Two Major October Events Focus on Local Concerns

Category: College, Community


Eastern Shore Community College, supported by several partners and sponsors, will host two major events next month highlighting important local community issues.  In partnership with the Wallops Research Park, the October 2 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Technical Interchange will examine the exciting potential this emerging industry has for our community.  On October 15, the Chincoteague, Eastern Shore and Northampton County Chambers of Commerce will be working with ESCC to present the Accomack-Northampton Economic Forecast.  Both events will be held in the Great Hall of the College’s Workforce Development Center in Melfa.

With the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recent selection of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) to establish UAS test flight corridors, Wallops Island is expected to play a key part in the expansion of UAS development and implementation in the national air space.  MAAP includes research universities and military and aerospace organizations in Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland, and will send representatives to speak at the Thursday October 2 Technical Interchange.  The event will explore how the breakthrough UAS industry will impact economic development on Virginia’s Eastern Shore as well as DelMarVa and the rest of Virginia.  Participants will be a part of the discussion led by industry leaders and policy makers.  Panel discussions will include UAS operations experts, technology leaders, and industry leaders.

Speakers include Jim Williams from the Federal Aviation Administration’s UAS Integration Office; Steve Pennington, the Executive Director of the Policy Board on Federal Aviation for the U.S. Department of Defense; Karen Jackson, Virginia’s Secretary of Technology; and Virginia Senator, Frank Wagner.  The event is sponsored by UAV Solutions of Jessup, Maryland; Bosh Group of Newport News; ASRC Federal of Beltsville, Maryland; LTJ and Associates of Columbia, Maryland; the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS); the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Community College System.

Starting at 9:00am and ending at 4:00pm, this event includes lunch.  The regular registration fee of $69 is discounted to $49 for people who live or work in Accomack or Northampton Counties.

The three local Chambers of Commerce are following up on their successful State of the Shore joint venture in April that featured Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe with the Economic Forecast event on Wednesday October 15.  Regional and Commonwealth level experts will provide analysis of the current opportunities and challenges facing the regional, the national and global economy.  Dr. Memo Diriker, Founding Director of Salisbury University’s BEACON. (Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network) will deliver the keynote address which will focus on the potential economic development impact that the growing NASA Wallops Flight Facility will have on entrepreneurial opportunity in both counties.

Panel discussion topics critical to Virginia’s Eastern Shore include tourism, agriculture and aquaculture.  Sara Baldwin, founder of New Ravenna Mosaics in Exmore will moderate a small business panel discussion featuring notable Eastern Shore entrepreneurs who have found ways to market their products and services outside of our two counties, thus enhancing the economic prosperity of the community.  Local and Commonwealth government officials will discuss resources to help Eastern Shore businesses best take advantage of local emerging economic conditions.

Dr. Diriker is also the President of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce.  He will make a special presentation to local Chamber of Commerce leaders at the event on behalf of that Chamber.  This event begins at 8:00am and concludes at 12:30pm.  Coffee and light morning refreshments will be served.  The registration fee is $12.  Members of any DelMarVa Chamber of Commerce may register for $10.

To register for either event or request additional information, please call Kimberlee Ormsby at (757) 789-7979 or e-mail  Both events require advance registration and payment.

UAS Technical Interchange Flyer & Registration Form

Economic Forecast Flyer and Registration Form