Workshops & Speakers

The NCACC will continuously update this page with summaries of each session and workshop, and information on the presenters.

Note that, new for 2018, Steering Committees will take "deep dives" into topics of interest on Thursday from 9:30 - 11 a.m. Plan your travel and itinerary accordingly!


Second General Session: Saturday, August 25, 8:45 - 10:15 a.m.

Sam Quinones is a journalist, storyteller, former LA Times reporter, and author of three acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction, including Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. The book weaves together tales that reveal how unfettered prescriptions of pain medications during the 1990s collided with an influx of black tar heroin, which, when combined with a brilliant marketing and distribution system, resulted in today’s public opiate crisis.

Quinones will share this story and discuss his insights into how counties have been at the forefront of a long process of rebuilding communities that have been destroyed by societal forces.




1:30 – 4 p.m.
Furniture Movers and Shakers: Academy’s Custom Training Meets New Needs for Traditional Industry
The Catawba Valley Furniture Academy is an industry-driven training program designed by local furniture manufacturers to prepare students for skilled positions that are in high demand by one of the region's largest employers. This unique opportunity results in almost guaranteed employment for those who complete the program.

Transportation will be provided to this off-site workshop, where attendees will learn about the program's partners, inception and curriculum design during an overview and tour of the facility.

Bus or shuttle transportation will depart from the Convention Center entrance at 1:30 p.m. for a 15-minute ride to the Academy (973 Locust St.). Participants will return to the Convention Center no later than 4 p.m. Refreshments will be provided on-site. Wear comfortable shoes!

Facilitator: Lori Price, Catawba Valley Community College Business & Industry Services

Other workshop offerings to include:

Friday, Aug. 24

  • Screening of Resilience - the groundbreaking documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) - and facilitated discussion

Saturday, Aug. 25

  • Host county highlight of Catawba County K-64, an innovative approach to drive local workforce growth by partnering business with education to cultivate connections between the classroom and real-world careers for students of all ages.