Regional Center Gets a New Director; Buys Land for New Headquarters


Sylvia H. Pate has been named director of the UNC Pembroke’s Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development.

The announcement was made June 18 just as news of the UNC Board of Governors approval of the purchase of land for a new Regional Center headquarters was announced.

The university will purchase 12 acres to construct offices, computer labs and conference space at the COMtech high tech and commerce park, located between Lumberton and Pembroke. It will be the first time UNCP has constructed a building off campus.

Ms. Pate comes to UNCP with over 20 years of experience in workforce development. For the last 13 years, she was a senior administrator at the Lumber River Council of Governments supervising 40 employees in a $9 million regional workforce development program in four counties in the region.

The Regional Center is a part of UNCP’s outreach. It conducts management training and certification programs and administers community development and healthcare grants. It is also home to the Small Business and Technology Development Center, which assists small business start-ups.

Ms. Pate reports to Associate Provost for Outreach Richard Bothel.

“We are pleased to have someone of Sylvia Pate’s experience and expertise as our new Regional Center director,” Dr. Bothel said. “I’m excited about the future of the Center’s service to the community under her leadership.”

Ms. Pate said her role is to take the Regional Center to a new level, beginning with the construction of a new headquarters.

“I think there is potential for many new and creative ideas at the Regional Center,” Ms. Pate said. “We will be looking at many new outreach opportunities in distance learning, certificate programs and management training programs.”

The news about UNCP’s Regional Center joining the new technology and commerce park was welcomed by COMtech Chief Executive Officer Tony Normand.

“Magnificent! This is a visible symbol of the university’s outreach into the community,” Mr. Normand said. “Partnerships like this will be the fuel of COMtech’s success.”

“Sylvia Pate is a great addition to the Regional Center,” he said. “She is a seasoned veteran with a track record of getting things done.”

A Myrtle Beach native, Ms. Pate also worked for Isothermal Community College in Spindale, N.C. in employment programs, human resources, planning and development programs.

Ms. Pate’s earned her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Education from Western Carolina University and a Master of Science in Public Management from UNCP in 1999.

She is a board member of the N.C. Workforce Development Training and a former officer of the North Carolina Workforce Development Directors Council. She is a former N.C. representative of the Board of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, and she continues to serve as a member of the association.

Ms. Pate is past chairman of Robeson County Partnership for children. She is a member of the Southeastern Employment and Training Association and the North Carolina Employment and Training Association. She is also a board member of the Robeson County Welfare Reform Task Force.

Ms. Pate is married to George Scott Pate, and they have one daughter, Lisa Mitchell Belcher.