| January 7, 2009
League of Women Voters will explore immigration in Dare County
The League of Women Voters will sponsor a panel on “Immigration:
Economic Impact in Dare County” on Thursday, Jan. 15, from 1
until 3 p.m. at the Pitts Center, 5377 Virginia Dare Trail in Southern
The program is open to the public as part of the education mission of
the League of Women Voters. The league also invites the public to join
its members for a box lunch before the program at 12:30 p.m. The cost
of lunch is $10. Those who are interested must RSVP to Connie Cogger,
at 261-3599, or by email at [email protected] by Jan. 12.
There are two panel presentations.
The Labor Force Panel of local experts will be owners or
representatives from the major industry groups in Dare County. The
industries included are real estate, restaurants, home building,
retail, boat building, fishing, and landscaping. Amy Huggins will
moderate this panel.
Joe Heard, Kitty Hawk planner, and Nancy Bellantine of Outer Banks
Pathways will provide an overview with data on the area’s
population and labor force breakdown. Discussion will center on why
immigrants seek work in their industries, what kind of jobs the
immigrants hold, and special challenges the employer faces in employing
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions following the panel’s discussion.
The Community Services Panel will be experts from governmental and
nonprofit organizations that provide services in Dare
County—including immigrants. Mary Ellen Hawthorne will facilitate
The service areas represented on this second panel include Dare County
departments of Social Services and Public Health, Interfaith Community
Outreach, Outer Banks Hospital, College of the Albermarle, Outer Banks
Pathways, and the Dare County Sheriff’s Office.
The panel will describe the services needed and provided by their
organizations and insight into the challenges they confront, such as
funding and language.
There will be an opportunity for questions after the panels.
According to a press release, the LWV is sponsoring this program
“to educate the community as to the importance of immigrants to
our local economy and to the challenges faced by this portion of the
labor force in obtaining necessary services.”
“This will not be a debate about the legal status of immigrants
as that debate must be resolved by the U.S. government,” the
league said in the release. “Some panelists may discuss how they
are challenged by them— the focus is on the immigrants, why they
are here and their challenges while they work in our industries and
The LWV asks that attendees make a special effort to arrive promptly to
take seats. The program will start promptly at 1 p.m. There must be
enough time for both panels to complete their discussions and answer