Friday, April 12, 2024

Samantha Cole Named Child Care Business Liaison at the North Carolina Department of Commerce

Raleigh, N.C
Apr 12, 2024

Samantha Cole has been named the first Child Care Business Liaison at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders announced today. Cole brings nearly a decade of experience in economic development and government to the newly created position.

Announced in December of 2023 as a grant-funded position at Commerce with support from N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and Invest Early NC, the Child Care Business Liaison role was created under the state’s economic development plan as a means of addressing the insufficient supply of high quality and affordable childcare in North Carolina. In this capacity, Cole will work with businesses, local communities, and philanthropic organizations to develop strategies and resources to help employers provide childcare support to their employees.

“The Child Care Business Liaison plays an instrumental role in ensuring North Carolinians have access to excellent child care, which sets the next generation up for success while allowing parents to fully participate in the workforce,” said Secretary Sanders. “Samantha Cole is passionate about workforce development, children and families and I am ecstatic to welcome her to our team.”

Prior to joining Commerce, Cole served as the Director of Workforce Partnerships at the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County, where she spearheaded workforce development initiatives to strengthen the region’s talent pipeline, and built strategic partnerships among local stakeholders to expand access to economic opportunity. She also brings experience working in state government, having served as Deputy Press Secretary in the Office of Governor Roy Cooper and at the North Carolina Department of Justice.

“Growing access to affordable, high-quality child care is key to expanding economic opportunity across our state,” Cole said. “I’m honored to join the Commerce department and participate in this important work.”

Cole holds a bachelor’s degree from Hollins University, and a master’s from the University of Georgia. She volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem in the North Carolina court system and is an active board member of the Child Care Center at First Presbyterian Church.

Cole assumed her new position as Child Care Business Liaison on April 2. 

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