chris Platé, executive director of Monroe-Union County Economic Development