On December 7, NCEast Alliance staff member Hannah Jones, along with 13 tourism related professionals from Eastern North Carolina, visited the NC Tourism Call Center
On December 7, NCEast Alliance staff member Hannah Jones, along with 13 tourism related professionals from Eastern North Carolina, visited the NC Tourism Call Center at the state’s Correctional Institute for Women in Raleigh. NC Department of Commerce Secretary John Skvarla along with members of his executive staff, Commerce Visitor Services staff, representatives from NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), NCDOT – Rail Division, as well as Warden Royster & his executive staff also joined the event.
“Every year, I am encouraged by the desire of these women to provide accurate information for both NC Tourism as well as our Northeast region. The program they provided this year was extensively researched for our region and executed with artwork that has been constructed from nominal, toss away items,” said Donna Stewart, Director of the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center.
The eastern NC delegation provided lunch and a regional presentation to update the operators on upcoming events and facility improvements going on across the region. Many people may not know this, but inmates from the North Carolina Correctional Institute staff the North Carolina Tourism Call Center Inquiry and Fulfillment Center for Women. This program was designed to give inmates in good standing the opportunity to give back to their community, learn what is going on within their state, and share that information with prospective visitors.
If you call 1-800-visitnc you will be directed to the inmates who will provide directions and event information for any location in North Carolina. The inmates are well prepped and equipped with the knowledge necessary to provide this information to the callers.
“Their thoughtful questions reflect their desire to thoroughly service their customers. Director of Visitor Services, Wally Wazan, and Call Center Supervisor, Teresa Smith, work diligently to keep the inquiry team updated and current on our state’s tourism offerings. They give much more back to us than we could ever give to them and the Call Center visit is one of the highlights of the holiday for many of our tourism partners,” said Stewart.
This program has proven to be good for the state and the community, there is little to no turn around. It also benefits the women – inmates are paid between one and three dollars a day, making this the highest paid program in the prison and providing them with the ability to connect with the outside world that they may never get the chance to see again.
The NCEast Alliance is a regional, public/private, not-for-profit, economic development corporation serving over two dozen counties with approximately 1.3 million residents in several small metropolitan and micropolitan areas in eastern North Carolina. The region extends from the fringe of the Research Triangle to the Atlantic Coast and from Jacksonville/Onslow County to the Virginia state line. The Alliance provides community capacity building, marketing/lead generation, and assists companies with site location and expansion evaluations. For more information on the NCEast Alliance, visit us at www.nceast.org or visit one of our workforce development sites (www.ncworkready.org or www.stemeast.org)