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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Sherwood Smith, March 23, 1999. Interview I-0079. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Rosy future for North Carolina business

Here, Smith considers the future of North Carolina business and sees good things, assuming the state's leaders remain focused on education, job training, and business recruitment.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Sherwood Smith, March 23, 1999. Interview I-0079. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JM: One last question. If you pull out your crystal ball and look down the road here--. Generally [people are] pretty optimistic, pretty bullish on North Carolina’s economic prospects. [Do you foresee] any bumps in the road? [Do you have] any worries? [Are there] any things that might not make you think on the real upside of [North Carolina’s] potential? SS: I think North Carolina is very much in the middle of a national and global economy. Obviously, what happens here is going to depend on what happens nationally and internationally to a large extent. But, if you believe, as I do, that the fact that we are no longer in the Cold War--. The demise of USSR and its satellite states has provided, across the world, a lessening of tensions with China and the opportunity for peace and prosperity. I’m very optimistic over the long term. The concerns that I would have in North Carolina would be simply the importance of our keeping our commitment and keeping focused to education, job skill training, to the recruitment of industry, to facilitate the expansion of the existing industry, [and] just keeping our focus. I think the Smart Start program, at the bottom of the education ladder, is tremendously important. I think it ought to be expanded. We ought to follow that with steady improvement in education. In North Carolina, now, there’s a lot of activity in trying to improve the product of the public schools. The public schools just mirror society. You generally get out of a public school, what society in that area represents. I think we can’t be complacent about that. I think we’re going to continue to have to work hard, particularly in the poorer areas, to improve what’s being done in our public schools.