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Sharing Ideas to Build a Stronger Workforce

Centralina WDB Sponsored
Re-employment Bridge Institute is Up and Running

The Re-employment Bridge Institute (RBI) is a teaching/learning initiative created by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) through a grant from the Centralina Workforce Development Board and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Through a series of day and a half workshops and online programs, the RBI is sharing best practices in responding to the multiple needs of displaced workers, the unemployed, and the under-employed. The RBI seeks to share ideas and help local institutions and agencies become catalysts for economic recovery.

“These workshops come at a crucial time, as displaced workers have become a day-to-day reality for us all,” explains Dr. Nicholas Gennett, RBI project director. “Participants from at least 15 different institutions and agencies have already enrolled. We think this is also a great opportunity for Rowan-Cabarrus CC faculty and staff to learn about the displace worker phenomenon and our response.”

In an effort to reach out to more people, Centralina Workforce Development Board Executive Director David Hollars along with Jeanie Moore, Dr. Nicholas Gennett and Keri Allman-Young from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College presented the Re-employment Bridge Institute concept to the North Carolina Commission on Workforce Development at their February 17, 2010 meeting in Raleigh. The presentation was well received by members of the Commission.

Re-employment Bridge Institute workshops are open to anyone interested in workforce development best practices. It focuses on establishing productive community partnerships, so leaders and staff members from community colleges, Employment Security Commission offices, JobLink Career Centers, workforce development boards, public schools, community organizations, and other interested parties are encouraged to participate. Organizations are invited to enroll groups of participants, and multiple representatives from the same institution, county or city are welcome.

The upcoming dates for the RBI for those interested in attending are:

Thursday March 4 – Friday March 5
Thursday March 18 – Friday March 19
Thursday April 8 – Friday April 9
Thursday April 22 – Friday April 23
Thursday May 6 – Friday May 7
Thursday May 20 – Friday May 21
Thursday June 3 – Friday June 4
Thursday June 17 – Friday June 18
Thursday July 15 – Friday July 16
Thursday July 29 – Friday July 30

For more information and to register for a workshop, please contact Barbara Meidl at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College at (704) 216-7212 or by e-mail at RBI@rowancabarrus.edu. You can also visit their webpage for more information; you can access that at this link: http://info.rowancabarrus.edu/4707.aspx.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a strong partner with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and fully believes in the Re-employment Bridge Institute. Coming together as a community to share ideas and best practices will only help make our region stronger and healthier. For more information on the Centralina Workforce Development Board, please contact David Hollars at (704) 348-2717 or by email at dhollars@centralina.org.

Centralina WDB and Partners Connect Youth to Careers

Second Annual Anson County Career Fair

After being cancelled once for inclement weather, Cynthia Hampton, Anson County Schools Career & Technical Education Director welcomed the warmth and sunshine on Saturday February 20, 2010 – the day of the Second Annual Anson County Career Fair.

Youth, their parents, JobLink partners, and community members all participated in the Career Fair held at Anson High School. Centralina WDB Program Associate Natasha Pender participated in the event. The day was complete with Career and Technical Education demonstrations, food, and a Dress for Success Fashion Show as well as, door prizes.

Fair attendees were able to take a closer look at specific programs offered by South Piedmont Community College, Richmond Community College, Anson County JobLink Career Center, Anson Bank, US Census Bureau, College Foundation of North Carolina, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. South Piedmont Community’s Career Cruiser and the Hampton B Allen Mobile Library Unit were on site for individuals to visit, meet with staff, and discuss career and training options.

The day included a “Dress for Success” Career Fair. It was both fun and enlightening, showing youth what to wear and what not to wear to a job interview. The afternoon ended with a drawing for door prizes donated by area sponsors.

The Centralina WDB helped to sponsor the event that CTE Director Cynthia Hampton hopes “will continue to grow and be even more successful in coming years”.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a strong partner with Anson County Schools and was very happy to participate in their annual career fair. Getting the youth of today ready for their careers tomorrow is top priority! For more information on the Second Annual Anson County Career Fair, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.

At the end of the fair, youth took part in a “Dress for Success” fashion show.
Photo above article: Partners from South Piedmont Community College also participated in the Career Fair.

A New Space and New Projects

Multicultural Center of Hope Opens New Location in Lincolnton

The Multicultural Center of Hope has moved from a 600 square-foot building to a 1,800 square-foot building across the street on Vandiver Drive in Lincolnton. With the triple the space, the center will be kicking off three new programs – language classes, a youth group and a community garden.

“I’m nervous because of what it implies – the big jump into all these projects that we’ll be starting simultaneously,” Enrique Fuentes, the Center’s director said. “It’s a challenge, but I’m so excited about this.”

The Multicultural Center, a Lincoln County JobLink Career Center Partner, has been open for five years and is funded by the C. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Duke Endowment Foundation, and the Gastonia District of the United Methodist Church.

The Center’s new building has four classrooms. Basic, intermediate and advanced language classes will be offered in them. Completing the courses will be the equivalent of completing three years studying language in college. Classes are expected to start sometime in March. A groundbreaking for the center’s community garden is set for Sunday March 21, 2010.

The community garden will be down the street from the center. It will be divided into plots and could become as big as a football field. The Lincoln County Cooperative Extension will be assisting in the community garden. Plots will be large enough to meet 80 percent of a family’s vegetable needs.

The Center’s final new endeavor, a youth group, will begin sometime in the summer.

Lincoln County teenagers are already attending a youth group at Centro Latino in Hickory. Fuentes plans for them to start meeting in Lincolnton. The group will be filled with college-bound students. “They will have all the support they need – tutoring, looking for scholarships, everything,” Fuentes said.

While taking on all these new projects, the Center will also continue to do the work it has done for the past five years – providing help for immigrants in everything from referrals to translation.

“We are a service center,” Fuentes said. “That’s the main role in the community to help the Hispanics and other immigrants in the community.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Lincoln County JobLink Career Center are strong partners with the Multicultural Center of Hope and looks forward to the great results these projects will bring to the community and the region. For more information on the Center or to sign up for classes or a community garden plot, please call (704) 748-1218. For more information on the Centralina Workforce Development Board or the Lincoln County JobLink Career Center, please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

Enrique Fuentes, director of the Multicultural Center of Hope in Lincolnton, talks about a plot of land near Vandiver Drive that will be a community garden later this year.

Retrain, Refocus and Reemploy on the Move!

R3 Career Center Moves into Visitors Center Near Research Campus in Kannapolis

The N.C. Research Campus has leased the downtown Visitors Center building in Kannapolis to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. RCCC's R3 Career Center is moving into the building in the former Cannon Village and plans to open for business officially on Monday March 1, 2010.

R3 stands for Retrain, Refocus and Reemploy. The career development center, opened in response to devastating layoffs in Cabarrus and Rowan counties, helps unemployed and underemployed people prepare for new careers.

"We are very excited," R3 Center director Keri Allman-Young said. "We think that this will be a wonderful move not only for our clients but for downtown Kannapolis."

Castle & Cooke North Carolina, developer for the Research Campus, closed the Visitors Center one year ago and had planned to do extensive renovations to better showcase the center's collection of textile artifacts and NASCAR memorabilia, as well as the city's newest industry, biotechnology.

Dole Food Co. chairman and Castle & Cooke owner David Murdock built the biotech Research Campus in Kannapolis, which is the birthplace of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt and once was home to the world's leading manufacturer of textiles.

The artifacts and memorabilia remain in the building. Allman-Young said they add to the mission of the R3 center.

"It's such a good fit for us to be in this space, to not only carry the message of the past but carry message of future," she said.

The addition of the R3 Center "can only be a positive for merchants in the Village, and it creates more traffic on the street," Castle & Cooke marketing director Phyllis Beaver said.

R3 staff members are "protective and proud" of the heritage of both Kannapolis and their clientele, which includes many former textile workers, Allman-Young said.

The R3 Center has seen an increase in foot traffic by moving downtown, Allman-Young said. And we're not even officially open yet," she said.

The R3 Center, which employs five full-time and four to six part-time people, has about 500 visits from clients per month, including individual career counseling and group workshops. Since opening in 2007, the center has served more than 4,300 clients, said Jeanie Moore, RCCC vice president for continuing and corporate education.

The new location, which includes a 100-seat auditorium with a sound system, provides more opportunity for larger gatherings, Moore said. By moving downtown, the center also wants to "help local citizens find a connection to the Research Campus," she said.

RCCC will have a second location at the Research Campus when the college moves into a $26 million state-of-the-art biotech training facility this summer. The new building will consist of laboratories and classrooms.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a strong partner with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the R3 Career Center. The Board congratulates them on this move and wishes them continued success within the community. For more information on the R3 Career Center or the Centralina Workforce Development Board, please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

The Mouse is Back!

Disney Institute Returns to South Piedmont Community College

It’s that time again! Disney time! That’s right; the Disney Institute is coming back to South Piedmont Community College for one day only on Thursday April 29, 2010. The Centralina Workforce Development Board is proud to once again be a co-sponsor of this great professional development event.

South Piedmont Community College is bringing the region the premier one-day program to energize your employees with leadership management and service skills.

The program will cover 2 important and very relevant topics for today’s business climate - Leadership - Disney Style and Customer Service - Disney Style. In each of these sessions you will learn how to communicate a compelling vision, build involvement and ownership, develop a service philosophy and learn tools to support a service culture.

Don’t miss this great session! The event will start at 8:00 AM at the Old Charlotte Highway Campus in Monroe. To register or for more information please call Geri Duncan at (704) 290-5221.


Anson Sets Priorities for Economic Growth

Anson Economic Development Corporation Addresses Goals for County

The local business and community leaders that make up the Anson Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) met on Thursday January 21, 2010 for an open and frank discussion on pumping up the county’s economy.

It was part of the group’s retreat, which spanned two hours that day at the South Piedmont Community College’s Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro.

After dividing into three focus groups, small groups came up with priorities and ideas to improve Anson County’s economic situation. The three top areas for discussion were compiled by Cooperative Extension director, Janine Rywak, who asked AEDC members to contact her with their top priorities for economic development. Those priorities were defined as: business retention and expansion, business and industrial recruitment, and partnering for creative leadership.

Dr. Don Altieri, Centralina Workforce Development Board member, chaired the first group, which focused on business retention and expansion. That group came up with several top priorities under the business retention and expansion umbrella, including: expanding power generation in Anson County, expanding the work the current business retention and expansion committee is doing, working with South Piedmont Community College, finding and identifying businesses that are not currently part of the Chamber of Commerce and encouraging them to join, creating an extensive database that people can go to if they are considering opening a new business, reworking the county’s economic development website, and investigating more tax incentives for new and existing businesses.

The second group, business and industrial recruitment, was chaired by Wadesboro Town Manager John Witherspoon. This group came up with a plan that economic development director Misty Harris could easily use as her business plan for the next year, if she wished, Rywak said.

“We’d really like to have more resources for the economic development office,” Rywak added. “We’d like to develop a quick-response team that we’d able to call on when Misty maybe busy with other entities.”

The third group, partnering for creative leadership, aims to get a more diverse group of people participating in economic development activities. Rywak chaired this discussion group, which focused on making the Chamber a central resource for new and existing businesses in town.

“We would like to keep the communication lines open between local government, the Chamber, and local businesses,” Rywak said.

The biggie, however is that the county needs a more diverse group of leaders in all its community organizations.

“We need more diverse representation on all of our committees and boards,” Rywak said. “And the current leadership realizes that we are missing some very valuable resources.”

For more information about this exciting development, please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly newsletter.

Statesville Company Announces Expansion and Job Growth

Kewaunee Scientific Corporation to Add 100 Jobs

In order to keep up with growing demand for its products, Kewaunee Scientific Corporation is doubling its production space and will hire 100 new employees over the next five years.

During a press conference held at the Statesville Civic Center this past month, company President and CEO William A. Shumaker said 30 to 40 new workers will be hired starting in September, when construction on a 32,000 square-foot facility expansion is completed.

Preliminary work on the expansion at the West Front Street corporate offices and manufacturing facilities is already underway. The building’s exterior will also get a facelift as part of the expansion.

Kewaunee currently employs 470 people at its corporate and manufacturing facilities.

“There is no better assurance that a community is up to something good than when one of its oldest, most respected and committed corporate citizens says, 'This is where we want to grow,'" Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh said.

Shumaker said Kewaunee invested $50 million in the past couple of years for new equipment to keep its three Statesville manufacturing sites and two distribution centers running smoothly. The investment has helped Kewaunee remain competitive and keep jobs in Statesville, he said.

Human Resources Vice President Beth Phillips said available positions are initially offered in an internal bid process before being advertised with the Iredell County JobLink Career Center/Employment Security Commission and the local temporary agencies.

Phillips said prior manufacturing experience is a plus. Manufacturing Vice President Keith Smith said open positions will include general laborers, machine operators and process technicians. The average worker will earn $16 an hour.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board congratulates Kewaunee on their expansion! The Board and Kewaunee have been long time partners since Kewaunee Scientific received an Incumbent Worker Grant to help train their current workforce. Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!

William Shumaker, president and CEO of Kewaunee Scientific, announces that the company will expand its Statesville manufacturing facilities. Seated beside Shumaker are Bill Leach, chairman of the Greater Statesville Development commission and Beth Phillips, vice-president of human resources at Kewaunee Scientific.

Spantek Celebrates its Move to Lincolnton

Spantek Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to Open New Facility

Spantek, a certified metal manufacturer, kicked off its move to Lincolnton with a ribbon-cutting ceremony organized by the Lincoln Economic Development Association. The event was held at the facility, located in the former RSI Marble building off North General’s Boulevard.

Headquartered in Hopkins, Minn., Spantek designs and manufactures custom-sized expanded metal coils and blanks for original equipment manufacturers. The company moved its North Carolina facility from Greensboro to Lincolnton to better serve clients, and hopefully, develop new clients throughout the east and southeast corridor.

“After looking at five counties within the Charlotte region and four different facilities, we decided that Lincolnton was by far the most helpful, and would be the most rewarding for us,” said Spantek President Rod Miller.

“This is a great community and we are proud to be part of it now. It goes without saying, the employees of Spantek are the ones that make it all happen and we appreciate each one.”

Lincolnton Mayor John Gilleland was pleased to have Spantek come to town. “We look forward to the growth of their business and the creation of jobs,” he said. “I am sure they will find Lincolnton a great place to do business and we welcome them here.”

Spantek has previously announced plans to employ 15 at the Lincolnton site, with an eventual growth to 25 workers over the next year and a half.

For more information about this exciting development, please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly newsletter.

City Councilman Fred Houser (left) and Mayor John Gilleland Jr. join Spantek president Rod Miller and CFO Brian Beich and Lincoln Economic Development Association board member Tom Anderson as the celebrate the Lincolnton Spantek plant’s opening last week with a ribbon cutting.

Things Are Really Taking Off!

Concord Regional Airport to Get Upgrades

Concord City Council approved improvements at the Concord Regional Airport, including a new fuel tank that city officials say will enhance business at the airport.

Council voted unanimously on Thursday February 11, 2010 to award a bid for a 15,000-gallon fuel tank to Superior Industrial Maintenance Company Inc. from Harrisburg, in the amount of $217,450.

Members also approved a 30-year lease agreement with VS Management, which will complete a 16,250-foot hangar as part of the agreement.

Council also approved the Transportation Improvement Plan for the airport, which will be submitted to the N.C. Department of Aviation.

The new fuel tank is part of modifications to the Airport Fuel Farm, Assistant City Manager Jim Hipp said. The existing fuel tank is 15 years old and has leaky valves, Hipp told council members on Thursday.

"We're bringing it up to what I feel is going to be better than what it was when it was installed," Hipp said.

Superior Industrial Maintenance Company is local, which means they can get to the airport more quickly for maintenance on the tank, he said.

The city held a public hearing on the lease with VS Management. The council unanimously adopted the lease agreement. The hangar on the site has been mostly built by J.M. Lambert Construction at their expense and then offered for sale to VS Management. The new owner will finish the hangar and enlarge the door to accommodate larger aircraft.

The lease starts Monday March 1, 2010 and will last until Feb. 29, 2040. VS Management will have the option to extend the lease for one to 10 years with the same terms except rent, which would be increased by 25 percent.

The $47.4 million Transportation Improvement Plan for Concord Regional Airport that was also approved at the meeting includes several proposed improvements suggested for fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2015. The information will be passed on by the Department of Aviation to the Federal Aviation Administration for funding consideration.

The first year fiscal year 2011 portion of the plan includes projects to overlay the apron, design a replacement Air Traffic Control Tower, land acquisition and reimbursement, planning and design for terminal expansion, a maintenance storage facility, hangar office addition, a parking deck and to begin the terminal expansion.

Concord officials are applying for federal and state grants to help pay for the projects.
Please continue to look to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for updates on this exciting development in our region!

Rowan County Business Reopening

W.A. Brown and Son Open Their Doors Again With 20 Jobs

W.A. Brown and Son has entered into a partnership that will allow the century-old company to reopen after shutting down in November 2009, company officials said this month. W.A. Brown, which makes walk-in coolers and freezers, reached an agreement with Southern Stainless Equipment Co. of Waynesboro, Va.

Paul Brown, Vice-President and CEO of W.A. Brown and Son, said sales will begin in February and manufacturing will follow. Brown said that for now, W.A. Brown will employ approximately 20 people. When the company closed, it laid off nearly 100 employees.

"We will start production in a very controlled mode," Brown said, noting that growth will be driven only by customers' needs.

W.A. Brown and Son walk-in coolers and freezers have been used in Las Vegas casinos, the stadium at the 2004 Atlanta Olympic Games and other major venues across the United States.

Southern States Equipment Co. has been in the industry since 1956, and, according to Brown, has a "common interest for growth within the industry and continued manufacturing and sale of quality products to all customers."

W.A. Brown will be contacting customers who ordered products built to certain specifications in the past and will be participating in future bid processes. "We're trying to capture all that is available to us," Brown said.

Brown said that over time, the new partnership will allow the company to offer more products to more customers.

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

Lights, Camera, Action!

Economic Developers Can See a Future in Film for Lincoln County

The Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) is trying to attract moviemakers to Lincoln County. This month, the nonprofit organization launched a film section on its Web site. The site is filled with hundreds of photographs of potential movie sites in the county.

The project stemmed partially from work done by Shelley Stevens, who interned with LEDA last summer. She updated a catalog of Lincoln County movie sites for Charlotte Regional Partnership’s Film Commission, which recruits film production companies.

Mitch Miller, business development coordinator for LEDA, decided to expand on the work Stevens started. He contacted local photographer David Hopkins after stumbling upon his pictures on Flickr.com. Hopkins allowed Miller to post many of his pictures on LEDA’s film section. Hopkins, a teacher at Maiden High School, will also be taking more pictures to add to the film section.

“David has been extremely helpful,” Miller said. “He has worked hand-in-hand with us to promote Lincoln County. He has helped us at no cost so that was a big benefit for us.”

Lincoln County definitely has many spots that would work well for film production companies, Hopkins said.

“You’ve got downtown Lincolnton, the courthouse and a lot of older buildings if they want that small-town feel,” he said. “I think any way we can promote the area is beneficial and LEDA is doing that.”

LEDA has plenty of photos from the western portion of the county, but could use more shots from the eastern area. People are welcome to send any of their photos to Miller for review, and possible publication to the site.

“What we want to do is to continue to build our database,” Miller said. “We know there are unique things out there. I’ve lived in Lincoln County all my life and to see some of these photos … I never knew these places were here in Lincoln County.”

Almost two years ago, a film production company considered filming in Lincoln County, but ended up choosing Shelby instead.

The movie Blood Done Sign My Name, set to be released this year, called for specific types and colors of structures that Lincoln County simply did not have. But Miller is confident that other moviemakers will come through Lincoln County looking for unique sites that, perhaps, the other cities can’t offer.

“You’ve got million-dollar homes to working farms,” he said. “We aren’t Charlotte. We don’t have skyscrapers or the busy life, but if you think of film (needing) a different setting, I think we’ve got a lot (moviemakers) can benefit from. I think the biggest start of all is letting people know what’s out there.”

To learn more about film opportunities in Lincoln County, visit www.lincolneda.org. You can also contact Mitch Miller at 704-732-151l or mitch@lincolneda.org.

Scenes like this one on the South Fork River near Lincolnton are what makes Lincoln County a potential untapped gold mine for film crews seeking shooting locations, according to economic developers.

Local Community Colleges Honored by Charlotte Regional Partnership

Colleges to Receive Jerry Awards

Ten local community colleges have won an economic development award from the Charlotte Regional Partnership. The colleges will be honored on Tuesday May 25, 2010 with the Partnership’s Jerry Awards for work in the public sector. US Airways won the private-sector award.

The ten local community colleges are Mitchell Community College (Iredell County), Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Stanly Community College, South Piedmont Community College (Anson and Union counties), Gaston College (Gaston and Lincoln counties), Catawba Valley Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Cleveland Community College, Northeastern Technical College (Chesterfield County), and York Technical College.

The Jerry Awards are named in honor of the first recipients in 2007 — Jerry Richardson, owner and founder of the Carolina Panthers, and Jerry Orr, aviation director for the City of Charlotte.

The community colleges were chosen for their work in training the region's workforce. The Partnership called the colleges "invaluable business recruitment tools."

"Our regional community and technical colleges give us a competitive advantage as we meet and talk with advisors and corporations that are making decisions about where to expand, consolidate or relocate their companies," Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, said in a prepared statement.

The 2010 Jerry Awards recipients will be honored during the partnership's annual awards luncheon at the Charlotte Convention Center on May 25, 2010.

For event or table sponsorship information, contact Clay Andrews at candrews@charlotteusa.com or 704-347-8026.

Calling All Businesses: Centralina WDB Needs Your Input!

Survey Seeks Information on How We Can Help Your Business

The Centralina Workforce Development Board needs your help! Many of the ideas for complimentary services we deliver came from employers like you. As a result, the Centralina Workforce Development Board has been able to respond to real needs of the business community as we continue to be customer driven. As the lead workforce development and delivery agency in your area, our planning has allowed us to focus resources where they are needed.

So, please CLICK HERE to complete a SHORT survey and share how we can best serve your business. An investment of 3-4 minutes to get your input is extremely valuable to us. As a thank you, your name will be entered into our monthly drawing for a special gift from the Centralina WDB.

The few minutes you share with us gives back to your community as well as your business. If you have any questions about the survey or would like to give more input, please contact Vail Carter at (704) 348-2710 or by e-mail at vcarter@centralina.org.

February's Business Survey Prize Winner is ...

Each month, the Centralina Workforce Development Board holds a drawing from Business Surveys that area businesses have completed and posted on our website.

Centralina is pleased to announce that the winner of this month’s drawing is the Stanly County Airport in New London, NC (Stanly County). David Griffin of the Stanly County Airport completed and submitted the survey. We thank David for helping us with our continuous improvement feedback process! For more information about the Stanly County Airport please visit their site at www.stanlycountyairport.com.

If you haven't completed the survey, you can do so now by going to 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 email at vcarter@centralina.org.



Let Us Train Your Workforce on Our Dime!

Centralina WDB Accepting Incumbent Worker Training Applications

The Incumbent Worker Training Program offered through the Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) is designed to upgrade employees' skills and increase competitiveness of companies in the global marketplace. It is a great way to improve the skills and capabilities of your workforce so that they are even more productive now and are ready for the challenges of the future.

The program has undergone some changes for this round of applications. A new application and supporting documents have been released. All forms can be found on the Centralina Workforce Development Board website (www.centralinaworks.com). Please be sure to use the new documents for your submission.

The deadline to get in your submission to the Centralina Workforce Development Board is Friday April 16, 2010. This will be the final round of applications for this fiscal year.

If you are interested in applying but have questions about the program and the forms, or would just like some assistance in preparing your application, the Centralina WDB is offering a workshop to all businesses interested in applying. The workshop will be held on Thursday March 4, 2010 at 9:30 AM at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College at their South Campus Community Room (#106). The campus is located near exit #55 on I-85 South in Concord.

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 or by email at vcarter@centralina.org.

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 April 16, 2010. So don’t delay, submit your application today!

Business Link-Up!

Area Business Leaders Come Together to Learn About Opportunities

On February 9, 2010, the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corporation along with the Centralina Economic Development Commission sponsored an event at the Charles Mack Citizens Center in Mooresville that brought business leaders from around the region together to learn about tools to support existing businesses as they face a tougher credit environment and tight markets.

Several presentations were given by representatives of state and local agencies including financial institutions. Participants learned how they can tap into lending sources and grants to help them grow and expand their business.

Vail Carter, Business Services Coordinator with the Centralina Workforce Development Board shared information about the Incumbent Workforce Development Program grants and participated in a panel discussion with a representative of the N.C. Military Business Center and The Small Business Technology Development Center. In case you missed the event, here is a link to the presentations: Link-Up Financing, Support Services and Grants for Small Business Development.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is proud to partner with the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corporation to further the goals of workforce development an economic development. For more information on the business services offered by the Centralina WDB, please contact Vail Carter at (704) 348-2710 or vcarter@centralina.org.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is in YOUR Community!

During the month of February 2010, 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 Anson County Career Fair, the Re-employment Bridge Institute, and Salisbury-Rowan Community Service Council’s Youth Summit, here are some the activities of the Board members and WDB staff for February:

Centralina Workforce Development Board meeting - held on Tuesday February 9 at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kannapolis. At the request of the Board’s Executive Planning and Business Performance committees, Centralina WDB Business Services Coordinator Vail Carter presented a Business Intelligence Update with data on growing and declining industries and the local labor force, and Vail’s observations on economic recovery in the region. This informative presentation can be accessed via the Board’s website.

The Board reviewed the National Association of State Workforce Board Chair’s priorities and talking points regarding the reauthorization by Congress of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and discussed possible implications for the region. Board members also discussed the changes to the Incumbent Worker program and the new due date for applications, received an update on the Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership, received a calendar dates for the upcoming Allied Health Career Connection fairs, reviewed a report on the Faith-Based Job Resources luncheon held in January, received the latest local labor market information and the JobLink Career Center quarterly report for the period ending December 31, 2009, and updates on other key workforce issues and recent presentations in the region.

Centralina WDB JobLink Career Center Managers meeting – held on Tuesday December 8 at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kannapolis. Managers discussed staff JobLink rechartering, use of enhancement funds, professional development training, and upcoming Allied Health Career Connections events. Meeting was conducted by Janet Hudson, Centralina WDB vice-chair and staffed by Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars.

Centralina WDB Workforce Readiness Committee meeting – held on Friday February 12 at Smart Start offices in Monroe. Centralina WDB member Mary Ann Rasberry chaired the meeting. David Hollars and Emily Clamp attended this meeting and provide staff support. Committee worked on development of local literacy summits.

Rotary Club of Cabarrus County presentation - on Thursday February 25 at Cabarrus Family Medicine Center in Concord. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars presented highlights from the State of the Workforce Study update for 2009 and the role of the Centralina WDB in building a competitive workforce for Cabarrus County and the region.

Union County JobReady Partnership meeting – held on Thursday February 18 at Union County Schools Professional Development Center in Monroe. David Hollars attended this meeting.

Union County Transition Fair planning meeting - held on Monday February 8 in Monroe. Centralina WDB Program Associate Natasha Pender participated in this planning meeting for the May event in which the Centralina WDB is a sponsor.

Monroe Economic Development Commission meeting - held on Thursday February 25 at the Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport in Monroe. Centralina WDB Business Services Coordinator Vail Carter attended this meeting and presented information on changes to the Incumbent Worker program.

Career & Technical Education – Marketing Committee meeting – held on Friday February 19. David Hollars, Centralina WDB Executive Director participated in this meeting. The committee is developing marketing materials and a promotion schedule for making more people aware of the importance of career and technical education.

NC Department of Public Career and Technical Education Administrative Internship Program conference – held on Thursday February 25 in Winston-Salem. David Hollars, Centralina WDB Executive Director served as a panelist at the conference and provided insight on the Centralina WDB’s partnerships local career and technical education programs in local school systems and the community.

NC Youth Summit Planning committee meeting – held on Friday February 12 in Durham, Centralina WDB Program Associate Natasha Pender participated in this meeting to develop agenda, topics, and speakers for the April 23-24 summit in Greensboro.

NC Workforce Leadership Academy – Learning Network meeting – held on Tuesday February 23 and Wednesday February 24 in Durham. David Hollars, Centralina WDB Executive Director participated in this meeting which focused on use of social networking tools for workforce development and examining return on investment models. The Learning Network is for workforce professionals who are graduates of the NC Workforce Leadership Academy.

NC Department of Commerce – Division of Workforce Development meeting – held on Thursday February 4 at NC Workforce Development Training Center in Raleigh. David Hollars, Centralina WDB Executive Director participated in this meeting with Commerce officials to review the new Incumbent Worker guidelines, discuss USDOL waivers, and 2010-2011 budgets.

NC Department of Commerce – Division of Workforce Development Equal Opportunity monitoring visit – conducted by Mose Dorsey on Wednesday February 16 and Thursday February 17. Centralina WDB Operations Manager Patricia White assisted Mr. Dorsey.

Competitive Workforce Alliance – Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership – Career Connections event – held on Friday February 12 at Gaston College – Lincoln Campus in Lincolnton. Centralina WDB staff and The McLynn Group, Allied Health consultants, provide information and handouts for the event.

State of the Workforce – 2009 update presentation – held on February 16 in Dallas. Vail Carter, Centralina WDB Business Services Representative participated in this event hosted by the Gaston Workforce Development Board.

Charlotte Regional Economic & Workforce Recovery Initiative Team meeting – held on Wednesday February 3 at CPCC Harris Conference Center. This group is implementing plans and strategies to address the current and anticipated layoffs from the financial service sector businesses in the Charlotte region, as requested by Governor Beverly Perdue. Vail Carter, Centralina WDB Business Services Representative participated in this meeting and provided an update on specific solutions for the faith-based/community-based connections, including submitting a report on Faith-Based Job Support event held on January 27. Also prepared and submitted an EMSI Occupational Report for the group.

PY 2009 Annual Workforce Investment Act (WIA) monitoring of Adult and Dislocated Worker and Youth services – conducted by Patricia White, Centralina WDB Operations Manager with Salisbury-Rowan Community Action agency – Youth services contractor for Rowan and Cabarrus counties on February 23 and 24 in Salisbury.

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

  • Met with Beth Abernathy, Human Resources Manager at Zimmer Orthopedic in Statesville (Iredell County) – Business Development visit – January 5
  • Participated in Rapid Response Meeting with management of Haldex Hydraulics Corporation in Statesville (Iredell County) - February 2.
  • Compiled data from Employee Surveys and submitted information to company management and to key JobLink Partners on February3. Prepared a list of over 300 business prospects for a possible Job Fair. Referred two companies to Haldex for possible hires.
  • Performed mid-point Incumbent Worker contract monitoring visit with Gaylor Electrical Contractors in Mooresville (Iredell County) – February 9.
  • Performed mid-point Incumbent Worker contract monitoring visit with Safety Solutions in Mooresville (Iredell County ) – February 9.
  • Participated in Palm Harbor Homes Rapid Response meeting with company management team in Albemarle (Stanly County) – February 11. Prepared list of prospects for company Job Fair. Compiled data from employee surveys and distributed to company management and the Stanly County JobLink manager on February 12.
  • Met with Linda Overcash of Spectrum Financial Services in Mooresville (Iredell County) to discuss the application process for the Incumbent Workforce Development Program – February 18.
  • Performed mid-point Incumbent Worker contract monitoring visit with Yates Performance Engines in Mooresville (Iredell County ) – February 18.
  • Met with Charity Pitman, Assistant Director of Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation to discuss collaboration and Incumbent Worker referrals – February 18.
  • Performed mid-point Incumbent Worker contract monitoring visit at Maxon Furniture in Salisbury (Rowan County) – February 22.
  • Met with Ms. Lucy Ancheta at Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency to deliver SHARE Network resources and discuss data collection for quarterly reports – Salisbury (Rowan County) – February 22.
  • Met with Debra Dixon of Charlotte/Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board and Rev. Glencie of First Baptist Church West to finalize plans for opening a new Share Network Access Point site – February 24.
  • Performed final Incumbent Worker contract monitoring visit with deBotech in Mooresville (Iredell County) – February 24.
  • Preformed final Incumbent Worker contract monitoring visit with Stanly Fixtures in Norwood (Stanly County) – February 26.

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.


Outstanding Training in Mooresville

NASCAR Technical Institute Receives Prestigious Industry Award

Mooresville’s NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) was honored by the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA) for outstanding achievement during 2009 at its fourth annual Industry Awards ceremony held on Monday January 25, 2009 in Concord.

The school, which offers automotive technology training combined NASCAR-specific courses, was saluted for placing 1,300 graduates in motorsports industry jobs since its inception in 2002, as well as logging 13,000 student volunteer hours within the local community in 2009.

“The strong relationships we have within racing and the industry enhances the training experience we offer students and increases employment opportunities for graduates,” said John Dodson, NTI’s director of Community and NASCAR Relations.

“We are also proud of our students for embracing the needs of the community and volunteering to help make a difference.”

NASCAR Tech was one of nine industry-wide organizations to receive an award at the ceremony.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a proud partner with the NASCAR Technical Institute and congratulates them on receiving this wonderful honor! For more information on the NASCAR Technical Institute or the Centralina Workforce Development Board, you can contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

Connecting Local Businesses and NC Research Campus

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Launches Business Connector

Local small business owners have a new, free tool to promote their goods and services to potential customers at the NC Research Campus.

A new website called Business Connector is a buy-local initiative sponsored by the Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Business Connector is aimed at making it easier for newcomers and others at the Research Campus to find local vendors.

“Local small business owners are very excited about this initiative,” said Barbara Hall, director of the Small Business Center. “We know the Research Campus will eventually generate significant business activity for our entire region. We wanted to make sure our local small business owners had a seat at the table early on, in a way that’s more effective than relying on word-of-mouth.”

The password-protected site allows small business owners to input detailed information about their businesses and update it at anytime, including links to their websites. Potential purchasers at the Research Campus will have a password to search the site.

The free site is available to any business headquartered in Cabarrus or Rowan counties with fewer than 100 employees that has been in operation for at least two years. Local businesses are invited to register at www.businessconnector.net.

Approximately 50 businesses have already registered on the site, and personnel at the NC Research Campus will also have access.

“We want to help foster an environment that values small business ownership, and Business Connector is an important part of that effort,” Hall said.

Please stay tuned to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for more developments on these exciting stories. 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.

Partners for Progress!

NC Research Campus Hosts Visits by Potential Partners

If you want a simple explanation of what goes on at the N.C. Research Campus, listen to officials address a crowd of non-English speakers.

"We use computers to solve problems in biology," said Dr. Lawrence Mays, director of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Bioinformatics Research Center.

"We study the relationship between nutrition and sports," said Dr. David Nieman, director of the Appalachian State University Human Performance Lab.

"We call this Disney World for scientists," said Clyde Higgs, vice president for business development for the campus.

These local leaders spoke succinctly and plainly to 40 Japanese scientists visiting from Nagoya University en route to Research Triangle Park.

Most of the guests spoke limited English, but Dr. Akihiko Watanabe called the Research Campus a "good prospect" and said his university hopes to have joint research projects with scientists in Kannapolis.

"We believe the role of universities is significant as engines of economic development," said Watanabe, a professor and director of promoting entrepreneurship.

Nagoya University is renowned for its mastery of a process called technology transfer, or moving research from the lab into the marketplace.

The Japanese scientists found a good example of collaboration between industry and academia when they toured Nieman's lab, where two pit crew members of Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR team happened to be undergoing fitness testing.

"NASCAR!" the Japanese scientists said when Nieman explained what the men do for a living.

Hendrick Motorsports is sending pit crews to the Research Campus to improve performance through exercise science and nutrition. Crews for the No. 5, No. 88 and now No. 48 teams have undergone testing in Kannapolis.

Nieman offered the scientists Q Chews, small quercetin supplements developed by ASU to prevent inflammation in athletes. Nieman, who specializes in quercetin research, said he hopes Q Chews will replace ibuprofen.

The Research Campus, a $1.5 billion life sciences complex founded by Dole Food Co. owner David Murdock, has piqued interest around the globe, Higgs said.

"There is growing recognition outside the United States that the Research Campus has resources," he said. "We're trying to push that message."

During the next 24 to 36 months, the campus will reach out to international organizations, including some in Europe, Higgs said.

One researcher in Kannapolis, Dr. Mary Ann Lila, has a burgeoning relationship with Nagoya University, where she presented research last year on plant pigmentation at an international conference.

The conference had been held in Japan, New Zealand and Australia and will move to Kannapolis in 2011.

Lila, director of the N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute in Kannapolis, is organizing the event.

The gathering of 300 scientists from around the world and other upcoming events should bolster support for locating "some type of hotel facility" in Kannapolis, Higgs said.

The Japanese scientists dined at Restaurant 46, where U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell spoke through an interpreter.

"If there's one thing that binds us together, it is food," Kissell said. "There is not a place you can better focus on nutrition and eating better than here at the Research Campus."

Emily Felt, business development manager for Duke Energy, surprised everyone by addressing the guests in perfect Japanese. Felt said she grew up in Japan.

While not an official partner, Duke Energy supports the Research Campus because the campus is good for the economy, which in turn is good for the energy business, Felt said.

The Japanese scientists left Kannapolis for Durham, where Nagoya University hosted NU Tech 2010.

The life science, biotech and engineering conference included more than 200 business leaders and researchers.

Please stay tuned to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for more developments on these exciting stories. 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.

Clyde Higgs, vice president for business development at the N.C. Research Campus, discusses Tuesday's program at Restaurant 46 with Dr. Akihiko Watanabe (left) and Dr. Sayaka Ohashi, both with Nagoya University in Japan. Ohashi works at Nagoya University's office in Durham.
Dr. David Nieman hands out Q Chews, a quercetin supplement, in his lab at the N.C. Research Campus, which 40 Japanese scientists toured Tuesday. Photo by Emily Ford



There's a JobLink Near You!

Anson County JobLink Career Center
116 West Wade Street
Wadesboro, NC 28170
Phone: 704-694-6551

Cabarrus County JobLink Career Center
2275 Kannapolis Highway
Concord, NC 28027
Phone: 704-786-3183

Iredell County JobLink Career Center - Mooresville
470-A North Broad Street
Mooresville, NC 28115
Phone: 704-664-4225

Iredell County JobLink Career Center - Statesville
1907 Newton Drive
Statesville, NC 28677
Phone: 704-878-4241

Lincoln County JobLink Career Center
529 North Aspen Street
Lincolnton, NC 28092
Phone: 704-735-8035

Rowan County JobLink Career Center
1904 South Main Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
Phone: 704-639-7529

Stanly County JobLink Career Center
2215 US Highway 52 North
Albemarle, NC 28001
Phone: 704-982-2183

Union County JobLink Career Center
1125 Skyway Drive
Monroe, NC 28110
Phone: 704-283-7541

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

Commitment to workforce excellence

Taking on the World!

Seventeen Youth Receive Their GED Diplomas from WIA Program

Congratulations go out to seventeen students who chose to complete their high school education through the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency Inc.’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) GED Program. Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency is the WIA contractor for the Centralina Workforce Development Board for Youth services in Rowan and Cabarrus counties.

This program is funded by the Centralina WDB through Workforce Investment Act, Title I monies and in partnership with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College as a state testing site for the WIA participants once they have completed their academic course of study.

Through on-site classroom instruction, tutoring, leadership development sessions and comprehensive guidance and counseling sessions, youth are given the opportunity for a year-round service approach linking academic and occupational learning.

The WIA program has provided services to eligible youth, ages 16-21, in Rowan and Cabarrus counties. The agency’s services focus on serving the neediest youth, with priority given to the out-of-school youths needing additional education assistance to earn a GED state diploma.

Students receiving their diplomas included: Desmound Allen, Lamar Alston, Rashad Badger, Larry Cruse, Roge Givens, Melonie Hight, Tommy Hinson, Sha’Lesa Jimenez, Portia King, Nicole Maloscay, Danielle Robinson, James Robinson, Kelli Sheehan, Kristina Stout, Avery Tilly, Jamel Tillery, and Angela Tate.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina WDB Youth Council are strong supporters and partners of the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency. The Board and the Youth Council congratulate the youth who received their GED and wish them great success! For more information about the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency, please contact Ms. Joann Diggs at (704) 633-6633. For more information on the Centralina Youth Council, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.


Centralina WDB Youth Council Update!

Missed the Last Meeting? Want to Know What’s Coming Up? Read on!

The Centralina WDB Youth Council welcomed Trishana Jones of the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office (YAIO), in Raleigh, as the featured speaker at their Youth Council meeting held on Thursday January 28, 2010 at the Boys & Girls Club in Concord.

Trishana spoke about advocacy and other programs offered by the YAIO, such as the State Government Internship Program, Child Advocacy Services, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the Youth Legislative Assembly.

The Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office (YAIO), a public agency in the North Carolina Department of Administration, offers a blend of programs and services for children, youth and young adults.

The agency seeks to enhance the quality of the lives of children and youth in the state through individual and class advocacy intervention and by offering opportunities for leadership development and experiential education.

The Youth Council will meet again on Thursday March 18, 2010 at the Boys & Girls Club of Concord.

Featured guests for that day will be Lisa Crawford of the Charlotte Regional Census Center and Pat Woods, Kannapolis City Schools and a Centralina WDB and Youth Council member, who will be discussing the North Carolina High School graduation requirements.

Thursday March 18, 2010 also marks the day of the Boys & Girls Club of Concord’s Annual Pancake Day Fundraiser. Pancake Day, doors open at 6:00 am and close at 7:30 pm.

If you would like to attend the upcoming Centralina Youth Council meeting or need more information on how to get some of the fabulous pancakes from the Boys & Girls Club, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.


Workforce Summit Puts Youth on the Right Path for Success

Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency Youth Summit

The Salisbury–Rowan Community Action Agency (SRCCA) hosted a Youth Summit on Wednesday February 10 that concluded on Friday February 12 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord. The theme of the summit was Recover: My Brand, My Vision, My New Path. Centralina WDB Program Associate Natasha Pender participated in this great event.

Thomas Barksdale of the Barksdale Foundation kicked off the summit on Wednesday, February 10th. Following the opening session, youth were able to attend relevant workshops. Kwain Bryant of Empowerment Exchange led an energized session titled It’s Your Life! Think Big, Act Bigger and Live Better. Volunteers from AmeriCorps led a fun filled and thought provoking session on Diversity.

Thursday morning began with another opening session led by Thomas Barksdale. Youth then attended workshops on Soft Skills – Geneva Lovas-Lopez of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and a workshop led by Eric Rowles and Erik Turner of Leading to Change. To wrap up Thursdays festivities, youth attended a Career Expo in which they were able to talk one on one with representatives from AmeriCorps, Goodwill Industries, Johnson & Wales University, the YMCA, Carolinas Medical Center, Dudley’s Hair Care, and Alliant Personnel Solutions, Inc.

The big event came Thursday night during a semi-formal banquet in which young people were inspired by NFL Player Marques Douglas. He talked to the youth about how they can bring out their “inner champion”. During the banquet all ARRA/WIA (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act/ Workforce Investment Act) youth that completed the Workforce Work-Skills Summit were recognized. A total of 19 youth attended the Summit, 17 of those of youth had earned their GED since being in the program at SRCAA.
Friday morning’s closing session led by Leading to Change, concluded the three day summit.

When asked about the importance of the Youth Summit, Salisbury – Rowan Community Action Agency’s Business Liaison, Almond Miller commented that the “youth area our future, we have to get them ready.”

“The [youth] came ‘dressed to impress’ and I really appreciate their participation. I am rooting for every one of them” commented Geneva Lovas-Lopez a Career Readiness Counselor at Rowan Cabarrus Community College.

The Youth Summit is an annual event for SRCAA, and each year it gets better. The 2010 Summit has definitely been a success!

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina WDB Youth Council are strong supporters and partners of the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency through the WIA and ARRA funded services. The Board and the Youth Council are proud to see partners reaching youth through new and innovative ways. For more information about the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency, please contact Ms. Joann Diggs at (704) 633-6633. For more information on the Centralina Youth Council, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.

Attendees of the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency’s Youth Summit pose for a picture.


Youth + Technology = Strong Future Workforce

Pilot Program Gives Students ‘Netbook’ Laptops

You could sense the excitement in the air as parents and students gathered in the Monroe Middle School media center on Tuesday January 26, 2010 to get information that would ultimately result in each sixth-grade student leaving with a new Dell laptop computer and case.

With a donation from Dell Computer, sixth graders at Monroe Middle School and ninth graders at Weddington High School will pilot the use of 240 laptop computers, also called netbooks, through a program called 1-to-1 Laptop Computing in the Classroom.

“Monroe Middle School has realized many accomplishments, but none can match the excitement that this opportunity provides,” said Monroe Middle School principal, Montrio Belton as he welcomed the parents to the meeting.

The meeting was one of three opportunities for parents to attend the three-part training session required before students are issued a laptop. Weddington High School held meetings for parents on February 8, 9, and 10. Parents rotated through each of the twenty-minute sessions with a card that had to be stamped at the end of each session and presented to get the computer.

Training session topics consisted of Expectations, Procedures and Policies, Care and Maintenance, and Internet Safety.

“This is going to be good thing because we can save paper and energy by using the laptops,” said sixth-grade student Yosi Almanza.

His father Rigoberto Almanza, was more concerned about the proper care of the computer.

“It’s good as long as he (Yosi) knows how to take good care of it,” he said.

Parent Erin Murphy expressed concerns about what could happen without proper parental supervision when students had the laptops at home.

“It’s exciting for kids, but more worrisome for parents,” Murphy said. “I trust my daughter to not go to inappropriate websites, but not every child is a mature as I think she is. The Board of Education and principal Belton deserve a lot of credit for what they are trying to do with this program.”

Zoe Branson, 11, summed it all up by saying, “This is really exciting and there is a need to bring in technology so kids don’t have to just depend on books to learn. Using technology is a lot more fun!”

For more information about this pilot “netbook” program, click here for a more detailed article from Union County Public Schools.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina WDB Youth Council are proud partners with Union County Public Schools and is happy to see partners connecting youth and technology to build a stronger workforce for the region. For more information on this wonderful career fair, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.

Monroe Middle School principal Montrio Belton distributes Dell Computers called “netbooks” to sixth graders at Monroe Middle School.


Mooresville Schools Seek Mentors

Change A Life Program

The Mooresville Graded School District is seeking additional mentors for its Change a Life Program. The program aims to pair students with adults from the community who can provide the encouragement some students need in order to be successful. The program is also part of the school system’s dropout prevention strategy.

Mooresville Schools Director of Secondary Education Bill Parker said the additional volunteers would “make a tremendous difference in the lives on our young people”. Currently 32 men and women from the Mooresville community participate in the program and are paired with students of various ages. Parker said he would like to double the number of mentors to 64 by April. Parker noted that site coordinators from each school have already seen significant changes in the young people being mentored.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board works closely with the Mooresville Graded School District and the Career Bridge Program to reduce dropouts from the schools and increase career options for young people.

For more information on the Change A Life program or to volunteer, contact Traci Willis, Project Coordinator, at (704) 658-2580 or traciwillis@mgsd.k12.nc.us.


What's Happening in the Region?

Comings, Goings, Kudos…


  • Dr. Judy Grissom, superintendent for the Rowan-Salisbury School System, has received the prestigious North Carolina Distinguished Educator Award for 2010. Congratulations Dr. Grissom!
  • Gov. Perdue has named Scott Daugherty as N.C.’s first small business commissioner. This position will establish an organizational structure and partnership for state-funded small business assistance resources to clarify their roles, aggressively identify outreach opportunities and most effectively serve small businesses. Perdue also named George Millsaps as assistant commissioner for small business.
  • Jack Stollery has been promoted to Manager of the Iredell County JobLink Career Center and ESC branch office in Mooresville. Jack is currently the RES Coach at the Charlotte Main office. He begins work in Mooresville on Monday March 8. We look forward to working with Jack.

  • Michael Keith has been hired as director for the Statesville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

  • Kevin Gullette, Director of the Stanly County Economic Development Commission, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

  • Phil Cameron has joined Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s academic leadership tem as the Dean of Special Projects. Cameron, a Salisbury native, will lead initiatives in sustainability, information technology/intellectual property, global partnerships, data reporting, budgetary matters, and community outreach efforts.

  • Statesville Roofing & Building Restoration, a Centralina WDB Incumbent Worker grant recipient, was recently awarded special recognition for having more than 50 years of membership in the Carolinas Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association.

  • Enoch Park has been named the Director of Distance Education at Pfeiffer University. Park will be responsible for collaborating with the departments of academic affairs and information technology to develop a comprehensive university-wide distance education plan.

  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been awarded a $400,000 grant from The Cannon Foundation to improve the college’s information technology network.

  • Actavis, a pharmaceutical company with a plant in Lincolnton, has donated more than $700,00 worth of pain-killers, anti-bacterial drugs, and other medication to Americares and Operation Smile, two medical relief organizations to help earthquake victims in Haiti. Tom Miltier, director of human resources at the Lincolnton plant and former Centralina WDB member, noted that the idea for a product donation came from its employees and drives home the belief that “they are making a difference”.

• Centralina Workforce Development Board meeting
Tuesday April 13, 2010 – 4:30 PM
Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce - Kannapolis

Centralina WDB Executive Committee Meeting
Tuesday March 16, 2010 – 11:30 AM
The Floor Pavilion – Concord

• Centralina WDB Youth Council Meeting
Thursday March 18, 2010 – 10:00 AM
Boys & Girls Club – Concord

Centralina WDB Workforce Readiness Committee meeting
Wednesday March 31, 2010 – 11:30 AM
Union Smart Start - Monroe

• Incumbent Worker Program Information Session
Thursday March 4, 2010 – 9:30 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – South Campus – Room 106

• Competitive Workforce Alliance - Allied Health Career Connections
Tuesday March 2, 2010 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Carolinas Medical Center – NorthEast – Hamrick Center – Concord

• Competitive Workforce Alliance - Allied Health Career Connections
Thursday March 25, 2010 – 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
CaroMont Health – Education Center - Gastonia

• NewVenture Entrepreneurship Training
Tuesday March 9, 2010, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Stanly Community College – Continuing Education Building – Room 150 – Albemarle Campus
Modules 1 and 2 of 10

• NewVenture Entrepreneurship Training
Thursday March 11, 2010, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Stanly Community College – Continuing Education Building – Room 150 – Albemarle Campus
Modules 3 and 4 of 10

• NewVenture Entrepreneurship Training
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Stanly Community College – Continuing Education Building – Room 150 – Albemarle Campus
Modules 5 and 6 of 10

• NewVenture Entrepreneurship Training
Thursday March 16, 2010, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Stanly Community College – Continuing Education Building – Room 150 – Albemarle Campus
Modules 7 and 8 of 10

• NewVenture Entrepreneurship Training
Thursday March 25, 2010, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Stanly Community College – Continuing Education Building – Room 150 – Albemarle Campus
Modules 9 and 10 of 10

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.


Visit our website at www.centralinaworks.com to learn more about the Centralina WDB
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