First Posted: 1/15/2009
PEMBROKE, N.C. n The keynote speaker for the 2007 Business Visions Awards Banquet asked the local business community to embrace the optimism of American youth.
The event was May 1 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development at COMtech. It is sponsored by Lumbee River Electric Membership Corp., Progress Energy, Acme Electric, BB&T, Southeastern Regional Medical Center and the Robeson County Committee of 100.
At the event where success stories are celebrated, Dr. Barry O’Brien, an economist and dean of the School of Business at Francis Marion University, said the temptation to blame illegal immigration or globalization for the region’s economic problems is great.
“Our comparative advantage in the U.S. is going to be the skills of our children,” Dr. O’Brien said. “Our kids have optimism, something that is uniquely American. They believe that problems can be solved.”
A Philadelphia, Pa., native and a 1972 UNCP graduate, urged community business leaders to teach entrepreneurship in the elementary schools.
“We must challenge kids in our classrooms to think,” he said. “Let them be