Skip to main content

Upcoming Workforce Conference Offers Innovation to Local Employers


Vance-Granville Community College invites the region’s employers and business leaders to learn more about important workforce issues at an event called “Business & Industry Connect 2024: The Ties that Bind.”

This conference will take place Thursday, October 31, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the College’s Main Campus Civic Center. The event is free of charge and includes lunch.

College officials hope the event can help businesses create innovative programs for attracting talent, understand today’s post-COVID landscape, and share ideas. Attendees will gain tools to develop a company culture that energizes coworkers, unlocks their potential, and leads to higher retention rates.

“At a time in our history with five generations in the workforce, it is important to understand the data regarding what drives and motivates these groups,” said VGCC Grants Administrator Ken Wilson, who is coordinating the conference. “As the title of the conference suggests, VGCC and our partners are bound in economic and workforce development to propel our service areas to new levels of success.”

Special guests Jim Link and Brett Brenton will help facilitate the conference.

About This Year’s Speakers

Jim Link is the Chief Human Resources Officer for the Society for Human Resource Management. With over 340,000 members around the world, SHRM is the largest HR professional association in the world and the leading voice for matters related to workers and the workplace. Prior to joining SHRM, Link’s career included roles across a variety of industries and companies including General Electric, the Pillsbury Company, Porsche Cars, and Randstad. While at Randstad North America, he led a global team of 150 HR professionals who helped transform the company into an award-winning, inclusive, and sustainable global leader.

Using a data-driven, story-telling approach with his audiences, Link’s presentations weave together insights gleaned from a variety of sources to address the changes required for tomorrow’s leaders to succeed. His ability to translate complex ideas into manageable outcomes is coupled with a passion for fostering inclusive and thriving environments.

Brett Brenton serves as the Regional Impact Manager at myFutureNC, supporting the state’s North Central region. Brenton spent 13 years in public education, most recently as an elementary school assistant principal in Wake County. Brett holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a Masters in School Administration from NC State University.

Brenton joined the Research Triangle Foundation as the founding director of the STEM in the Park (now STEM RTP) program in 2014, which aimed to diversify the STEM fields through mentoring, outreach, and events. Brett then applied the programmatic elements of this work to the emerging Frontier coworking space, leading programming and partnerships for the Foundation and supporting entrepreneurs who helped activate the space. In 2018, Brenton joined the Durham-based nonprofit Forward Cities, where he worked with over 30 communities nationwide to support their efforts to grow entrepreneurial ecosystems.

To register, visit For more information, contact Ken Wilson at