NCGrowth Field Day Experience

The NCGrowth program kicked off the beginning of summer in a great way! We had the opportunity as student interns and analysts to learn more about the work of NCGrowth through an NCGrowth field day. Our team had an amazing time getting a tour of historic Downtown Durham, and also P&A Industrial Fabrications in Roxboro. The purpose of this trip was to learn more about the redevelopment of Durham and the future of Downtown. P&A Industrial Fabrications is where analyst Varun Nair, a graduate engineering student at NCSU is working. It was great to see the significant progress of Varun’s project and contributions he’s making to their business.

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Alston Gardner, a developer and advisor to NCGrowth, kicked off the day by talking about his love for Durham as well as the history of the city. We learned about the tobacco company that first put Durham on the map as well as Black Wall Street.  After hearing about the history, we learned about future Durham projects. Matt Gladdek, Director of Policy and Planning for Downtown Durham Inc, spoke about the progress Downtown Durham has made over the past 10 years and future plans. For example, they are in the process of creating more parking. After their presentations, Alston and Matt gave us a walking tour. Adam Klein, the Chief Strategist for American Underground met and spoke with us briefly about the history of this co-working space and all that they have accomplished thus far. Adam explained how American Underground is growing significantly and the space they created for these start-up companies are filled 24/7. They are also expanding across the street and creating more space for the larger companies.

P&A Industrial Fabrications is a manufacturing company in Roxoboro NC that produces fabric for Sherwin Williams, BMW and others. Our team was able to see the process the fabric goes through all the way from start to finish. We got the opportunity to see each machine and learn about its role in the process. Our team was amazed to see how this company maneuvers on a daily basis and to see each stage of the fabrication process.

As a new summer intern, I was excited and thrilled to be a part of the team. This trip definitely was beneficial to me because I was able to get a grasp of what NCGrowth is all about and what it stands for. I love being a part of a program that genuinely cares to help business create jobs and communities offer sustainable opportunities for their people. The trip provided a good orientation to NCGrowth’s work and prepared me for my summer project.

Ja’Von Williams is a rising Junior at NC Central University majoring in Business.  Learn more about Ja’Von’s summer project.

I love being a part of a program that genuinely cares to help business create jobs and communities offer sustainable opportunities for their people.