I was born March 20th, 1977 in Sampson County. My family was involved in agriculture and logging. Hard work; long hours. I joined the family workforce at age 5. I drove the tractor while others harvested tobacco. Later, I raised cucumbers and other produce in order acquire money for clothes and school supplies. My father died of a massive heart attack when I was 9 yrs. old. The “single parent family” became a reality I fully understand. My mother began work in the textile industry while continuing operation of the family farm and maintaining a positive home environment.
At 14, I obtained a job at the local grocery store in Garland. It was invaluable toward learning to interact and understand the challenge of dealing with a diverse public. At the same time, I worked such other jobs available in order to purchase a vehicle and save for college. Upon graduation from East Bladen High School in 1995, I began the Associate Degree program at Sampson Community College in Clinton. In 2002, I transferred to East Carolina University to obtain a Bachelor’s in Economics and Accounting. While acquiring academic credits, I was fortunate to obtain several jobs which gave me a hands-on opportunity to compare theory with practical application to business.
Since graduation, I have worked as an accountant and tax specialist with a variety of businesses and CPA firms. I have become a “workaholic” by necessity and do my best to keep up with the cost of living. I have come to enjoy the learning experience offered through diversity. It has been an asset as I focused on research and job development.
Job development, on a personal level, has been the theme throughout my life. I was first told by my grandfather; “if you don’t have a job make one.” Today, I apply that concept to both individuals and businesses. The reward has been to find creativity exist throughout NC and among many of our citizens. “Job creation,” is wishful thinking.
Job development is a reality of new products, services, concepts and innovation through support and assistance to those individuals who present their potentials. The procedures to expand needed jobs are in place. The pace of which this approach proceeds is up to each of you. I commend those in Commerce and economic developers who are alert for potential relocation of “jobs in place co’s” . However, these prospects are becoming fewer and far between. On a national level we too often just change the location of unemployment at the greatest cost to all.
North Carolina is our “ship of state”. Higher than average unemployment means the working crew and passengers are treading water to survive. It is important that we ship officers, crew and passengers understand “you don’t sink half a ship.” We must work together to stay afloat. Jobs make our economy. Healthcare, education, transportation, home ownership and better than “survival” way of life depend on income and wages. Job development is a source. Your vote, support and willingness to participate in a “jobs revolution” will speed our state’s economic recovery. As your Congressman I pledge to lead that revolution.