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NC State researcher seeking insight and opinions on Ocracoke’s tourism workforce

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Whitney Knollenberg

Finding and maintaining quality employees is a challenge for any business, but doing so may be particularly challenging for tourism businesses on Ocracoke.

In an effort to support Ocracoke’s tourism industry and its employees N.C. State faculty member Dr. Whitney Knollenberg is working with N.C. Sea Grant and Ocracoke Alive! to identify the challenges and opportunities related to the tourism workforce on Ocracoke.

Knollenberg is seeking input from the tourism business owners, tourism employees, and residents of Ocracoke to gain a better understanding of what resources are currently supporting the island’s tourism workforce and what resources require greater development.

To gather this input, three focus groups will be held in December. Tourism employees and residents are welcome to share their thoughts in a focus group hosted at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and 20 in the Deepwater Theater.

The group on the Dec. 20 will be conducted in Spanish. Tourism business owners may participate in a focus group at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Deepwater Theater. One-on-one interviews can also be arranged for those who are interested in sharing their insights and opinions, but who may be unable to participate in the focus groups. The focus groups and interviews will last about one hour and all responses will remain confidential.

The findings from the focus groups and interviews will be shared in another workshop in the spring. The outcomes of this work will be written up as a publicly available report with conclusions and recommendations that may inform efforts to support Ocracoke’s tourism workforce.

To RSVP for the focus groups or an interview, please contact Whitney Knollenberg at whitney_knollenberg@ncsu.edu by Dec. 15.

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