Sec. of State Elaine Marshall examines wins and losses on the local, state and national scale. Education, how you treat people are key, she says at Elon University presentation.

Elaine Marshall, now in her 20th year as North Carolina secretary of state, knows North Carolina’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to economic development.

Here are some of the economic barriers she touched on during her hour-long presentation Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Elon University’s Koury Business Center:

Education

The connection between education and the economy is clear, Marshall says, and it’s also clear that North Carolina is not leading the country in test scores or teacher pay.

Alamance County is no different.

“I love Alamance County. I love coming here, but I say with that love that — you who live here know — often your K–12 scores are behind neighboring Guilford or Orange. Folks, that puts you at an immediate disadvantage with employers,” Marshall said.

A few minutes on the state Department of Public Instruction’s website will show that Alamance lags behind in graduate rates and SAT scores.

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