Lenoir Community College hosted the First Annual Eastern Region State of the Workforce Congress Thursday.
Organizers say the event allows education, economic development, and workforce development professionals to discuss unemployment rates, jobs coming to the region and how prepared people are for those jobs.
Organizers say the unemployment rate is around 10.4 percent for the region right now.
But they say companies like Sanderson Farms and Spirit Aerosystems are starting to come into the area, and say people are prepared for jobs with those companies.
Childers says there's been a rise in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, education, skilled professions and tourism.