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Survey Says…

Centralina WDB Reveals Positive Outlooks on the Economy

The Centralina Workforce Development Board continually gathers data from various sources to seek out the best ways to service our communities. As we reviewed data last year, the Board determined that taking a direct approach and gaining input from the employers in our area would be of great value. A limited survey of 120 businesses in the seven county service area of the Centralina Workforce Development Board was launched in late March 2011. The purpose of the survey was to look at business trends and also determine business service priorities as the economy recovers. This feedback is extremely helpful to the Centralina Workforce Development Board as we gain a better understanding of what is important to our local employers, set priorities and communicate business needs to government. The Board has decided to continue gathering direct input over the next few months and expand the survey to a larger number of employers. Our analysis of the 28 respondents revealed the following:

1. The current trend is growth.
A total of 25% of the companies surveyed indicated they are currently expanding and 43% are looking for opportunities to grow when asked to describe the current state of their business sector.

2. Good employees ranks high for company success
A total of 86% of the survey respondents indicated that recruiting, training and retention of employees was very important to their organization’s success over the next five years.

3. Customer Service counts
The survey showed that over 96% of the businesses feel Customer Service is very important to their organizations success over the next five years. Process Improvement also ranked high with almost 93% followed by Skilled Workers at 86%.

4. Companies fall short on employee training.
The survey indicated that most organizations on average offered between 5-20 hours of formal training annually to each of their employees. 32% of those surveyed devoted 20 hours or more to training. Follow up with a couple of companies indicated they would like to offer more formal training but are currently short of resources to do so.

5. On-the-Job Training is popular for skills training.
Twenty (20) businesses surveyed listed their best practices for employee skills development. On the job training was most frequent response when asked what their organization’s best practice was for developing the skills of their employees.

6. State and Local Government resources are limited
About 32% of those surveyed said that State and Local Government are doing a good job of meeting the needs of businesses as it relates to support services, training opportunities and other services while about 18% said they are doing an excellent job.

7. Job Training Assistance ranks high
A total of 58% of survey respondents listed Job Training Assistance as being the most beneficial resource to them during this period of economic recovery followed by Job Screening/Assessment at 46%.

The Board continually seeks guidance from those we serve in an effort to deliver excellent service and value. The focus on services to businesses is a key point of improvement for the Board for 2011 and beyond.

We hope you will share your input when we launch a new survey in July. You are encouraged to look at the complete results from the survey which can be accessed from this link.
If you’d like to be included in the upcoming survey, please contact Vail Carter at (704) 348-2710 or by e-mail at vcarter@centralina.org.


Health and Science = Region’s Future Workforce

Allied Health RSP Meeting at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis

On Thursday April 28, 2011 the Competitive Workforce Alliance’s Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership held its second meeting of 2011 to an energetic group at the David Murdock Core Lab at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis.

The event was kicked off by David Hollars, Centralina Workforce Development Board Executive Director and also the workforce intermediary for the Partnership. He welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the staff at the NC Research Campus and UNC-Charlotte for hosting this great event.

Attendees heard presentations from Dr. Sheetal Ghelani of the David H. Murdock Research Institute at the NC Research Campus and Joan Thompson from the NC Department of Public Instruction. Dr. Ghelani spoke about the history and the coming of age of the NC Research Campus. She also revealed some of the impressive studies they have going on at the Research Institute. Dr. Ghelani encouraged those in the audience to take some time to enjoy the campus and stated that the campus’s state of the art equipment was open for use by many in the medical field.

Joan Thompson discussed the NC Department of Public Instruction current health sciences curriculum and plans for training the next generation. She discussed various projects that the youth are working on and how they form the curriculum to stay current and innovative. She also provided details on how HOSA – Health Occupations Students of America organizations in local schools plan an important part in exposing students to real life health careers.

After a short lunch, the group heard about several projects that the Partnership was working on. Allied Health RSP Steering Committee Chair Joann Spaleta with Charlotte AHEC introduced Dr. Hampton Hopkins from the Carolinas College of Health Sciences. Dr Hopkins discussed the development and implantation of the Anesthesia Tech Project in the region. He stated that it would be the only one in North and South Carolina and that the curriculum developed could be replicated and used by other training institutions. The Anesthesia Tech project is the next phase of the Partnership’s Career Pathways initiative.

David Hollars introduced Steve Maag from Maag Communications and Marketing. Steve discussed some of the changes made to the Competitive Workforce Alliance Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership’s website (www.agreatworkforce.com/alliedhealth). Those in attendance were able to see the new live and updated version of the website. The website contains videos of recent Allied Health Career Showcases and other storylines set in a blog format.

The meeting concluded with a tour of the David Murdock Core Lab Building. The next meeting for the Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership is scheduled for Thursday July 21, 2011. For more information on this meeting or to make sure you get an invitation please contact Emily Clamp at eclamp@centralina.org. Special thanks to RSP project consults Melinda McVadon and Donna North with the McLynn Group for their continued hard work in keeping the RSP on track for success!

The Competitive Workforce Alliance Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership is a collaboration created to address the emerging issues and needs of the healthcare industry. Part of an economic development strategy that uses a “sector” or industry-specific approach, this Partnership is designed to bring together employers, educators, trainers and workforce and economic development professionals to create innovative solutions to Allied Health workforce shortages. As part of its initiative to increase public education and awareness of allied health careers, the Partnership is sponsoring Career Showcases in Cleveland, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties as well.

Please visit the Competitive Workforce Alliance’s website – www.agreatworkforce.com and click on the Allied Health tab for more information. To find out how you and your business or organization can get involved with the Competitive Workforce Alliance Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership, please contact David Hollars at (704) 348-2717 or at dhollars@centralina.org.

Over 50 people attended the Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership meeting held at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis.
 
Joann Spaleta, Chair of the Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership spoke about upcoming projects that the Partnership is working on at their April 28, 2011 meeting.

Connecting Job Seekers With Employers

Rowan County JobLink Career Center Holds Job Fair

The Rowan County JobLink Career Center/Employment Security Commission sponsored a job fair for the public on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. It was held at the Salisbury Civic Center. Despite rainy conditions, 25 employers and over 400 job seekers attended. At times the line to enter the fair wrapped around the building.

Many employers accepted resumes, took applications, and referred job seekers to their on-line applications. Several job seekers thanked staff for sponsoring the job fair to assist them in finding work. Staff from many of the Rowan County JobLink partners assisted career seekers with information, assistance in completing resumes, and job placement.

Participating employers included Aerotek, Atrium Windows & Doors, Bayada Nurses, NC Department of Correction, East Coast Wings & Grill, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Foster-Caviness Food Service, Henkel, the NC Highway Patrol, Home Instead, International Paper, LabCorp, Rowan-Salisbury Schools, StaffMasters, the VA Medical Center, the US Army, and others.

The employers present said they were very pleased with the applicants they had seen. Many indicated they had found good prospects for their job openings, and several also asked to be invited when we hold another event, because they felt it was really worth their time to participate.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a proud partner with the Rowan County JobLink Career Center and the Employment Security Commission. Funding for the job fair was provided through JobLink enhancement funds made available by the Centralina WDB to the Rowan County JobLink Management Team. The Board is happy to see JobLink partners reaching out to the community and connecting job seekers to employers. For more information on this event or on the Centralina WDB, please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation participated in the Rowan Job Fair.
 
People lined up around the building to attend the Rowan County JobLink Career Center Job Fair held on Wednesday March 30, 2011.

 


Career Connections Fairs are a Great Success!

Events Sponsored by Local JobLink Career Centers and South Piedmont Community College Draw Big Crowds in Wadesboro and Monroe

The Anson County JobLink Career Center and the Union County JobLink Career Center in partnership with South Piedmont Community College held two huge job fairs during the past two months, one in Anson County and the other in Union County.

On Wednesday March 30, 2011, the Anson County JobLink partners held a job fair at South Piedmont Community College’s Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. The fair offered connections with employers, educational opportunities and community resources. There were workshops available and plenty of advice to be had.

Job seekers met with 32 employers including API Security, Premiere Fibers, Inc., Pee Dee Electric, Lynn Thomas Grading, Inc., the NC State Highway Patrol and Columbus McKinnon. Over 100 people had visited the fair by noon.

Other visitors sought the educational opportunities they needed to find jobs. The college had a table available for anyone looking for an associate’s degree, either as a boost to their resume or a stepping stone to a four-year degree.

“They probably could go anywhere with either degree,” psychology teacher Diana Presley said of the school’s associate of arts and associate of science degrees.

SPCC offers degrees in the humanities and English, among other fields for the associates in arts and biology or chemistry are some of the options for the associates in science.

On Friday April 8, 2011, the Union County JobLink partners held a job fair at South Piedmont Community College’s Old Charlotte Highway Campus in Monroe from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. It included various companies from Union County and the surrounding region as well as some national companies.

“This is the 20th annual one in Union County,” said Linda Kappauf, SPCC’s director of human resources development. “We do it once a year in the spring.”

ATI Allvac, Carolinas Medical Center-Union, Greiner Bio-One and Turbomecca Manufacturing were some Union County companies featured at the fair. Other companies included Dixon quick Coupling, Greiner Bio-One, Presbyterian Hospital/Novant Health, Neighborhood nurses and Premier Home Healthcare. This year’s fair included over 400 career seekers and 51 employers. When the fair began about 9 a.m., a large crowd had already gathered in front of the building. Linda Kappauf noted that the career fair is helpful for job seekers because it lets them talk one-on-one with potential employers.

“Doing your job search these days is so impersonal,” Kappauf said. “This is their opportunity to get in front of the people hiring and make an impression.”

The fair had a mixture of companies looking to hire new individuals and others that had no current positions open but handed out information about the company and potential jobs in the future. The fair also featured companies offering training opportunities.

“We had a lot of people coming in inquiring,” Allison Kincaid, a SPCC senior who provided information about the school’s Medical Assisting program, said.

Besides visiting companies at each different booth, those attending the job fair could participate in free job search related workshops. They also had the opportunity to learn more about the SPCC Career Cruiser and tour the Mobile Launch Pad.

The SPCC Career Cruiser is a mobile classroom the school plans to begin using after August. Various computer courses and other job training can be held in the classroom, which consists of a large mobile unit with 13 computers, Toby Carpenter, a SPCC career coach/instructor, said.

The Mobile Launch Pad is a mobile unit presented by the North Carolina Community College System and Duke Energy that features various equipment and information used to train individuals in aerospace, advanced manufacturing, energy and green technology, health care and life science, according to a Mobile Launch Pad brochure.

“It helps direct people to different careers,” Lisa Richman, a mobile lab instructor, said.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a strong partner with local JobLink Career Centers, JobLink partners, and South Piedmont Community College and is proud to see our partners connecting job seekers to their future and connecting businesses with an amazing workforce. The Centralina WDB assisted the local JobLink Career Centers and SPCC in sponsoring these great local events. For more information on these events or on the Centralina Workforce Development Board, please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

Pamela Blasi of Morven landed a job at the March 30 Anson Career Connections Fair! She is pictured (second from left) with her new employers, Bennie and Janice Stuckey of Stratus Building Solutions of Laurinburg, and April Little of NC Vocational Rehabilitation (right).
 
Grace George, of Waxhaw, talks over employment possibilities with Union County Public Schools representative James Flemming during Friday's career fair at SPCC's Monroe campus.


Centralina Workforce Development Has Money to Help Your Business Grow

Incumbent Worker Funds Available – Read On!

The Incumbent Workforce Development training is designed to upgrade employees' skills and increase companies' competitiveness in the global marketplace.

This is the last round for funding for year 2010 and will close on Friday May 20, 2011. The maximum amount of funds available per business is $25,000. Since the grants are competitive, local businesses are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible.

The Centralina WDB looks forward to working with new local businesses to submit applications, as well as, past companies who want to resubmit from previous periods. For more information and to review the NEW Incumbent Worker guidelines and application, please visit the Centralina WDB website or contact Vail Carter, Centralina WDB Business Services Coordinator at (704) 348-2710.

Please contact Vail prior to submitting your application to the Board. Vail is available to assist your company in completing the application and getting it to the Board for review prior to May 20, 2011. So don’t delay, submit your application today.


REAPing What They Sow

Union County Department of Social Services Seeks Improvement in Case Outcomes

The Union County Department of Social Services (DSS) will participate in a child welfare initiative. The agency will develop a plan to improve case outcomes though a state-wide pilot program called Reaching Excellence and Accountability in Practice, or REAP. The goal is to find new ways to address child maltreatment cases.

“North Carolina wants to redesign the way the state provides child protective services,” Pat Krikorian, Union County DSS Child and Family Services program administrator, said. “Union County was invited to be one of eight counties to test the new program.”

The new program will focus on effective practices, using data to improve success rate and partnering with community agencies to improve outcomes. Krikorian said this will be different from the current punitive process of state review. “The new approach will be more advocatory,” Krikorian said.

REAP will analyze a county’s data to determine its strengths and weaknesses. The department will formulate ways to improve deficiencies with the help of community agencies. The pilot program will be funded with federal grants.

Union County DSS employees will meet with area organizations like law enforcement agencies, Daymark Recovery Services, the Health Department, Smart Start and Union County Public Schools, Krikorian said.

The strategic improvement plan will look at the outcomes of the county’s child protective services cases and find ways to improve its policy. Work on the strategic improvement plan began at a community partner meeting that was held on Thursday April 14, 2011.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a proud partner with the Union County Department of Social Services. Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this developing story for our region! For more information on the Centralina Workforce Development Board, please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.


Going Green is Growing!

Green Jobs are Continuing to Grow in the Economy

Even in this challenging economy, green jobs and businesses are growing, several community leaders say.

And as Charlotte has positioned itself as an energy efficiency capital of the Southeast, the counties to the north of Charlotte have been home to new kinds of jobs, with many focused on green techniques.

"We have highly educated professional folks in the Lake Norman area bringing ideas and innovations to this movement," said Kathleen Rose, executive director of the Davidson-based Project for Innovation, Energy & Sustainability.

Nowhere is the green revolution as evident as at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont's job center. From 2008 to 2010, the number of students in their green construction program grew from 62 to 141, a 127 percent increase.

"Entry-level requirements in construction are shifting toward people who have an understanding of green techniques, such as installing solar panels," said Michael Elder, the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.

Meanwhile, Mecklenburg and Cabarrus county's unemployment rates have hovered around 10 percent since January, with industries such as mining, manufacturing, education and government facing year-over-year declines. But green jobs are increasing.

"It's the only sector that's actually seeing notable expansion," said Shawn LeMond, vice president and chief operating officer of the Davidson-based Sustainable Energy Community Development Company.

Rising energy costs, the Great Recession and a more environmentally conscious population have caused the shift toward green jobs, she said.

"Everyone's looking to lower their expenses and improve their bottom line," said Rose.

Green industries such as solar panels, energy-efficient light bulbs and more help the economy in two ways, said Richard Lloyd-Roberts, a partner at Eco Revolution.

Eco Revolution specializes in replacing incandescent lights with greener lighting, such as LED bulbs.

First, the energy emphasis saves the consumer money because the green product is expending less energy, he said.

Lloyd-Roberts recently replaced 5,500 bulbs in a CPCC parking garage in uptown Charlotte with the greener induction lamp. He said the switch will reduce energy consumption by 50 percent.

Going green will also help create an unprecedented amount of jobs in the coming years.

Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!


Tell Us More

Every month the Centralina Workforce Development Board works hard trying to bring you the most up to date and innovative stories from around the region. We try to incorporate information that can be beneficial to both businesses and job seekers, as well as promote the accomplishments that are being done throughout the Centralina region. We want to know what you think of the monthly E-Newsletter. We want to know if the articles are informative and if they are relevant to you and your organization. We’d like to know what you’d like to see more of in the newsletter, as well as what you’d like to see less of. We are looking to improve so that we can give back to you the most cutting-edge and informative newsletter out there.

Please send any comments about the monthly E-Newsletter to Emily Clamp at eclamp@centralina.org. If you are new to the newsletter and would like to see our previous issues please visit them at the Centralina WDB website. We thank you in advance for your feedback and your assistance in our rebranding process!


Iredell County Company Announces $10 Million Expansion

Engineered Sintered Components Announces Growth of Operations in Troutman

Engineered Sintered Components of Troutman (Iredell County) is planning a $10 million expansion that will add 35 jobs, boosting the company's employment to 415. The company will add 20,000 square feet to one of its two Troutman plants and install $9 million in new equipment as a part of the expansion. The work, which starts next month, will be completed later this year, with production beginning in early 2012.

“To meet customers’ demand, we need more space and more equipment,” says Ryu Goto, Engineered Sintered Components (ESC) president. The company operates from a facility that totals 170,000 square feet.

The company makes auto parts from metal powder. ESC was established in Troutman in 1989. The company is a joint venture between Eaton Corp. and Sumitomo Electric Sintered Alloy Ltd. of Japan. Up to 25 of the new jobs will be added this year.

Centralina WDB member Jan Comer is the Human Resources Manager at Engineered Sintered Components. ESC is also a recipient of Incumbent Worker training funds provided by the Centralina WDB. The grant funding was used to train employees in Blueprint Reading, Lean Manufacturing, Integrated Systems technology and Team building. Obviously, the investment of Incumbent Worker training funds has really paid off!

Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!


If You Build It, They Will Expand it

Spec Building Back on Tap for Concord Business Park

The International Business Park at Concord, one of the region’s most active business parks over the past five years, may be growing again. The Nolim Group, with C.M. Black Construction Co. Inc. of Concord and engineering firm CSI, is considering development of a speculative 88,000-square-foot building that could be expanded to almost double that size. The $13 million structure would hold a manufacturing or office center on about 13 acres in the 517-acre business park off Interstate 85. Both Concord and Cabarrus County have approved 85% cuts in property taxes for the structure.

John Cox, President and Chief Executive of the Cabarrus Regional Partnership, hopes the building will help the county attract jobs. “You start to feel a little bit more excited about new manufacturing projects,” he says.

The site is at 4551 Enterprise Drive in the park. Available buildings help generate leads for new industry, Cox says. “The building may not sell, but it does increase traffic. They like to see an existing building.”

He says the idea to develop a shell building in IBP isn’t new. Boca Raton, Florida-based park owner Nolim considered developing a speculative structure in the park last year, but Celgard bought the site for a production facility.

The International Business Park has had a run of construction activity. Celgard announced last month it is expanding its planned plant there to $122 million in investment and 304 jobs — all before the facility opens.

PreGel America opened its 150,000-square-foot IBP headquarters in 2008. DNP IMS America Corp. and Oiles America Corporation (another former recipient of Centralina WDB Incumbent Worker training funds) both have expanded within the last five years there.

The number of active projects being worked by Cabarrus Economic Development is up to 60, compared with fewer than 30 a year ago, Cox says.

Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!


Companies are Starting to Open the Doors for Hiring

RowanWorks Economic Development Shows Local Companies Preparing to Hire

Robert Van Geons, Executive Director for RowanWorks Economic Development (and former Centralina WDB member) provided an update on business in Rowan County. He noted that several businesses that received economic incentives or other perks to locate in Rowan County are close to fulfilling their promise to create jobs and many companies are hiring or about to begin. Tuscarora Yarn in China Grove received roughly 2,000 applications for 124 jobs the company pledged to create.

“They have spoken so highly of our workforce,” Van Geons told the RowanWorks Board of Directors this week.

Carl Ford, vice chairman of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners and liaison to the RowanWorks board, said he’s heard more positive feedback on Tuscarora than any other industrial recruitment project. “These people worked in textiles all their life, and now they get to use those skills,” Ford said.

Also in China Grove, the new Altec facility is up and running with a $1.5 million investment and 15 new jobs, Van Geons said.

In the next 30 to 45 days, Boral Composites in East Spencer will begin taking applications for 35 new jobs, Van Geons said. Infiltrator Systems at the Summit Corporate Center is nearly operational and will employ 33 people, he said.

Magna Composites in Salisbury plans to create more than 200 new jobs. The company is working with RowanWorks and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) to provide on-site training for current and potential employees, Van Geons said.

RCCC is pursuing a $250,000 Duke Energy grant to help establish a training program for Magna, said college President Dr. Carol Spalding, a member of the RowanWorks Board of Directors. “Magna has very high expectations, and we think we can train people to reach those expectations,” she said.

The company has expressed some doubt, Spalding said. But Spalding and Van Geons said they are confident local people can be trained to fill the new jobs.

The Duke grant would create a new advanced manufacturing program for RCCC, Spalding said.

Henkel, located in a portion of the former National Starch and Chemical plant off Cedar Springs Road, is meeting its 103-job pledge, and Norandal has filled nearly all of 25 new jobs in the company’s $7 million expansion in Salisbury, Van Geons said.

Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!


America’s Park is Home Run for Mooresville

Groundbreaking is First Step in Growth of Jobs and Business Opportunities in Southern Iredell County

The new America’s Park project in Mooresville (Iredell County) means baseball dreams come true for thousands of kids, 30 new full-time jobs, hundreds more seasonal jobs, 80,000-plus hotel rooms a year and a momentous start for Robby Carney, Director of the Mooresville/South Iredell Economic Development Commission.

Carney, who officially took over the EDC from former director Russ Rogerson April 1, said the park will be one of the most significant youth sports development projects in the country.

America’s Park will have some 25 fields for youth baseball. The projected annual economic impact for Mooresville and Iredell County is estimated at $33 million, coming from players, coaches and family. According to the people behind America’s Park, the operation will generate $80 million a year.

Construction started officially on Monday April 11, 2011 with a groundbreaking for the 177-acre project on Rankin Hill Road.

Lou Presutti, founder of America’s Park LLC, is a baseball fan of long-standing. The Salisbury resident is also the founder of the Cooperstown Dreams Park in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Cooperstown Dreams Park turns away some 3,000 teams of 12-year-olds each year. Revenue comes from large companies that sponsor various pieces, parts and operations at the complex.

Presutti says the New York operation draws in about $20 million a year. Total employment, including part-timers, is on the order of 500-600 people.

The project is a coup for Iredell County where the official unemployment rate is on the order of 10.2 percent, down from 11 percent last year.

On the government/EDC side, America’s Park was steered by Rogerson who has gone on to a major league role at the Charlotte Regional Partnership. Indeed, Carney says his mentor is Rogerson.

“He has been a phenomenal teacher and mentor about the economic development details — working with the town, county and our investment group, as well as the site selection process and all things throughout. While he was running the organization he let me run along side of him on many of the projects,” Carney said.

His brother, Chris Carney, is a member of the Mooresville Town Commission.

Carney, a 2005 East Carolina University graduate, was under Rogerson’s wing while running the EDC’s existing industry and marketing efforts.

Carney said first-quarter inquiries to the EDC have increased noticeably from year-ago levels. He forecasts back-office headquarters opportunities as the Langtree at the Lake project comes back to life, thanks to new investor R.L. West Properties. “In the years to come, the product around lake Norman will be much more important to those interested in Class A offices,” Carney said.

He also said there are strong eco-devo opportunities for Southern Iredell County in the aerospace business based on nationally recognized strength on the engineering side of the motorsports industry in Race City USA.

“If you look at our community makeup, the synergy that’s taking place is coming from motorsports … these guys have been working hard, getting certified in other areas … ,” Carney said.

He plans on participating in the Greater Charlotte Regional Partnership’s prospecting trips to Southern California, one of the capitals of the aerospace industry.

Carney, whose first job out of college was marketing the Rockstar energy drink, said great economic development deals are driven by teams that are able to tap into the community and private investors. “The challenge is how can we drive the community, investors, public-private partnerships-investors coming together for one common cause.”

Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!


Getting Closer to the Action

Doug Herbert Performance Moves to Cabarrus County

Doug Herbert Performance is moving its warehouse and the BRAKES non-profit operation from Lincoln County to a site adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord (Cabarrus County).

The high performance warehouse, which had been located in Lincolnton since 1991, supplies performance products to the motorsports industry with products for drag racing, circle track and street performance from aftermarket manufacturers.

The Herbert Performance High Energy Engines division builds and supplies engines to teams and individuals in all forms of motorsports from NASCAR to NHRA Top Fuel. The Front Runner Sportswear division manufactures custom printed apparel for race teams, businesses, car clubs and sports teams.

Herbert also started BRAKES, which provides free driver training to teenagers, after his two sons were killed in a car accident two years ago.

About the move, Herbert said: “We were looking at ways to be more efficient, streamlined and customer focused and I’m certain that the move will deliver on those objectives.”

Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!


Want Your Business to Grow?   Then, Let Us Know!

Complete the Centralina WDB Employer Survey

Each month, the Centralina Workforce Development Board holds a drawing from Business Surveys that area businesses have completed and posted on our website. The Centralina WDB uses this as a tool to reach out to businesses throughout the region, much like your own to find out how we can assist them in this economy.

We encourage all businesses, large and small to participate in this wonderful survey and to give us some feedback on what is going on for your business and our community! By completing the survey not only do you have a chance to voice your opinion but you will also be entered into a monthly drawing for free goodies from the Centralina Workforce Development Board!

If you haven’t completed the survey, you can do so now by logging onto our website. It only takes a couple of minutes and by completing the survey, it will guarantee your entry into our next drawing. For more information on the Centralina Workforce Development Employer Survey and the business services available through the Board and our local JobLink Career Centers, please contact Vail Carter at (704) 348-2710 or by e-mail at vcarter@centralina.org.


There's a JobLink Near You!

Anson County JobLink Career Center
116 West Wade Street
Wadesboro, NC 28170

Cabarrus County JobLink Career Center
2275 Kannapolis Highway
Concord, NC 28027

Iredell County JobLink Career Center - Mooresville Center
470-A North Broad Street
Mooresville, NC 28115

Iredell County JobLink Career Center - Statesville Center
133 Island Ford Road
Statesville, NC 28625

Lincoln County JobLink Career Center
529 North Aspen Street
Lincolnton, NC 28092

Rowan County JobLink Career Center
1904 South Main Street
Salisbury, NC 28144

Stanly County JobLink Career Center
2215 US Highway 52 North
Albemarle, NC 28001

Union County JobLink Career Center
1125 Skyway Drive
Monroe, NC 28110

For more information on Centralina region JobLink Career Centers, click here.

Commitment to workforce excellence

 

 

March 2011
(Source: NC Employment Security Commission)
County
Unemployment Rate
Persons Employed
Anson
12.3%
8,507
Cabarrus
9.8%
74,709
Iredell
10.6%
69,946
Lincoln
11.1%
33,640
Rowan
10.9%
61,077
Stanly
10.7%
26,527
Union
8.8%
84,896
Centralina WDB Region
10.2%
359,302
State of NC
9.7%
4,039,958

For more information on employment, click here


Centralina WDB Honors Local Youth

Centralina Youth Council Treats Youth to Lunch and a Life Lesson

On Friday April 1, 2011, the Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina Youth Council held a luncheon honoring the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth that were accepted to attend the 2011 North Carolina Youth Services Summit. The luncheon was held at the Wren House in Salisbury. The 18 youth from around the region were selected based on the strength of the essays submitted.

The event was kicked off by David Hollars, Centralina Workforce Development Board Executive Director and he was quickly followed by Centralina WDB Chair Bob VanGorden and Centralina Youth Council Chair Carol Johnson with positive words of encouragement.

Natasha Pender, Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist provided a history of the NC Youth Services Summit and purpose behind its creation. For more information on the NC Youth Services Summit, please check out the article in our Youth Section of this newsletter.

After a lunch that offered time for networking and getting to know each other, motivational speaker/presenter Thomas Barksdale II got the youth involved in a team building exercise. Youth were matched up with people from other counties that did not know with each team member being blindfolded and asked to share details about their lives. The walk in my shoes exercised concluded with the pairs of youth describing each other, their differences, and the commonality in their life struggles.

At the conclusion of this wonderful celebration all of the youth received a specially designed t-shirt to promote their unity as one group that will represent the Centralina WDB and Youth Council at the summit and a personal certificate. Natasha Pender also thanked the staff members from the Centralina WDB funded WIA youth contractors who work with the youth on a daily basis and who also participated in this special recognition luncheon.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina Youth Council are proud of all of their youth in the region! The Board and the Youth Council would like to congratulate those that were accepted to attend the Summit this year and wishes you much success in your future! For more information on this event please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by email at npender@centralina.org.

Thomas Barksdale II talks with the Centralina Youth that attended the luncheon on April 1, 2011.
 
Youth that attended the luncheon take a quick break to pose for a picture. The luncheon was held to honor youth that were accepted to attend the upcoming NC Youth Services Summit.

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Re-Employment Bridge Institute to Host Groundbreaking Best Practices Conference

Looking for some connection to local businesses and to your community? Looking for a place to learn about best practices? We have the perfect conference for you!

The Re-Employment Bridge Institute (RBI) will be holding its very first two-day conference titled Bridging Business and Workforce Development. The event will be held on Thursday June 2, 2011 and runs through Friday June 3, 2011, and will be held at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Concord, North Carolina (near Charlotte). The conference will bring together business leaders and workforce professionals to discuss their common objectives-improving our economic climate and getting America back to work!

This best practices conference will be unlike any other workforce conference. The key focus is on business and their interaction with the workforce development community. Keynote speakers for the conference are Ronnie Bryant, President & CEO Charlotte Regional Partnership, Steven F. Manz, Chairman of Advisors, Business Innovation & Growth Council (BIG), Darise Caldwell, President of Rowan Regional Medical Center, and David Hollars, Executive Director of the Centralina Workforce Development Board. The event will also feature Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Labor/ETA and Helen Parker, Regional Administrator of the US Department of Labor/ETA There are over 20 dynamic breakout sessions planned for the conference including:

• Developing integrated community approaches to serving the dislocated

• From dislocation to becoming an entrepreneurial business owner

• Rapid Response: An employer’s perspective

• Designing new training programs to meet 21st Century employer needs

• Projecting the impact of dislocated worker parents on the health and progress of children

• Evolving patterns of university involvement in workforce development

The Re-Employment Bridge Institute (RBI) is a teaching/learning institute based in Kannapolis, NC, adjacent to the new N.C. Research Campus. Funded by a two-year grant from the Centralina Workforce Development Board and the North Carolina Department of Commerce, RBI is committed to sharing best practices among workforce professionals. RBI seeks to share ideas and help local institutions and agencies become catalysts for economic recovery. RBI offers workshops and customized consultation for serving displaced workers.

Additionally, the Re-Employment Bridge Institute has revamped their website to include more updates and to help communities establish partnerships to share their best practices and experiences. Be sure to check out their site and find out more information!

Registration for the Bridging Business and Workforce Development conference is still open and available on the www.reemploymentbridge.com website. A draft agenda for the conference can be accessed by clicking here. For more information on the RBI or the conference, please contact Erin Ploplis at the RBI at (704) 216-7202 or by e-mail at erin.ploplis@rccc.edu.


The Centralina Workforce Development Board is in YOUR Community!

During the month of April 2011, the Centralina Workforce Development Board has been actively involved with events, seminars, training sessions, and other meetings all designed to help build a better workforce for our region. Beyond our involvement with the NC Youth Summit, the Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership, local Career Connections events, and the Rowan JobLink Job Fair, here are some the activities of the Board members and WDB staff for April:

Centralina Workforce Development Board meeting - held on Tuesday April 12 at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kannapolis. The Board had the opportunity to hear from Ronne Grantham from the Employment Security Commission about the new JobConnector service launched in January. This new system, which has been discussed at the last two Board retreats, provides a better method for employers to list job orders, review applicant profiles, and complete accurate matching of qualified, skilled individuals with jobs in our communities. Ronne’s presentation included a demonstration of how employers can access and use the system. Centralina WDB Business Services Coordinator Vail Carter presented results from and analysis of the Business Survey and the bi-monthly Business Comfort index.

Information on approval of two new Incumbent Worker grants, a recap of the recent Youth Services Summit and the upcoming NC Youth Summit, details on Allied Health Career Showcases for the region, and information on the RBI conference scheduled for June 2-3 were also presented as well as the latest labor market information for the region. Information on regional initiatives and updates on other key workforce issues were also provided

Mooresville Graded Schools Career Bridge meeting – held on Monday April 18 at NF Woods School in Mooresville. David Hollars, Centralina WDB Executive Director, participated in this meeting which is an advisory board for career and technical education. Group discussed feedback from Economic Summit for Youth held on Thursday March 31 at Charles Mack Citizens Center in Mooresville.

Greater Statesville Economic Development Corporation – Committee of 100 meeting - held on Wednesday April 27 at the Civic Center in Statesville. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars participated in this meeting which featured Mike Manis, Centralina Economic Development, as the guest speaker.

Charlotte Regional Workforce Development Partnership meeting – held on Tuesday April 19 at Central Piedmont CC – Harris Campus. David Hollars, Centralina WDB Executive Director participated in this meeting where over 40 community college and workforce professionals from throughout the region attended. On behalf of the Competitive Workforce Alliance, David Hollars presented an update on the Alliance’s workforce efforts for the past several months.

Re-Employment Bridge Institute – Training Session – held on Tuesday April 5 at NC TeleCenter in Williamston. The Re-Employment Bridge Institute staff and their partners offered on-site training for over 60 workforce partners, businesses, and other interested parties from the Region Q Workforce Development Board area (Beaufort, Bertie, Hertford, Martin, and Pitt counties). Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars participated in the all day training session with representatives from Rowan-Cabarrus CC’s R3 Center.

Charlotte USA – Energy Capital Initiative – Workforce Taskforce meeting – held on Tuesday April 26 at CPCC Harris Campus. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars participated in this meeting along with representatives from Duke Energy and Central Piedmont CC to plan for regional Energy Careers event to be held on August 9.

Schenck Job Corps Center visit – held on Thursday April 21 at center in Pisgah Forest. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender participated in this visit along with representatives from Union County Community Action WIA Youth program.

NC Youth Leads meeting – held on Tuesday April 26 and Wednesday April 27 at the Deep River Events Center in Greensboro. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender participated in this quarterly meeting of workforce development board youth specialists from throughout the state where best practices are shared.

Union County Transition Fair planning meeting – held on Monday April 26 in Monroe. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender participated in this meeting to prepare for the event in May where the Centralina WDB is a sponsor.

Workforce Innovators meeting – held on Thursday April 7 and Friday April 8 in St. Petersburg. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars participated in this meeting with the top workforce development executive directors from around the country.

NC Workforce Development Partnership Conference planning committee meeting – held on Tuesday April 19 in Raleigh. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender is serving as a member of the committee planning for the state conference on October 12-14 in Greensboro.

Workforce Business Development and Assistance – provided by Vail Carter, Centralina WDB Business Services Representative for the following area companies:

  • Represented Centralina WDB at Rowan Cabarrus Chamber of Commerce Friday Forum in Salisbury (Rowan County ) - April 1
  • Business Development meeting with Amy Notarius, Resource Librarian at the Rowan County Public Library in Salisbury. Discussed resource needs for job seekers and delivered job hunting handbooks and other resource materials - April 1
  • Business Development Meeting with Ms. Nancy Rominger, Director of the Career Connections job center operated by Goodwill Industries in Salisbury (Rowan County). Delivered job resource materials for site expansion - April 1
  • Conducted Incumbent Workforce Development Program contract orientation session with Hendrick Motorsports in Concord (Cabarrus County) - April 6
  • Conducted interview with Ms. Barbara Davidson, Human Resources Manager with Toter, Inc. in Statesville (Iredell County) for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor – April 7.
  • Conducted interview with Ms. Erika Gandee, Operations Analyst, Piedmont Healthcare, Mooresville Data Center (Iredell County) for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor - April 7
  • Conducted Overview and Application Workshop for the Incumbent Workforce Development Program hosted by Stanly Community College at their Locust campus (Stanly County) - April 8
  • Participated in JobLink Management Information Systems training session at the South Boulevard JobLink in Charlotte - April 14
  • Business development meeting and Business Wise software orientation session with Ms. Karen Adams ESC/JobLink Manager in Statesville (Iredell County) - April 15
  • Conducted Overview and Application Workshop for the Incumbent Workforce Development Program hosted by Mitchell Community College at their Mooresville campus (Iredell County) - April 15
  • SHARE Network business development meeting with Rev. David Day, Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church Cherryville and Pat Bailey, Business Liaison with Gaston Workforce Development Board to discuss SHARE Network expansion and job seeker services for northwestern Gaston and southwestern Lincoln counties - April 18
  • SHARE Network business development meeting with Kathy Brantley, IT Manager with Prosperity Unlimited Community Development Corporation in Kannapolis (Cabarrus County) to conduct training on operation of the JobLink Management Information System software and hardware and report generation for the system - April 19

These are only a few examples of how your Centralina Workforce Development Board is actively involved with our partners in our counties every month. To find out more about getting involved with the Centralina Workforce Development Board, please contact David Hollars at (704) 348-2717 or by e-mail at dhollars@centralina.org or visit our website at www.centralinaworks.com. The Centralina Workforce Development – The Competitive Force in Our Global Economy.

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NC Research Campus Update

Find Out What’s the Latest with this World Renowned Biotech Development

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Biotech Grad Hired
N.C. State University has hired one of the first graduates from the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College biotech program.

Lorie Solomon works as a research technician to help maintain the population of Dr. Allan Brown’s research specimens. Brown is a faculty member with N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

In the past 10 years, Kannapolis resident Solomon’s career has made a few interesting turns. After years behind a computer at a desk job, she found herself on a manufacturing assembly line. Though she enjoyed the fast pace of the line, she was sidelined by carpal tunnel syndrome and ultimately laid off. She decided the time was right to go back to school.

Solomon graduated in May 2010 with an associate degree in biotechnology. A member of the first graduating class of the biotechnology program at RCCC, Solomon parlayed her training into a full-time job in Brown’s lab.

“Lorie made herself too valuable to let go”, Brown said. “She started out as an unpaid intern and worked her way into the program. “She demonstrated a great work ethic, showed up when we needed her, did what needed to be done and never complained”.

Solomon said she plans to take a least one class a semester through NC State and possibly work towards a bachelor’s degree. “I can attend seminars by leading scientists and understand the basics of their research”, she said. “I hear vocabulary and concepts I’m now familiar with”.

Building a Better Strawberry
In their quest to breed a better strawberry, scientists at the N.C. Research Campus are turning to the chefs of tomorrow. More than 30 culinary students from Johnson & Wales University visited the Piedmont Research Station this month as part of the N.C. Strawberry Project.

They toured a greenhouse and high tunnels where Dr. Jeremy Pattison and other N.C. State University researchers are dedicating the better part of a decade to creating a strawberry variety custom-made for North Carolina. The project works to convince culinary students that locally grown strawberries and other produce are tastier, healthier and worth the sometimes higher price tag.

“Building a relationship with local producers will give these students a competitive edge when they graduate,” Pattison said.

The N.C. Strawberry Project aims to connect chefs with farmers, ultimately boosting the state’s economy. Project coordinators believe strawberry sales will grow from $20.8 million to $26 million annually as a result of the project.

“We want to get (the students) exposed to local agriculture and help them understand the importance of it,” said Pattison, who is coordinating the project with Dr. James Oblinger and Leah Chester Davis.

The project creates a partnership between N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the Research Campus and Johnson & Wales in Charlotte.

Doctor Sequencing Blueberry Genome
Dr. Allan Brown, assistant professor with N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus, is leading the effort to sequence the blueberry genome.

Seven Davidson College undergraduates, in a course led by biology professor Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell, have been given a sneak peek at a portion of the berry’s DNA. These juniors and seniors aren’t just marveling at the string of letters that make up the DNA assembly they are working with; they have identified metabolic pathways and hypothesized gene function.

In early 2010, Brown contacted Campbell about a possible collaboration. Campbell oversees the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching, an international network of undergraduate faculty who facilitate undergraduate genomics research in the classroom.

“This is an innovative approach that allows students to design research projects to analyze real-world data using cutting-edge tools to make new discoveries. They are not simply performing canned experiments with a known outcome,” Brown said.

Campbell sees further advantages to this sort of partnership between teaching and research. As educational institutions face unprecedented budget cuts, he challenges institutions to find innovative ways to leverage available funds.

Please stay tuned to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for more developments on this exciting story. For more information on what is going on at the NC Research Campus, please visit the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s website at www.centralinaworks.com.

Mary and Caroline Stewart look at the strawberry plants in one of the greenhouse. More than 30 culinary students from Johnson and Wales University visited the Piedmont Research Station near Salisbury as part of the N.C. Strawberry Project. The strawberry project aims to breed a better strawberry and connect chefs with farmers, ultimately boosting the state’s economy. The project is a partnership between N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis and Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte.

Same You + New Attitude = North Carolina Youth Summit

Centralina WDB Youth Participate in State Conference

The 5th Annual North Carolina Youth Summit was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Greensboro on April 15-16. Over 250 young adults participated in this great event. This year’s theme was REFOCUS: SAME YOU NEW ATTITUDE. Youth came from all across the state for the two day event that featured workshops on Social Networking and Technology as well as Entrepreneurship.

Greensboro Mayor William Knight welcomed the group on Friday afternoon, followed by words of encouragement from Lillian Plummer, Director of the Greensboro/High Point/Guilford Workforce Development Board and David Hollars, Director of the Centralina Workforce Development Board. Mary Finney, a youth participant from Cumberland County was the emcee.

The “fun” really began when Ronald Williams, a WIA youth participant from Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency introduced the keynote speaker Kwain Bryant. From that point the Summit was “on and poppin!”

Kwain Bryant spoke to the youth about F.E.A.R. – and how Focus, Emotional commitment, Action and Responsibility can move a person from the street corner to the corner office. He told the youth that “bad things sometimes happen to good people, but success in life is not about WHAT happens to us, but how we RESPOND to what happens to us.” The youth left the opening session energized and excited about refocusing their lives, beginning with a new attitude.

Featured workshop presenters included Henry Hughie, Johnson C Smith professor and technology guru. He talked to youth about Social Networking and Technology. He also shared with youth how to build a respectable and resourceful online network that can lead to future employment opportunities. Racquel Williams also led a workshop on Social Networking. Mrs. Williams pointed out to youth that “In the virtual world, photos don’t go away, even though you pull them down. This type of vicarious posting, blogging, tweeting are a clear indication that one has no specific destination. Clearly if one was on his way to the White House, they would not portray such an image even at this young age. These behaviors don’t just disappear one day without a conscious effort to do so.” Mrs. Williams is a public policy maker with a Masters in Public Administration; she is currently pursuing her MBA and Jurist Doctorate all while rearing four young boys as a single mother. She refers to herself as a “student for life”.

Kwain and his brother and business partner Darrin Bryant led a workshop on Entrepreneurship. They talked about the “good, bad and ugly” sides of business ownership. Angela and Andre Davis co-presented a workshop on Entrepreneurship also. They talked about their own experiences running a retail clothing store and the ups and downs of being your own boss. The Davis’s founded and currently manages the Urban Church Clothing Company.

History of the NC Youth Summit
This year marks the 5th anniversary of the NC Youth Summit. The NC Youth Summit was developed out of the idea that young adults from across the state of North Carolina could come together to evaluate and address critical statewide youth issues, identify commonalities, share best practices, and develop value added solutions.

The idea to host a Statewide Youth Summit originated from four individuals that had a vested interest in working with youth to help them succeed in life. The four originators were Margie Parker, Director of the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board, Sheryl Lange, Youth Program Manager for the Northeastern WDB, Keith Lipscomb from Greensboro/ High Point/ Guildford WDB, and Barbara Bergman (former Youth Leads Coordinator from the NC Department of Commerce – Division of Workforce Development). In 2005, after attending a conference in Wilmington together, the four arranged to meet and discuss ways to bring young adults from across the state together to voice their concerns and ideas on ways to improve youth services.

The impact the summit would make would send a positive message across the state of North Carolina of the importance of a Youth Voice. The youth’s voice would emphasize the difference that youth can make in restructuring Workforce Investment Act Youth programs and services to be successful in reaching them which would truly benefit, achieve internal rewards, and achieve unforgettable landmarks that they could look back on later in life to say “WOW, I did that!!” The benefits to hosting a summit would be to provide the following opportunities:

• Strengthening collaboration efforts among local areas;

• Empowering youth to Make a Difference in their Communities;

• Providing youth an opportunity to engage, listen and share youth issues across the state, determine commonalities, differences and develop solutions as One Voice;

• Bringing youth from different cultures and backgrounds together in respect to each other’s differences; and

• Developing relationships to drive a passionate movement among our future leaders of tomorrow

The North Carolina Youth Summit is made possible thanks to the financial contributions of NC Workforce Development Boards and also the hard work of the NC Youth Summit Planning Committee, made up of individuals from across the state. This year’s planning committee was chaired by Natasha Pender, Youth Program Specialist – Centralina Workforce Development Board and Crystal Zellous, WIA Career Developer - Guilford/High Point/Greensboro Workforce Development Board. For more information on this exciting event, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.

Ronald Williams, youth participant from Salisbury Rowan Community Action Agency, Inc. prepares to give the invocation during the Friday night banquet at the NC Youth Summit.
 
David Hollars, executive director of the Centralina Workforce Development Board spoke at the opening session of the NC Youth Summit held in Greensboro.
 
Photo above article: All of the Centralina Workforce Development Board youth and youth contractors that attended the NC Youth Summit pose for a quick picture.

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ANSON County Success Story Alert!

See How Workforce Investment Act Funds are Working for our Youth

Tihreek Royal was one of the first youth enrolled by Union County Community Action Inc. in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program in Anson County. As a part of year round work experience, he was placed with the Town of Wadesboro in the street department division.

After working for three months, Tihreek’s supervisor Jeff Harris found him to be a dependable hard worker with a strong work ethic. Mr. Harris immediately let it be known that he wanted to hire Tihreek full time when a position became available.

After three months of work experience with the Town of Wadesboro, Tihreek’s dream came true. Mr. Harris offered him a full-time position as a Street Technician. Tihreek officially started working for the Town of Wadesboro on Friday April 1, 2011 making $11.45 an hour, which also includes a benefits package. Tihreek will also start truck driving classes on April 16, 2011 to earn his commercial driver’s license so that he can have the skills to seek advancement to other positions with the town.

Tihreek is a great example of someone taking advantage of the services that the WIA-Youth program offers. On behalf of UCCA, Inc. and the Centralina Workforce Development Board, we wish you continued success.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina Youth Council are strong partners with Union County Community Action, Inc. We are excited to see our region’s youth embracing opportunities that lead them to their future. For more information on the Centralina WDB Youth Council, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or npender@centralina.org.

Tihreek Royal has found employment and his choice of career development thanks to Union County Community Action, Inc., the Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Workforce Investment Act.

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Honored for Innovative Technology

Rowan-Salisbury School System Recognized for Connecting Technology and Teaching

The Rowan-Salisbury School System’s 21st century learning program is getting national attention. The program was recently named an Apple Exemplary Program, a designation that recognizes exemplary examples of the use of Apple products in teaching and learning.

“The selection of the Rowan-Salisbury schools 21st century program highlights the success that you guys are continuously possessing and modeling,” Janice Adams, education development executive for Apple, said.

The district is one of 40 in the nation to receive the honor. “We want to recognize programs that are viewed as innovative by other educators and this one definitely falls into that category,” Adams said.

There are currently 38 of the 21st century model classrooms in the school system, with at least one at every school. The classrooms contain iPod Touches, MacBooks, Promethean interactive boards, documents cameras, digital camera and video cameras.

Teachers for the program are chosen through an application process. The school system’s website says those selected must “demonstrate a strong interest in integrating and differentiating their curriculum through the use of technology.”

Phil Hardin, the school system’s technology director, said the classrooms act as a springboard with teachers serving as models to support staff development throughout their school.

Adams said the program has demonstrated “visionary leadership” by getting both administrators and teachers on board.

Hardin said the school’s technology initiatives have grown tremendously in the past five year.

The number of handheld devices such as iPods jumped from 157 in 2005-06 to 4,430 in 2010-11, an increase of 2,722 percent.

The majority of that growth can be attributed to the iPod touch program at North Rowan High School. The program began in 2008-09 when iPods were distributed to 200 freshman at North Rowan, 10 core subject area teacher, four resource teachers and administrators. The program expanded to sophomores in August 2009.

The entire school was equipped with an iPod at the start of this year, thanks to a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

The iPod touch program expanded to eighth-graders at North Rowan Middle School last fall and seventh-graders this spring.

Sixth- and seventh-grade students at Knox Middle and fourth and fifth-grader at Overton Elementary are also currently using the program. Knox eighth-graders and Overton third-graders are expected to be issued iPods this fall.

“We felt that it was important to branch out to other places and expand the program,” Hardin said. “We are putting it in schools where we truly believe that it will make a difference.” Hardin said the program is also targeting schools where students might not have access to this kind of technology.

The introduction of the wireless Internet bus at North Rowan has been another positive addition to the technology program, Hardin said. He said the program allows students to do work on the road and take notes at their destination. “Students are engaged from the time they leave the building to the time they return,” he said.

Hardin said the increase in technology within the school system has gotten students excited about learning by keeping them engaged with hand-on activities. “If you tour those classrooms and talk to the kids they’ll tell you they’re having fun,” he said. “We know that it’s making a difference.”

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina WDB Youth Council are proud partners with the Rowan-Salisbury School System and Rowan County BizEd Connect. We are excited to see local partners coming up with innovative ways to connect our youth to their future. For more information on the Centralina WDB Youth Council, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or npender@centralina.org.

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After High School…What Then?

Mooresville Reaches Out to Teens to Prepare Them for Life After Graduation

The Mooresville Career Bridge Advisory Council in conjunction with the Mooresville Graded School District held their Annual Career Bridge Summit on Thursday March 31, 2011 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in Mooresville from 6 to 9pm.

The Career Bridge Advisory Council planned the event meant to enlighten students by providing various avenues available after high school. Students were given opportunities to learn what various colleges and technical schools offer. They were able to get a glimpse at what businesses are looking for from prospective employees; and students had a chance to observe, question and interact with one another. Additionally, the Career Bridge Advisory Council wanted to showcase businesses and industries with the hope that businesses will be able to find a better trained workforce. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars is an active member of the Career Bridge Advisory Council and the Centralina WDB provided funding sponsorship for the summit.

Some of the colleges and businesses on site during the event were: Mitchell Community College, Lowes, UNC Charlotte, Peace College, Iredell JobLink Career Center, Fifth Third Bank, Johnson C. Smith, Elon University, ITT Tech, Johnson & Wales, Armed Forces, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, Cabarrus Community College, Davis Spine Associates, Pit Crew U, North Carolina A&T, Pfeiffer University, Sheetz and LKN Homebuilders Association.

In addition to the exhibitors, students and parents heard from two different panelists. The first included members from the business community. Andy Davis, CEO of Davis Regional, Mike Dooley, Plant Manager of the Bay State Milling Company in Mooresville, Debby Hager, Strategic Workforce Manager for Duke Energy and Mark Clark, Manager of Corporate Recruiting for Lowe’s Corporate were all panelists during the first session. They discussed hiring practices and what they look for in potential employees – education, experience, etc.

The second session was a panel of college administrators. John Hutchins, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at UNC-Charlotte; Chad Spencer, Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Davidson College; and Brett Fansler, Dean of Mitchell Community College – Mooresville Center each participated on the panel answering questions and addressing issues of college admissions, financial aid, expectations and many other questions that parents and students had about getting into college.

Over 350 students, parents and other interested parties attended this event. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender also participated in the festivities.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina WDB Youth Council are proud partners the Mooresville Graded School District and is excited to see its partners connecting youth to their future opportunities. For more information on the Centralina WDB Youth Council or on this event, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or npender@centralina.org.

Members from the Mooresville JobLink Career Center attended the Career Bridge Summit to inform the youth of their career opportunities.
 
Local companies were on hand to answer questions from the youth about the job field and educational requirements.

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Anson County Serves As Model for State and Nation

Groundbreaking Things are Occurring at Anson New Tech High School

Superintendents and other administrators from school districts across the state spent the day at Anson New Tech High School in Wadesboro (Anson County) on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. The school is a demo site for the New Tech Network, serving as a model for how the schools can be set up in other districts nationwide.

Anson New Tech was started in 2007 with four teachers and is one of nine science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, schools in the state.

The New Tech Network has 27 more schools opening this year, said director of new school planning Sharon Oldham, and is growing. This visit to Anson New Tech was comprised of superintendents, assistant superintendents, tech directors and parents who are considering starting similar schools in their districts elsewhere in North Carolina.

“This school has hosted seven or eight tours already this year,” said Kristin Cuilla, who is the N.C. director for the New Tech Network.

“We bring people here not just from North Carolina, but from other states as well, like Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, from everywhere,” Oldham added.

The tour consisted of a welcome from Anson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Firn, classroom observations, a student panel and a Q&A with staff, before Anson New Tech Principal Chris Stinson shared with the group the story of his school.

Stinson explained that he was “hired straight out of the classroom.” Before becoming principal of Anson New Tech, he had never held an administration position. But, he was flown to California to undergo training and has had remarkable results during his first four years.

In 2008-09, Anson New Tech’s students scored 18-41 points higher than the rest of the district in English I, Algebra I, Algebra II and biology, and 90 percent of its students have been accepted into a college or the armed forces. The students’ biology scores are also in the 95th percentile or higher, compared to the district’s scores of the 36th percentile.

Stinson attributes that success to the culture he’s helped to create at the school. “My philosophy when we started this was, ‘win the people and you will win your freedom.’ That’s a line from the movie ‘Gladiator’ but it works here, too.”

He hired four teachers — one from within the county’s school system and three from outside the system. With those four teachers in the first year, Anson New Tech built its curriculum, which includes earning two credits in one class and the use of textbooks only as resources, not as the be-all, end-all of a classroom.

“We decided as a staff… we’re in this together,” Stinson said. In the beginning, parents often questioned the school’s methods. The first parent conferences lasted until after 10 p.m., and many parents were upset that their child was not making straight As. “We stuck together as a staff,” Stinson said. “We battled through year one and we won the parents over.”

The next year, the school had 120 applicants for its freshman class. “Our schedule is a mutt,” Stinson explained. “We’ve got a little bit of A and B, a little bit of traditional… there are no bells. You’ve heard no school bells all day today. Sometimes we extend classroom blocks to three hours. It’s all up to us.”

Because Anson New Tech has now been in existence for four years, the school is starting to collect data that’s useful in determining just how well its students are doing. However, Stinson said he’s not too focused on the data, because that’s only one aspect of what the school is trying to do. “We’re focused on our culture,” he said.

Anson New Tech creates a culture of mutual respect, he explained. For instance, all students are issued what’s called “trust cards.” They use these cards to take a bathroom break or walk over to the neighboring elementary school for errands. If they lose their trust card, they’ve lost the staff’s trust and cannot take bathroom breaks during class.

Every freshman is also issued a hoodie if they have above a C average. If their grades are 90 or above, they’re able to have “Leader of the Pack” printed on the sleeve. Academic achievement also warrants buttons featuring the school’s mascot, a wolf.

The school has never hired a substitute teacher, nor will it ever, Stinson said. If a teacher is out sick, the other teachers or Stinson cover that teacher’s class, and the students log on to their computers and do their coursework anyway. “You’re young adults,” he tells the students. “This is our expectation; do it.”

“The students have a voice here,” Stinson added. “And we allow that, as long as it’s done with dignity and respect.”

Now, with seven teachers and 131 students, Anson New Tech has been deemed a success and will continue to serve as a model school for the rest of the country.

For “A Day In The Life of Anson New Tech,” visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0etewtaaPuw.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina Youth Council are strong partners with Anson County Schools and proud to see them standing out in the nation. Not only does the community benefit from this model but most importantly the youth do. The Centralina WDB and the Centralina Youth Council believe that the youth are our future workforce. For more information on Anson New Tech High School or on the Centralina Youth Council, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.

 
 

What's Happening in the Region?

Comings, Goings, Kudos…

READ SIMILAR NEWS

 
  • Centralina Workforce Development Board member Elizabeth Fields, former director of the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency, Inc. died on Monday April 22. She had served on the Centralina WDB since September 2003 and was a member of the Board’s Workforce Readiness Committee. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family. We will miss her dearly.

 

 
  • Iredell County Manager Joel Mashburn has announced his retirement. He will retire on June 30, 2011, the end of the fiscal year. Mashburn has been a county manager since he was 28, when he landed the manager’s job in Macon County in 1975. After making stops as manager of Henderson County and Greenville County, SC, he found what was to be his final job in Iredell in February 1988.
  • Sherry Hoyle has been named Superintendent of Lincoln County Schools. She has been with Lincoln County Schools for 25 years. Prior to her appointment as superintendent, Hoyle was the school system’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction of PreK-12.
 
  • Kathy Bragg, former Director of the Union County Red Cross, is now the Director of the Union County Homeless Shelter. Bragg has spent more than 20 years in human services. Former shelter director Tim Gray resigned last year.
     
  • Jann Lowder, Vice-Chair of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners has been elected to the State Board of Community Colleges. Jann is also a trustee on the Stanly Community College Board of Trustees. She was nominated to the State Board by former Centralina WDB member Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly). Lowder’s six-year term on the State Board of Community Colleges begins July 1, 2011.
 
 


• Centralina Workforce Development Board meeting
Tuesday June 14, 2011 – 4:30 PM
Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce – Kannapolis

• Centralina WDB Youth Council meeting
Thursday May 19, 2011 – 10:00 AM
Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County – Concord
Contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 for more information

• Centralina WDB Executive Planning Committee meeting
Wednesday May 4, 2011 – 12:00 Noon
The Floor Pavilion - Concord

• Rowan Chamber of Commerce Business Show 2011
Thursday May 5, 2011 – 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
The Event Center – Salisbury
Cost: Free Admission
More Information: www.rowanchamber.com or 704.633.4221

• Veterans’ Career Connection
Thursday May 5, 2011 – 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
National Guard Armory – 120 College Drive, Albemarle, NC
More Information: 704.982.2183

• Resume Clinic
Thursday May 5, 2011 – 11:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Online Job Hunting
Monday May 9, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Looking for Work at 50+
Monday May 9, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Identifying Your Career Options
Monday May 9, 2011 – 6:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Healthcare Career Pathways
Tuesday May 10, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Anson County 2011 Senior Health Fair
Tuesday May 10, 2011 – 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
South Piedmont Community College - Lockhart-Taylor Center – Wadesboro
More Information: 704.694.6616

• Stand Out from the Competition
Tuesday May 10, 2011 – 11:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Nerds are Cool, Technology is Hot. Careers in Computers
Tuesday May 10, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Interview Techniques
Wednesday May 11, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Landing BIG Contracts – From Government Procurement to Local Bids
Thursday May 12, 2011 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Building on the NC Research Campus Room 115
Cost: Free
More Information or Reserve a Seat: amy.boger@rccc.edu or www.rccc.edu/sbc

• Resume Clinic
Thursday May 12, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Resume Clinic
Tuesday May 17, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Job Seeking Strategies for the Professional
Wednesday May 18, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Looking for Work at 50+
Monday May 23, 2011 – 6:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Identifying Your Career Options
Tuesday May 24, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Letter Writing for the Job Seeker
Tuesday May 24, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Resume Clinic
Tuesday May 24, 2011 – 6:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Stand-Out from the Competition
Wednesday May 25, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Looking for Work with a Criminal Record
Wednesday May 25, 2011 – 11:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Interview Techniques
Thursday May 26, 2011 – 11:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Resume Clinic
Thursday May 26, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who You Meet
Friday May 27, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Find Your IDEAL Career Match!
Thursday May 5, 2011 – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Gaston College – Dallas Campus
Monday May 23, 2011 – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Gaston College – Dallas Campus
Monday June 6, 2011 – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Gaston College – Dallas Campus
Monday June 20, 2011 – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Gaston College – Dallas Campus
More Information: 704.348.2732

• SEED – Students Engaging in Entrepreneurial Development
Monday June 20, 2011 – Friday June 24, 2011
Central Piedmont Community College – Central Campus
More Information: http://cce.cpcc.edu/e-institute/youthcamp or 704.330.6736

• Energy Careers for a Bright Future
Tuesday August 9, 2011
CPCC Harris Conference Center
Contact: 704.330.6097


The North Carolina Workforce Development Training Center Training offers many great training sessions for every workforce development professional. The Center can even do online trainings for you and your colleagues. Some of the great training sessions include: Keeping Your Cool (When Others are HOT!), Assessment: The Foundation of Case Management, Delivering Excellent Customer Service, and Youth Services: A Variety of Topics. These are just some of the great training sessions they can put together for your team. So give them a call and see what they can do for you! Contact Robin Broome at (919) 306-1819 or visit their website for more information at www.ncwdtc.com.

• Career Development Facilitator Programs
June 14 & 15; July 28, 2011 -- Fast Track
September 13 & 14; December 7, 2011
Cost: $525 (covers tuition, manual and interactive DVD)
Register Online: www.ncwia.com

• Delivering Excellent Customer Service
Tuesday May 10, 2011 – Raleigh
Wednesday May 11, 2011 – Thursday May 12, 2011 – Charlotte
More Information: www.ncwia.com or call Robbin Broome 919.306.1819

 

Visit our website at www.centralinaworks.com to learn more about the Centralina WDB
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To learn more about the Centralina Council of Governments please visit www.centralina.org
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