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Bridging Business and Workforce Development Conference a Major Success!

Centralina WDB and Re-Employment Bridge Institute Bring Over 300 Professionals Together at Business Focused Event in Concord

On Thursday June 2 and Friday June 3, 2011, the Centralina Workforce Development Board, along with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, sponsored the first ever Bridging Business and Workforce Development Conference at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC. The college’s Re-Employment Bridge Institute handled much of the preparation as well as the execution of activities.

The conference had over 300 participants from all over the nation that included many different professionals from varied backgrounds, including business leaders, workforce development, economic development, community colleges, JobLink partner agencies, as well as local government employees. In addition to the expected representation from various workforce agencies and training institutes, participants identified ranged from Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to the Sheriff’s Office of Mecklenburg County, NC.

The conference brought together business leaders and workforce professionals to discuss their common objectives of improving our economic climate and getting America back to work. Keynotes and 25 dynamic breakout sessions highlighted this great conference.

This best practices conference was unlike any other workforce conference. The key focus was on businesses and their interaction with the workforce development community. Keynote speakers for the conference were Ronnie Bryant, President & CEO Charlotte Regional Partnership, Steven F. Manz, Chairman of Advisors, Business Innovation & Growth Council (BIG), Dari Caldwell, President of Rowan Regional Medical Center, and David Hollars, Executive Director of the Centralina Workforce Development Board.

Special guests included Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary US Department of Labor/Employment & Training Administration (ETA) (via Skype) and Dr. Helen Parker, Regional Administrator US Department of Labor, ETA Region 3, Atlanta, GA.

Some of the many sessions at the conference included:

• 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

“What really made the this conference different,” according to Dr. Nicholas Gennett, Re-Employment Bridge Institute Project Director and conference facilitator, “Is that we brought private business to the table and focused on what business needs to create the new jobs so desperately needed by our country.”

Want to hear the keynote presentations from the conference? Want to access the workshop presentations? Well, we’ve got them for you! Visit www.remploymentbridge.com to access this great information.

The Re-Employment Bridge Institute (RBI) is a teaching/learning institute based in Kannapolis, NC, adjacent to the NC 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.

The Re-Employment Bridge Institute has two workshops coming up that are still open for enrollment! The first one will be held on Thursday July 14 – Friday July 15, 2011 at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis. The next workshop will be held on Thursday September 15 – Friday September 16, 2011 at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis. For more information or to register you can visit their website at www.reemploymentbridge.com or you can contact Erin Ploplis at (704) 216-7201 or by email at erin.ploplis@rccc.edu.

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!

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a proud sponsor of the Re-Employment Bridge Institute. The Board looks forward to another great event next year! For more information on the Centralina Workforce Development Board or on the Re-Employment Bridge Institute, please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

The Re-Employment Bridge Institute had over 25 workshops that had a wide variety of topics pertaining to industry and best practices.
Volunteers at the registration desk prepare for the first day of the conference. Left to right: Michelle McNulty with the Centralina Workforce Development Board, Kerry Motley with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and Emily Clamp with the Centralina Workforce Development Board.
Photo above article: Over 300 professionals attended the first Re-Employment Bridge Institute Conference sponsored by the Centralina Workforce Development Board.

Connecting Veterans to Innovative Careers

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Partners with SMP Motorsports to Offer Returning Veterans Opportunities

At first glance, Emmett Thomas and Brian Fox look like ordinary 30-somethings. But both have scars. They just aren’t visible. They suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a by-product of their time in the military.

Thomas is an Army veteran who served in Iraq. Fox did two yearlong tours of duty in Iraq before being honorably discharged last year. Things weren’t the same when they returned home. Fox sleepwalks and has intense night sweats. Some days Thomas can’t force himself to leave the house. And both shy away from large groups of people.

But they feel at home inside SMP Motorsports’ racing shop in Mooresville, where they attend motorsports classes.

Earlier this year, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College joined forces with SMP Motorsports to offer a certificate program in motorsports management technology.

The seven-course program is offered exclusively to disabled veterans. It is a spin-off of the nonprofit organization Manpower to Horsepower, which was founded by SMP President Sue Roberson to meet the transitional needs of post-combat veterans.

“Roberson wanted to expand her program to include hands-on training, and she contacted RCCC to see how we could work together,” said Richmond Gage, head of the RCCC motorsports management technology program. “We are honored and proud to offer this program for veterans with disabilities.”

Roberson said the program caters to the physical and mental strains disabled veterans may have, giving them an opportunity to get acclimated in the industry.

“They walk you into the course, they don’t throw you in,” Fox said.

Thomas has been taking classes at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for a couple of years, but the motorsports courses he began last month have topped them all.

“For me, with the PTSD, I have a hard time dealing with larger groups,” he said. “This smaller group has made it a lot easier.”

Thomas said his motorsports instructors have been very understanding about his condition. “They are a lot more flexible and willing to let me make up work,” he said. “The biggest problem I’ve had with school was the with my PTSD part of my symptoms are a kind of mild agoraphobia (an anxiety disorder) where some days I just can’t leave the house. “With other classes if you miss two days you’re out, it gives me peace of mind to know that I can come back.”

Fox said he likes being in a setting with veterans who have had similar experiences. “It’s a brotherhood. We’ve got camaraderie,” he said.

When he first found out about the program, Fox thought it would be a good way to get active and take his mind off things. “It’s been a wonderful thing,” he said. “This is a release for me and a way to learn something and possibly gain a good career.”

Thomas said the program has opened his eyes to the variety of careers available in the motorsports industry. With a bad back and several shoulder surgeries under his belt, he has a hard time reaching up or bending over, which means he can no longer do the auto repair work that he used to. “There are hundreds of jobs in the motorsports field,” he said. “I’m hoping I can find my niche here.”

Roberson said she’s happy to see the program get off the ground. “These veterans are just so dear to my heart,” she said.

Working with the veterans this semester has been refreshing for instructor Randy Cox. “They put in well over 100 percent,” he said. “I wish all my students were as dedicated to learning as these guys are.”

Both Thomas and Fox said it means a lot to them that SMP and Rowan-Cabarrus are willing to provide a program for disabled vets.

“These people know what we’re up against and they care what we’re up against,” Thomas said. “They cater to that to make it easier for us; I think that’s the most important part of this.”

After completing the certificate program, both men plan to continue their studies at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and earn an associate’s degree in motorsports.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a proud partner with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and is proud to see its partners connecting with local businesses to reach out to our veterans to help them return to the workforce. 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. For more information about the Motorsports Certificate program for disabled veterans at Rowan-Cabarrus CC, contact Richmond Gage at 704-216-3918 or by e-mail at richmond.gage@rccc.edu.

Brian Fox shapes a flat sheet metal plate into a buldged out shape for application on car body fabrication. Motorsports Technology students from Rowan Cabarrus Community hone their body fabrication skills at Manpower to Horsepower race shop in Mooresville.
Don Landrum assembles the sheet metal skin on a GM Crate Late Model race car. Landrum and other Motorsports Technology students from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College hone their body fabrication skills at Manpower to Horsepower race shop in Mooresville

Centralina WDB Community Colleges Really Shine!

Mitchell CC, Stanly CC, and South Piedmont CC Awarded Prestigious Honor

Three of our region’s wonderful community colleges were honored this month by the NC Community College System (NCCCS).

Mitchell Community College, South Piedmont Community College and Stanly Community College have met “exceptional” standards set by the NC Community College System.

They are three of the twelve community colleges to receive the “Exceptional Institutional Performance” standards for the 2010-2011 school year. The rating is according to the NCCCS 2011 Critical Success factors report that is released annually. The report gathers data from eight performance measures: progress of basic-skills students; passing rates on licensure and certification exams; performance of college-transfer students; passing rates of students in subsequent college – level courses; satisfaction of program completers and non completers; curriculum student retention, graduation and transfer; and client satisfaction with customized training.

“Everybody on campus deserves credit for this,” said Mitchell Community College President Dr. Douglas Eason. “We’ve worked hard to create a nurturing environment.”

The other schools to receive this honor were Forsyth Technical, Richmond, Sampson, Coastal Carolina, Davidson County, Southwestern, Surry, Western Piedmont and Randolph community colleges.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a strong partner with all of the community colleges in our region and in the state. The Board congratulates all of those who received this honor and we encourage you to keep up the good work! For more information on this award or on the Centralina Workforce Development Board please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

Taking It to the Streets

Stanly Community College and Pfeiffer University Open New Offices in Downtown Albemarle

Stanly Community College (SCC) and Pfeiffer University recently had a ribbon cutting and Business After Hours event at their new collaborative office located in the Groves Building in downtown Albemarle.

Both current college presidents were pleased with the new opportunity to further their institutions’ collaborative abilities.

“We have had a great working relationship with Stanly Community College for many years, but joining together in this new facility gives us the opportunity to make that partnership much stronger,” Pfeiffer President Mike Miller said.

“As [Miller] said, we do collaborate in a number of different areas and this new venture will just add to both organizations and their ability to offer opportunities to the community,” SCC President Dr. Mike Taylor said.

Not only does the new facility provide for seminar and classroom space for Pfeiffer University, but it also relocates SCC’s Small Business Center for the college’s Albemarle campus to within Albemarle’s Central Business District.

“This is a clear step forward for the community. The beautiful facility places the Small Business Center right in the middle of the business district, which will allow us to coordinate better with the Chamber of Commerce and the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation,” Small Business Center Director Tom George said.

Pfeiffer University will currently make use of the space for meetings, board retreats, advancement socials and admissions information sessions. Long range plans will offer undergraduate and graduate programs for Pfeiffer’s School of Business.

The Small Business Center will have seminars and workshops in one of the two educational rooms and will partner with Pfeiffer to have admission and curriculum information available for both schools.

The expansion of both educational institutions was made possible through a partnership with Bank of Stanly. The Groves Building, under bank ownership, recently underwent extensive renovations, resulting in additional second floor space for bank offices and first floor space that has been made available to Pfeiffer University and Stanly Community College.

“We are very appreciative of Uwharrie Capital Corp and the Bank of Stanly. Without their support, this venture between Stanly Community College and Pfeiffer University would not have been possible,” Taylor said.

The Groves Building is across from Albemarle City Hall on North Second Street. The visibility afforded both institutions by having a downtown presence will increase accessibility as well as provide networking opportunities with local government and downtown businesses. In fact, the Stanly County JobLink Management Team held their monthly meeting at the facility on June 22.

“In addition to the many programs and activities that will be held here, their presence will complement the revitalization efforts of downtown. We are confident their participants will help to stimulate desirable activity and commerce for our local merchants,” said Bill Lawhon, president and CEO of Bank of Stanly.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is a proud partner with both Stanly Community College and Pfeiffer University. The Board is always pleased to see its partners working together to reach out to the community and the workforce and businesses in the region. For more information on the Centralina Workforce Development Board, please contact David Hollars at (704) 348-2717 or by e-mail at dhollars@centralina.org.

A ribbon cutting was conducted recently for SCC and Pfeiffer at the Groves Building in downtown Albemarle.

Help Us Do Better By Telling Us More

Every month the Centralina Workforce Development Board works hard at 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!

The Water’s Fine! - Manufacturer Invests in Iredell County

Niagara Bottling Opening 10th Bottling Facility in Mooresville

Niagara Bottling LLC, the largest family-owned bottled water manufacturer in the United States, has announced plans to open its tenth bottling facility in Mooresville, North Carolina.

The expansion will initially create 66 new jobs and make a capital investment of approximately $45 million. The facility will produce product for the company’s customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Dale Carroll, Deputy Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, along with several Niagara executives, made the announcement during a press conference in Mooresville.

Niagara will build a 310,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility on a 66-acre tract of land in Mooresville Business Park. The company is scheduled to be fully operational by March 2012.

“We are very excited about our expansion in Mooresville,” said Brian Hess, Executive Vice President of Operations and Legal Affairs. “We’re looking forward to not only servicing the needs of our customers in the region, but to being a good corporate neighbor. We can’t wait to get started.”

Niagara attributes its decision to locate in Mooresville not only to an operational and cost analysis that makes sense for the company, but to a great “community fit.” Hess shared that each of the entities involved came to the table in a true partnership effort.

“We have a lot of organizations working together on our project. The Town of Mooresville, the Mooresville-South Iredell EDC, Iredell County, the State of North Carolina, the SICDC, Duke Energy and the Charlotte Regional Partnership have all played a very active role in helping us make this decision.”

“In today’s economy jobs are of the utmost importance. Niagara will bring 66 full-time, high paying jobs to the area which is something we can all celebrate,” said Robert Carney, Executive Director of Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corporation.

“Niagara will be a great fit as an employer and hands on corporate citizen. I cannot say enough about the efforts and hard work of so many to make this project possible. Without the Town, County, MSIEDC, SICDC, Charlotte Regional Partnership and the NC Department of Commerce working together, this project would not have been possible.”

Recognized as an industry leader in both innovation and design, Niagara is known for having the lightest weight one-half- liter bottle on the market. The company’s Eco-Air Bottle® recently received a Drinktec Beverage Innovation Award for the Best PET Design. Niagara has also been recognized for its sustainability efforts to reduce its carbon footprint through both consumption reduction in materials and the implementation of various energy efficiency methods.

“We are pleased to have introduced a first-rate company like Niagara Bottling to our region and are delighted that the Town of Mooresville and the State of North Carolina convinced them to stay,” said Ronnie Bryant, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Regional Partnership. “As Brian said, relationships are important. They were important in Niagara’s decision to locate in Mooresville, and they will continue to be important as the company becomes engaged in our region. Mooresville-South Iredell had a competitive product, but just as importantly, the people in the community offered the company a little something extra. The relationships that are beginning will grow over time and will play an intangible role in Niagara’s ongoing success.”

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

(Left-right) Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corporation Director Robert Carney Jr., N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll, Mooresville Mayor Pro-Tem Chris Carney, Niagara Bottling Executive Pamela Anderson Cridlebaugh, Chairman of the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp. Ron Johnson, President of the South-Iredell Community Development Corporation Woody Washam, Niagara Bottling Executive Derieth L. Sutton, Charlotte Regional Partnership Executive Juawana Colbert.

Healthcare Expansion for Cabarrus County

CMC-NorthEast Moves Forward with New $264.4 Million Tower in Concord

CMC-NorthEast expects to set a new timetable this fall for building a $264.4 million bed tower on its Concord campus. That project has been delayed for about two years amid the economic downturn and management changes at the hospital. But now the timing is right to move forward, says Phyllis Wingate-Jones, hospital president.

“We very much believe that having great facilities is part of how we need to position the hospital in the future,” she says.

She anticipates the eight-story tower will be completed within three to five years. It was originally slated to be complete in mid-2013.

The facility will house cardiac, maternity, oncology, renal and interventional radiology services and nuclear medicine. It also will have general medical and surgical beds.

Wingate-Jones notes several other projects have been under way during the bed-tower delay to improve access to care at the 457-bed hospital, which is part of Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System.

For example, CMC-NorthEast broke ground last fall for CMC-Kannapolis, a $17 million free-standing emergency department. It is scheduled to open in January.

Also, the Gateway Medical Office Complex on Copperfield Boulevard is being expanded.

And CMC-NorthEast completed a $40 million surgery-center expansion last November. That facility includes six new operating rooms, boosting the center’s total to 17, as well as additional recovery bays for patients, notes Lisa Tadlock, executive director of surgical services at the hospital.

The new rooms, each measuring 870 square feet, provide surgeons with about 15% more space. That will help accommodate complex procedures and larger equipment, Tadlock points out.

She says CMC-NorthEast performed about 11,500 surgeries last year. She expects 2% growth in surgical procedures this year.

CMC-NorthEast also has added a 32-bed post-surgical floor, which opened in March.

The capital projects are part of the hospital’s plans to bolster its facilities and services to meet the tertiary-care needs of Cabarrus, Rowan and Stanly counties, Wingate-Jones says. “We have a big piece of work ahead as it relates to construction,” she says.

Major renovations for three of the hospital’s oldest patient wings also are planned, as are upgrades to the Mariam Cannon Hayes Center. Parts of the hospital date to 1937.

CMC-NorthEast also is developing clinical programs and recruiting medical professionals with expertise in the neurosciences, cardiac and cancer care, as well as programs targeting obesity.

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

Supercenter Makes Big Economic Splash

Newly Opened Wal-Mart Supercenter Adds 200 Jobs – Economic Growth for Lincoln County

When the new Lincolnton Wal-Mart Supercenter opened on Wednesday June 15, it added 200 jobs to Lincoln County’s economy with projections to add even more, according to store manager Steve Land. “We are still accepting applications,” said Land. Those interested in applying can do so online at www.walmart.com.

Land predicts that the new Supercenter will result in Lincolnton regaining its share of retail sales by local customers who may have been driving elsewhere to make purchases. That in turn should result in higher tax revenues for the city and Lincoln County from both sales and property taxes.

“Currently, a lot of people go to Cherryville, Hickory, or Gastonia depending on where they live in the county,” Land said. “With this new centrally located Supercenter, we’ll get those customers back.”

When questioned about projected tax revenues the new store would add to the county, Land said the corporate office has run those projections and that it would be significant.

While Wal-Mart water demand may not be in league with major textile companies, they should provide some boost to the city. The new store incorporates several features that shoppers are likely to appreciate. Based on customer feedback, all traditional grocery items are grouped together on one end of the store.

“One of the main complaints of people who shop in Supercenters is that they buy their food on one end but have to go all the way to the other end to buy their pet food, baby items and health and beauty supplies,” Land said. The new store arrangement greatly improves that issue by placing those items adjacent to the grocery section.

An expanded electronics department gives customers a chance to test drive game systems and computers prior to purchase and will offer a larger variety of products including 3D televisions and e-readers. “Electronics are quickly replacing the toy market for children and teenagers,” Land said.

Another improved feature of the new retail store is the location of the customer service center. As customers enter the main door, the open counter center is immediately to the right.

Using a new application called “Site to Store” pick-up, customers can order what they need on-line while at work or school and pick them up at the customer service center on their way home.

A large holding area adjacent to the center will be used to stage the orders until they are picked up by the customer, resulting in no waiting for an associate to retrieve the item from elsewhere in the store.

Additionally, a new smartphone application called “Aisle Locater” is being launched. From any smartphone or from in store kiosks, customers can type in what they are looking for and the application will tell them where the item is.

Land says that the retail landscape is changing rapidly. Everything in the new store is based on increased efficiency for today’s shoppers to save precious time.

The use of on-line shopping applications, smartphones, and more efficient grouping of merchandise in similar clusters are all aimed at improving shoppers’ experiences.

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

A Great Workforce = Company Headquarters for Mooresville

Amiad USA Moves Headquarters and Adds 25 Jobs in Iredell County

A water filtration company will move its headquarters to Mooresville and add 25 jobs to the facility over the next few years. Amiad USA also will be combined with an existing Mooresville business, PEP Filters/Arkal Filtration Systems, which is Israeli owned.

Amiad will move from Oxnard, Calif., to a 42,000-square-foot building at 120 Talbert Road in Acorn Business Park, says Tom Akehurst, president of Amiad USA. Some of the California employees will relocate to Iredell County, he says.

The company has 45 years’ experience with filtering systems for industrial, municipal and commercial applications. PEP Filters has operated in Mooresville for the past 15 years.

Robert Carney, Executive Director of the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp., says the relocation brings high-skill, high-wage employees to town. “That’s exactly what we work to bring to the area,” he says.

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

Business Spotlight – Rowan County

Turnkey Technologies’ Products Might Just Help Your Business!

From finely woven plastic hernia repair implants to large metal washing machine drums, Turnkey Technologies, located in Salisbury (Rowan County) makes the machines that make the things we need.

Turnkey built the machine that makes the handlebar on a Segway scooter. The watertight glovebox on a Wave Runner. The noisemaker on a sporty BMW.

“Something new walks in the door every day here,” co-owner and President Tony Ward said. “It’s a fun job.”

Turnkey has carved out a niche in the high-tech machining industry. The company works with leaders in the plastics industry to provide solutions to unusual applications, such as the tiny tracking ball on a cell phone, as well as the most common — the sponge attached to the dishwand.

Turnkey offers engineering, design, fabrication and support from product inception to launch, building just about any high-tech assembly and automation equipment someone can dream up.

Ward said he’s even built a few machines initially sketched on a napkin.

Once based in Concord, Turnkey in January bought the former Power Curbers building at 402 Bringle Ferry Road in Salisbury and spent $215,000 on repairs and rehabilitation. The company won the City of Salisbury’s first $25,000 incentive grant from the Industrial Building Revitalization program, designed to encourage companies to buy and fix up older, vacant buildings.

“This was the perfect building for us,” Ward said. “It just took some imagination to figure out that it was perfect.”

The building had been heavily used for years, and a water leak caused significant damage. Now bright and exceptionally clean — a requirement to lure business from medical suppliers — the building features new floors, walls, cabinets, conference rooms and offices.

The old Power Curbers cranes are still in place, but with a fresh coat of paint. The building’s 28-foot ceilings, which accommodate the cranes, helped attract Turnkey.

Robert Van Geons, Executive Director for RowanWorks Economic Development, said Ward has lived up to his promises. “He’s done a really great job in there, and he’s delivered on everything he said he would,” Van Geons said to Salisbury City Council, which toured the facility.

Bob Trundle, who brokered the real estate deal, said Turnkey and other high-tech firms represent a new direction for industry in Salisbury. “In this economy, we are out of the widget business. We cannot compete for commodities,” Trundle said. “The only way we will get back on the growth curve is to create value and productivity.”

While many companies create machines that assemble parts, few understand plastics and polymers like Turnkey, Ward said. All employees but the receptionist came from the plastics industry.

Customers from all over the world come to Turnkey to approve machines before they are shipped, Ward said.

Most customers are plastic molders that need a way to assemble plastic parts or attach plastic to metal. Turnkey establishes a process to build what they need. “There are all kinds of ways of doing it, but there is only one optimal way to do it,” Ward said.

Turnkey has a partnership with Branson Ultrasonics, which handles the company’s worldwide sales, and integrates Fanuc Robotics into its products.

Eventually, Turnkey would like to work with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and help train students in robotics, Ward said.

The staff of 12 takes up just a portion of the 4,400-square-foot building. “We hope to fill it up some day, but the work’s gotta come first,” Ward said.

While Turnkey does build fully automated machines that require no human intervention, most products are standalone machines that need an operator. The operator places the pieces, usually plastic, in the machine and then must close a door before the machine drills, inserts or welds. Most companies no longer hire skilled machinists to operate lathes or use other dangerous equipment. Instead, companies want a machine to carve the groove, place the brass insert or make the weld.

Turnkey builds a machine from cradle to grave, coming up with the initial design and, some weeks later, shipping it with an instruction manual and service warranty.

Ward said Turnkey is already seeing benefits from moving to Salisbury, in addition to the $25,000 incentive grant. Hosting a lunch for clients is easier with the number and variety of restaurants and caterers, he said. “Salisbury is such an underestimated town,” Ward said.

He said he hopes other companies will take advantage of the city’s grant program to buy and rehabilitate old, vacant buildings. “We can turn Salisbury into the automation capital of the South,” he said.

Business Profile:
Turnkey Technologies, Inc.
Owners: Tony Ward, Mike Brusich, Paul Galvin
Location: 402 Bringle Ferry Road Salisbury, NC 28144-4417 (Rowan County)
Contact: 704-245-6437 – Phone; 704-245-6429 - Fax
Website: www.turnkeytechnologies.net
History: Established and incorporated in May 1999. Employs 12 people with combined experience of 75 years in plastics industry.
Future: Plans to hire two more employees in the short-term and grow to capacity in the long-term in the former Power Curbers building. The company has never laid off an employee. “When we hire someone, we take it very, very seriously,” said company president Tony Ward.
Toughest year: 2009, the only year the business hasn’t grown. For a time, the firm had no orders. “Once we had cleaned and painted everything we could, we stood there and looked at each other and decided we would sink or swim as a team,” Ward said. Every employee followed the company from Concord to Salisbury. “I’m very proud of that,” Ward said.

For more information on this local business please contact Emily Clamp at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at eclamp@centralina.org.

Tony Ward explain the process of making machines that customers use to make things. The company called Turnkey Technologies which takes ideas from customers and creates a machince that fits their need.
Paul Galvin explains the process of a machine that puts a ring on a shaft on a molded plastic part for a manufacturing customer. Galvin is one of the co-owners of a company called Turnkey Technologies that makes machines for companys that make things


Expanding Airport Can Help Land More Business

Concord Regional Airport Needs Taller Air Traffic Control Tower

Concord Regional Airport has asked Concord City Council to match a grant that would help pay for a new air traffic control tower. The airport, which has been expanding to allow larger aircraft including 737s to land there, needs a taller air traffic control tower, city officials said.

“The tower is too short. We need a taller tower with more space,” said Dick Lewis, director of aviation for the city.

The airport is eligible for a $150,000 block grant between the city and the North Carolina Department of Aviation. The city would have to provide a matching grant of 10 percent or $16,667.

The funds will be used for continued design of a replacement air traffic control tower at a location to be determined. Due to Federal Aviation Administration Security regulations, the location of the proposed taller tower has to be changed to meet a 300-foot bomb blast radius requirement, according to city officials.

Lewis said the current tower is a level one tower and is not as busy as some of the other towers in the area. “We’re in a great spot because (air traffic controllers) try to retire out of Charlotte and then they come up here,” he said about staffing the tower.

Concord Regional Airport, near Interstate 85 and Poplar Tent Road, has 7,400 feet of runway and recently overlayed and strengthened its runways to support aircraft landing weights of up to 129,000 pounds.

Because it is a general aviation airport, it’s mainly charter and private aircraft that take off and land at Concord Regional – corporate jets and small, single-engine planes. Yet it’s also one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country. It is the busiest non-commercial airport in North Carolina and has a $110 million annual economic impact. The airport also supports 469 local jobs.

Lewis said the airport has about 62,000 departures and arrivals a year, on average and 7,500 reported passengers. A good number of those passengers are race teams.

Being home to NASCAR’s air force is one of Concord Regional’s niches. Several drivers and owners – including Jack Rousch, Mark Martin, Rick Hendrick, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton, to name a few – either own or lease hangars at the airport and house their personal planes there.

From an economic development standpoint, the airport has paid for itself, Mayor Scott Padgett said last month.

“When Electrolux came to Charlotte, their executives flew into our airport,” Padgett said. “Even when new investment is not directed to Cabarrus County, we still get the benefit because of that airport.” The city and county also gets tax revenue from the planes and the hangars at the airport.

Concord Regional opened in 1994, and the city has been making upgrades as it could feasibly could. It extended the runway to allow for heavier aircraft, like 737s, larger private jets and turboprop airplanes, to land there. But other upgrades are needed, like a new air traffic control tower.

Lewis said the airport needs a 60-foot tower, which would cost about $3 million, and an expansion of the current terminal building, mainly to accommodate passenger screening.

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

About 65,000 flights come in and out of Concord Regional Airport each year, making it one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country. With many race shops in Concord, many NASCAR teams keep their planes in hangars that ring the airport property.

User-Friendly = Used Frequently

Cabarrus County Unveils New User-Friendly Website

Cabarrus County launched a new website this month that county officials say will be more user-friendly and efficient in its delivery of information.

“Our (old) site is five-years-old and is absolutely a dinosaur in terms of websites,” said county communications director Aimee Hawkins. “A lot of technology has changed and a lot of expectations have changed. It was time for a change.”

The 2011 redesign of the Cabarrus County website, which can be viewed at www.cabarruscounty.us, will make finding information easier for users, according to county officials.

The new site is intended also to increase the transparency of county operations and showcase the elements that make Cabarrus County a desirable place to live and work. The new site reorganized county data, grouping it by resident, business, government, news and a new category called “I want to…” that links site users to various services including online payment, application and other options.

Hawkins said Cabarrus County is one of the most digitally savvy counties in North Carolina with more than 90 percent of households online.

“More than 25 percent of residents go to the county’s website regularly for their information about the county,” she said.

Cabarrus County also uses Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to update residents on county news and events. Click the “Stay Informed” link at the top left side of the county’s homepage to sign up for updates through Facebook, Twitter and other sites.

The new Cabarrus County website makes it easy to share information with others. Individuals can click the “Like” button to instantly share information with their online community.

The Cabarrus County website is accessible at www.cabarruscounty.us. All four branches of the Cabarrus County Public Library provide public computer terminals with Internet access.

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

Small Business Resource Alert!

New Ventures Business Development, Inc, Offers Low-Cost Website Classes in Anson County

No matter how small, every business needs a website. Nowadays, people are looking online for services and products. Consumers don’t grab the phone book like they used to. A Facebook page is not enough.

Now, small business owners in Anson County can create their own website and learn how to make the changes and updates themselves. A series of four workshops is being offered through New Ventures Business Development, Inc. There is an upfront fee of $40 per website and you must commit to complete all four classes. In addition to the $40 fee, domain names can be $12 per year and website hosting can range from $0.00 to $120 per year.

The workshops are being taught by Merrie Datin of The Forever Inn Bed and Breakfast. Over seven years ago, out of necessity, Datin learned how to create her business website and has since created websites for a number of Anson County businesses. Now, Datin is offering her expertise to Anson County business owners in these hands-on classes where each student will purchase their own domain name and create their own small business website.

“You can learn how to do it yourself and you won’t have to wait for someone to do it for you and send you a bill," Datin said. "And, very importantly, you will own your domain name and website.”

Datin also includes search engine and online directory submissions in the workshop and comments: “It is essential that businesses claim their listing on the major search engines and local directories so their local customers can find them.”

Workshops include 10 to 12 hours of class time (four class meetings) and are limited to a maximum of four to six people. The fee for the workshop is per website so the class can be taken by a couple or partners. You’ll have a published website at the end of the four workshops. Classes are held at South Piedmont Community College.

To sign up or for more details, contact Merrie Datin at (704) 695-1304.


May 2011
(Source: NC Employment Security Commission)
Unemployment Rate
Persons Employed
Centralina WDB Region
State of NC

For more information on employment, click here

Health Forum Seeks Solutions to Workforce Challenges

Centralina WDB and Competitive Workforce Alliance Partner With Institute for Emerging Issues

On Tuesday June 21, 2011, the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) held a community health forum hosted by the Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Competitive Workforce Alliance at South Piedmont Community College in Monroe (Union County).

The community health forum brought together community leaders to help develop, plan, and implement innovative workforce and economic development strategies to expand the healthcare sector.

The day kicked off with a welcome from Patrick Cronin from the Institute for Emerging Issues. This was followed by a presentation from Sarah Langer with the IEI on the challenges and opportunities for North Carolina’s health workforce. Alisa Debnam with the Council for Allied Health in North Carolina reviewed the state and regional health workforce data information available.

Despite the most recent economic downturn, the healthcare industry is still experiencing job growth and is one of only a handful of industries to do so. According to the North Carolina Health Professionals Data System, from 1999-2009 there was a 3 percent growth in North Carolina jobs – 46 percent were healthcare jobs. Because health service jobs are less vulnerable to outsourcing and economic recession, job growth in this sector is likely to continue, driven by demographic changes, population growth, and insurance expansion.

David Hollars, Executive Director of the Centralina Workforce Development Board spoke on the importance of meeting the need for healthcare delivery and discussed the many initiatives and real accomplishments made by the Competitive Workforce Alliance Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership, including job development and career growth.

Lawrence Mays with Bioinformatics & Genomics at UNC Charlotte discussed how to grow the regional healthcare assets that we already have into something bigger and even better.

The forum allowed plenty of time for attendees to break into groups and discuss other opportunities within the region and the barriers that will have to be faced. Attendees were also asked after a presentation from Carol Allen with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Laura Conner with Charlotte Area Health Education Center to think of solutions to addressing those barriers to growing the healthcare workforce. Strategies were identified to overcome the barriers and were focused on a local, state and national level.

The meeting concluded on a positive note and brought together new groups of stakeholders to work collaboratively to identify new solutions to address workforce and economic challenges as it related to the North Carolina healthcare workforce.

You can access many of the presentations made at the forum by clicking here.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board was a proud partner for this event and thanks the Institute for Emerging Issues for coming to the region and getting leaders focused on an important part of our workforce. For more information on the Institute for Emerging Issues or the healthcare forum, please visit www.ncsu.edu/iei/ or contact David Hollars at (704) 348-2717 or by e-mail at dhollars@centralina.org.

Community leaders came together at the Healthcare Forum held on Tuesday June 21, 2011 to help develop, plan and implement innovative workforce and economic strategies to expand the healthcare sector.

It’s a Pleasure to Serve!

Centralina WDB Announces New Board Officers

On Tuesday June 14, 2011, the Centralina Workforce Development Board held its June Board meeting at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kannapolis and voted on its newest officers.

Current Board Chair Bob VanGorden with BVG Consulting in Cabarrus County is stepping down as chair effective June 30, 2011. He has served on the Board since December 2002 and has been an active Board chair for the past 6 years. Bob will continue to serve on the Board as a representative from Cabarrus County.

The Board voted in Janet Hudson from Brooks Food Group, Inc. in Union County as the new Board Chair. Janet has served on the Board since May 2006 and has been serving as the Board’s Vice Chair for the past 3 years and also serves on the Executive Planning Committee.


The Board also voted in Bob Stowe with Columbus McKinnon in Anson County as the Board’s new Vice Chair. Bob has been serving on the Board since August 2000 and also has been an active member of the Executive Planning Committee.

Congratulations to Janet Hudson and Bob Stowe for their willingness to be the Board’s new leadership team. And thank you to all our Board members for their continued support and guidance for making the Centralina Workforce Development Board - The Competitive Force in Our Global Economy.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board is in YOUR Community!

During the month of June 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 Bridging Business and Workforce Development Conference, the Institute for Emerging Issues Healthcare Forum, and the CAFÉ event detailed in this e-newsletter, here are some the activities of the Board members and WDB staff for June.

Centralina Workforce Development Board meeting - held on Tuesday June 14 at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kannapolis. Information on regional initiatives and updates on other key workforce issues were also provided. The Board had the opportunity to hear updates on two major workforce initiatives sponsored by the Board in our region during the past two years: The Competitive Workforce Alliance Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership (RSP) and the Re-Employment Bridge Institute (RBI). Funding for each of these projects will be coming to an end in 2011. Melinda McVadon with the McLynn Group (RSP project managers) detailed the accomplishments, challenges, and keys to success with the partnership. Nick Gennett, Keri Allman, and Jeanie Moore with Rowan-Cabarrus CC provided a summative report on the RBI and the very successful Bridging Business and Workforce Development Conference held earlier in June.

The Board approved funding for current WIA services to provide WIA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Services in PY 2011. Committee reports were presented. A total of 6 Incumbent Worker applications were approved for submission to NC Department of Commerce for funding consideration. Centralina WDB Business Services Coordinator Vail Carter presented results from the most recent Business Comfort index survey. Information on regional initiatives (CAFÉ, Energy Careers event, Governor’s Awards), current labor market information, and updates on other key workforce issues were also provided.

Janet Hudson (Brooks Food Group – Union County) was elected Chair of the Centralina WDB for the next fiscal year (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012). Bob Stowe (Columbus-McKinnon – Anson County) was elected Vice-Chair.

Centralina WDB JobLink Career Center Managers meeting – held on Tuesday June 14 at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kannapolis. Lincoln manager Judi Morton and Rowan manager Debbie Davis reviewed how they conduct local management team and partners meetings and shared examples of data driven forms that they use to share information. Managers also discussed the chartering process suspension and usage of JobLink enhancement funds.

College Tech Prep Institute presentation – made on Thursday July 16 at Anson Senior High School in Wadesboro. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars made the presentation for over 40 Institute participants (school counselors, career and technical education teachers, career development coordinators, school system administrators, and community college staff. David provided information on the status of the economy, Anson County’s connection to the Charlotte USA region, and the importance of education in building a strong workforce.

Allied Health Regional Skills Partnerships – Final Learning Exchange – held on Tuesday June 7 at NC Workforce Development Training Center in Raleigh. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars led the Competitive Workforce Alliance’s team (Melinda McVadon and Donna North, The McLynn Group; Joann Spaleta and Laura Connor, Charlotte AHEC; and Susan Kennedy, Presbyterian Novant). Exchange included presentations by all four partnerships, round table discussions, and presentation of new allied health data.

US Congressman Mel Watt - Grants Conference – held on Monday June 6 at Winston-Salem State University. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender participated. Conference assisted individuals, governments and organizations in applying for Federal grants and understanding the Federal grants process. Federal agencies represented were:

  • US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • US Dept of Health and Human Services
  • US Dept of Energy
  • US Dept of Homeland Security
  • US Dept of Commerce Economic Development Administration
  • US Dept of Transportation
  • US Dept of Education

Union County JobReady Partnership meeting – held on Thursday June 16 at Goodrich Corporation in Monroe. David Hollars, Centralina WDB Executive Director, attended this meeting and provided a summary of the recently held Building Bridges and Workforce Development conference.

Workforce Development Boards - Business Representatives meeting – held on Wednesday June 15 at High County Workforce Development Board offices in Boone. Centralina WDB Business Services Coordinator Vail Carter participated in this meeting. Vail conducted a training session on use of the e-tools available through the U.S. Department of Labor and disseminated information from the Business Services Leadership Conference held May 3-4 in Washington, D.C.

Centralina Economic Development Commission Advanced Manufacturing Awards event – held on Thursday June 23 at Hilton University Place. Centralina WDB Business Services Coordinator Vail Carter attended this event. Vail made short remarks during the program on behalf of the Centralina Workforce Development Board. Networked with several community partners and businesses

NC Workforce Development Leadership Academy – Learning Network Exchange – held June 14-15 in Winston-Salem. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars and Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender participated in this professional development session.

NC Workforce Development Board Directors Council meeting – held on Thursday June 9 and Friday June 10 at the High Country WDB offices in Boone. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars participated in this meeting involving NC Department of Commerce – Division of Workforce Development staff members.

Central Piedmont Community College – SEED camp – held on Monday June 27. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender participated in the final day of the annual youth camp for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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

  • Conducted SHARE Network JobLink Access Point volunteer training for HOLLA, Inc. in Morven (Anson County) - June 8
  • Conducted final monitoring of Incumbent Workforce Development Program training contract with Cardinal Glass in Mooresville (Iredell County) - June 10
  • Resource development meeting with Heather Perusal and Michael Horn of Central Piedmont Community College’s Development Office in Charlotte – June 27
  • Attended the North Carolina Makes it Real quarterly meeting at Max Daetwyler Corporation in Huntersville. Networked with several businesses, training providers and workforce professionals – June 28
  • Conducted final monitoring of Incumbent Workforce Development Program training contract with Steele Rubber Company in Denver (Lincoln County) – June 29

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.


A New Opportunity for North Carolina’s Workforce

NC Employment Security Commission Roles Out Pilot Program in Cabarrus County

With the pilot roll-out by the N.C. Employment Security Commission (ESC) of a new program called Opportunity North Carolina, or, ONC, employers in designated counties can now get to know and train a potential employee for up to six weeks before making a hiring decision.

ONC is currently operating in Alamance, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Durham, Nash and Scotland counties. So far, 19 formerly unemployed workers have been hired because of the program. ESC unveiled the ONC program on Monday June 27, 2011 in Cabarrus County at Racing Electronics on Derita Road in Concord.

“We are excited to present such a creative opportunity for employers and those looking for work in Cabarrus County,” said ESC Chairman, Lynn R. Holmes. “In the pilot phase, it has shown us that it provides employers and unemployed job seekers a great way to learn about each other. In addition, the ONC participant acquires new skills and is fully prepared for the first day on the job, should they be hired by the training employer.”

"So far it's interesting," said Tommy Dunham, who is in his fifth week of training at Racing Electronics in Concord. "It is valuable information that I'm learning here, to work here or even at another facility somewhere," said Dunham.

One of two ONC trainees at Racing Electronics, he says the program gives potential employees a new skill set as alternative to going back to school.

"Probably the best way to go if you have no training or schooling from the community colleges or anything. It's a good way to learn," said Dunham.

James says companies that participate in ONC will be satisfied.

"They get to know the trainee and then decide at the end of the training from one to six weeks if they'd like to hire [them]," said James.

Racing Electronics has already hired three new employees since they joined the program two months ago. Managers there say every employer should get involved.

"I think they'd be very surprised at the quality of people they can find," said sales manager Don Stanley.

To take part in ONC, employers must have a legitimate job opening and agree to train a program participant for a period of one to six weeks. The employer is not required to pay anything. Workers Compensation coverage is provided by the ESC, as is a weekly training allowance of $100 for ONC participants. The training allowance is provided to defray some costs, such as travel to the job training site. At any point during the six-week period, the employer can make a decision to hire the person or end the agreement. Individuals volunteer for ONC through an ESC pilot office.

For more information on the Opportunity North Carolina program, please contact Carolyn Mays at the Cabarrus County JobLink Career Center at (704) 786-3183.

Senator Hartsell also spoke at the event introducing the new Opportunity North Carolina program.
The individuals who have been hired by Racing Electronics through the ONC Program and the ones currently enrolled pose for a quick picture.

Expanding for Knowledge

Mitchell Community College Holds Dedication Ceremony for New Mooresville Center

It’s finally ready! Mooresville’s new educational showplace – Mitchell Community College’s (MCC) $5 million classroom addition – was unveiled to the public on Tuesday June 28, 2011.

Dedication ceremonies for the 30,000-square-foot classroom building at Academy Street and Iredell Avenue began at 4 p.m. The public was invited, and tours of the facility were offered. Centralina WDB Executive Director David Hollars participated in the festivities.

The latest addition to Mitchell CC’s Mooresville campus was originally scheduled to be completed by late 2009 but design changes and new wastewater runoff requirements by the town delayed groundbreaking until March 2010.

The impressive new building is the third expansion to the fast-growing Mooresville campus since it began serving students in 1984. A 2003 expansion added seven classrooms and an updated reception area to the site, which has experienced about 40 percent increase in enrollment over the last three years.

The new building includes two science labs, a cyber café, 12 staff offices, 14 classrooms and a multi-purpose auditorium/lecture hall allowing the center to seat another 1,200 students.

“It’s essentially a classroom building and we are excited to increase capacity and quality of offering to the citizens of Mooresville and South Iredell, and hope to continue to expand,” said MCC President Doug Eason.

Along with the new building, a 70-space parking lot was added across from the Central United Methodist Church.

The expansion was funded in part by the late Grady Shoe, longtime owner of Mooresville Ford Mercury, who donated $50,000 and a $250,000 gift in 2007 from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation.

The brunt of the cost, however, is being borne by a construction grant from the N.C. Community College System and a 2005 education bond referendum in Iredell County.

“We were on budget and actually came in under budget with the project,” said Eason.

Classes are expected to be held in the new building for the fall semester.

For more information on Mitchell Community College and their Mooresville facilities, please visit www.mitchellcc.edu or contact Brett Fansler, Dean of the Mooresville campus at (704) 978-5410.

Dr. Doug Eason, President of Mitchell Community College spoke at the dedication ceremony on Tuesday June 28, 2011.

Readying the Mind for the Rush

Stanly Community College Prepares Counselors for a Surge in Online Training

Recently dozens of counselors from across the state were invited to Stanly Community College (SCC) for a special training program offered by ReadyMinds. The ReadyMinds Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) training program is designed to address the specific challenges and concerns involved with engaging in distance counseling and to help counselors incorporate distance methods into their current services to students.

ReadyMinds is the leading provider of distance career counseling and has a national staff of counselors representing all areas of the country. Their mission is to enhance the way individuals select, prepare for, and manage their careers; and aid them in achieving personal fulfillment through career success.

The North Carolina Community College System is the third largest in the nation and the use of technology has increased dramatically over the last decade. Additionally, Stanly CC has experienced nearly 54 percent of its student population enrolled exclusively for online classes, with nearly 89 percent taking at least one online class.

“As the number of online students increases, so does the need for services provided to our online students. As a result, the need for standards of practice and specialized counselor training has become imperative,” explained Delia Carriker, Coordinator of Counseling & Career Services.”

For more information, contact Delia Carriker, Stanly CC’s Coordinator of Counseling & Career Services at (704) 991-0161 or dcarriker9847@stanly.edu.

Twenty-six counselors representing ten of the North Carolina Community Colleges were on campus recently for training. The ReadyMinds DCC training program is designed to address the specific challenges and concerns involved with engaging in distance counseling and to help counselors incorporate distance methods into their current services to students.

NC Research Campus Update

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

Murdock Research Institute Expands
The David H. Murdock Research Institute has purchased the assets of the Immune Tolerance Institute Inc. on the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

The Murdock Research Institute says the deal will allow it to enhance its research capabilities into biomarkers, which help predict the course of disease progression and the likelihood of an individual’s response to changes in diet.

The Immune Tolerance Institute is San Francisco-based nonprofit that seeks to find therapies for the range of diseases related to the human immune system. It has had a joint venture with the Murdock Research Institute at the Kannapolis campus during the last year. The handful of workers at the site will now be Murdock Research Institute employees.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Dole Food Co. Chairman and California billionaire David Murdock created the 350-acre research campus in 2008 as a public-private partnership focused on health, nutrition and agriculture.

Research Campus Starts Alzheimer’s Project
Duke University’s medical research study based at the N.C. Research Campus has announced plans for a long-term Alzheimer’s disease prevention study.

The MURDOCK Study in Kannapolis is recruiting older people who do not have memory problems for the new project.

People age 55 and older who have not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and do not have untreated psychiatric conditions, such as serious depression, can sign up. Untreated psychiatric conditions can affect memory.

Called the Memory Health Study, this is the latest project initiated under the umbrella of Duke’s MURDOCK Study at the Research Campus.

The project’s lead researchers are Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer, professor of psychiatry at Duke University and director of the Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and Dr. Allen Roses, professor of neurobiology and director of the Deane Drug Discovery Institute.

They are working together to improve Alzheimer’s disease prevention and discovery.

Welsh-Bohmer said by working with the MURDOCK Study team, which has a well-established network of partners and community participants, researchers “have the potential to radically change the game in Alzheimer’s research.”

Volunteers who meet the eligibility criteria for the memory project will join the MURDOCK Study Community Registry and Biorepository. They will contribute basic information about themselves, their medical history and samples of blood and urine.

Additionally, for the purposes of the memory project, enrollment will include tests for vision, speech, thinking, concentration and memory.

A typical visit will take up to 90 minutes.

Individuals who have already joined the MURDOCK Study will not be re-contacted for this new project because of eligibility criteria.

Interested individuals should call the MURDOCK Study office at 704-250-5861 or email murdock-study@duke.edu to schedule a one-time study visit at a location in Kannapolis or Cabarrus County.

More than 170,000 North Carolinians suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Project leaders said they hope by recruiting a cohort of people from the Kannapolis and Cabarrus County region, they will work toward understanding the progression of events leading to Alzheimer’s disease.

The MURDOCK Study is named for David Murdock, billionaire Dole Food Co. chairman who founded the Research Campus and pledged $35 million to Duke University to launch the study.

The name stands for Measurement to Understand Reclassification of Disease Of Cabarrus/Kannapolis.

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.

4th Annual Career Academy Is A Hit!

CAFÉ Program Introduces Stanly County Educators to Business and Industry

The CAFÉ (Career Academy for Educators) Program held on June 21-23, 2011, was a huge success. The CAFÉ program offered Stanly County educators a chance to become familiar with the many opportunities offered by Stanly Community College; but perhaps more importantly, the program helped educators and local employers identify the educational and social skills necessary for employees to become successful within their company. The CAFÉ program is sponsored by the Centralina Workforce Development Board, Stanly Community College, Stanly County Chamber of Commerce, and the Stanly County School System. Centralina WDB Youth Program Specialist Natasha Pender participated in all 3 days of the program.

CAFÉ participants are key players in public school education, post-secondary education, and the business sector; each having access to a vital network that promotes a free exchange of ideas in which to improve future endeavors for all involved.

CAFÉ was introduced to Stanly County educators by the Stanly Career Readiness Taskforce in 2007. The planning, execution and sponsorship of the annual event is provided by Stanly Community College, Stanly Chamber of Commerce, Stanly County School System and the Centralina Workforce Development Board. Marion Kinley, Director of Business & Industry Training at Stanly CC, Kathy Gardner, Dean of Continuing Education at Stanly CC, Terri Dunlap, Director of Continuing Education Records and Registration at Stanly CC, and Shannon Batchelor, Career and Technical Education Director for Stanly County Schools comprised the committee responsible for implementing the CAFÉ program.

CAFÉ offered participants a glimpse into some of the businesses that call Stanly County home. The three day event allowed teachers to earn continuing education credits. During CAFÉ, participants toured and were given presentations on the following Stanly County businesses: Chicago Tube & Iron, Home Savings & Loan, Stanly County Airport, Preformed Line Products, Pfeiffer University, and Monarch.

Tom Ramseur, Centralina WDB member and Director of the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce is one of the primary sponsors and coordinators of this event. He stated “I don’t believe that there is any other [Workforce Development] program which can reach this amount of educators each year and make an impact in such a positive way. This new knowledge of their experiences in CAFÉ will impact so many students, teachers and parents each year.”

Mr. Ramseur was not alone in his positive response to the program. Stanly County School teacher Penny Breslin had this to say of her experience with CAFÉ: “A goldmine of pertinent information that can easily be passed along to students, teachers, and other stakeholders who are involved in career and/or economic decisions in Stanly County. Yes, would recommend to others! Extremely informative! A successful program incorporates good communication, engaging learning experiences, and mutual respect. CAFÉ had it all! It’s always nice to have more information to counsel students on career choices, and the economic impact of which careers they choose. Thanks again for sponsoring CAFÉ!”

The three-day event concluded at the Albemarle City Hall and was complete with several more learning opportunities. Participants heard from Tom George, Director of the Small Business Center at Stanly Community College and also from Betty O’Neal, an instructor at Stanly County Community College. They talked about opportunities available at the college. Participants took part in “Speed Networking Sessions” – an opportunity to visit with business representatives, ask questions and learn what opportunities may be available to students.

The featured guest speaker for the concluding session on Thursday was Bob VanGorden, Chairman of the Centralina Workforce Development Board. Bob spoke about the importance of the work that teachers do and how the CAFÉ experience gives them an opportunity to be able to promote Stanly County business in a new and exciting way.

The Career Academy for Educators is a great way to connect business and industry with schools and education.

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

Participants of the CAFÉ event pose for a quick picture. Youth Specialist, Natasha Pender with the Centralina Workforce Development Board also attended the event.
The 21 educators that attended the CAFÉ event identified the educational and social skills necessary for their students to become successful in the workforce by hearing from local businesses, about what they look for in employees and the skills they need them to have.


Business and Educators Partner for Our Youth’s Future

Lowe’s Awards $25,000 Grant to Statesville High School

Lowe’s recently awarded Statesville High School in Iredell County with a substantial grant. Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation awarded the school a $25,000 grant to outfit its classrooms with additional technology.

The school will purchase six additional Smartboards, interactive whiteboard systems, said Principal Larry Rogers.

With the additional Smartboards, 36 classrooms will be outfitted with the boards, according to Instructional Facilitator Traci Fox. She said the boards have and will continue to increase student interaction and engagement.

Rogers said providing classrooms with more technology is a task they’ve been working on for some time. “We’re well on our way to completing a project where every classroom has a Smartboard,” Rogers said.“We’re very thankful to Lowe’s, especially in these tough economic times -- it couldn’t come at a better time.”

Rogers said the boards will continue to advance student learning. “We believe that we need to move children to the 21st century and having Smartboards is 21st century learning,” he said.

Lowe’s Human Resources Manager Terry Love said the foundation has earmarked $300,000 for community improvement and public school projects. “Lowe’s appreciates education is a cornerstone to building bright futures,” he said. “We’re all about reinvesting in our community,” he added.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina WDB Youth Council are proud to see local businesses reaching out to the region’s youth, the region’s growing workforce. The Board congratulates Statesville High School for receiving this exciting grant for their school. For more information on the grant, on the Centralina Youth Council, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.


Racing Towards Greater Chances in Life

Iredell-Statesville Schools Auto Tech Teams Land in Victory Lane

For the seventh straight year, the Iredell-Statesville Schools (I-SS) Automotive Technology Center won the Ford AAA Automotive Skills Competition. The state competition was held last month at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, and four teams from Auto Tech competed placing first, third, fourth and seventh.

Brandon Kasch of Lake Norman High and Karl Bittenger of West Iredell High earned first-place honors. Their instructor was Preston Frye. “I was pretty stoked,” Kasch, 17, said.

Jordan Hall and Jordan Spencer, both of North High, finished in third place, while Michael Mey and Travis Runkles, both of South High, were fourth and Nicholas Whitson and Derek Horton, both of West High, were seventh.

The teams won a combined $174,000 in scholarship money for their finishes.

Competing teams were tasked with performing diagnostic tests and repairing a “bugged” car. Each car had 20 “bugs” that had to be fixed within 90 minutes.

Kasch and Bittenger advance to compete in the National Ford AAA Auto Skills competition in Michigan, where they will take on 50 other teams from across the country. “We’re going to take home first place,” Kasch said. “I seriously feel we can win nationals.”

Iredell-Statesville Schools has placed as high as fourth place in the national competition, according to instructor Dwayne Troutman. Instructors are Ashley Pope, Troutman, Shane Fox, Rusty Parker and Martin Paige.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina Youth Council are strong partners with Iredell-Statesville Schools. 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 or on the Auto Tech program, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or npender@centralina.org.

Brandon Kasch holds the First Place trophy high after he and Karl Bittinger, both students in the Irdell-Statesville Schools Auto Tech Program, won the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Compitition at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Celebrating with Brandon and Karl, was their coach, Preston Frye (left) who kept the team motivated. They also won 3rd., 4th., and 7th. place awards at the recent compitition.


School is NOT Out for the Summer

Union County Public Schools Holds Summer Leadership Conference for Educators

Now that the school bells have been silenced for the summer, Union County Public Schools principals can focus their sights on preparing for next year.

Part of this preparation includes utilizing the summer months to help sharpen the pencils of learning. One tool in this effort is the annual UCPS Summer Leadership Conference, a tradition that has been around as long as the school system.

The conference, held this year at Parkwood High School on Tuesday June 21 and Wednesday June 22, 2011, offered professional development for principals, assistant principals and central office administrators, on topics such as how to incorporate globalization into the curriculum, how to reduce the dropout rate and boost the graduation rate, and how to improve education through innovations in teaching.

The focus of this year’s conference centered on UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis’ initiative called GIG (Globalization, Innovation and Graduation). He began the conference touching on leadership skills, using the leadership styles of President Abraham Lincoln.

“We need to learn from those who have gone before us,” he said. “It’s been said that if we don’t study and learn from history, we’ll repeat the same mistakes.”

Davis mentioned six main leadership tactics that he gleaned from Donald Phillips' book “Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times.” These are: preach a vision and continually reaffirm it; set goals and be result-oriented; honesty and integrity are the best policies; exercise a strong hand - be decisive; persuade rather than coerce; and get out of the office and circulate among the troops.

As part of the globalization focus, Jennifer Vollmann from New Global Citizens and Penny McGuire from World View offered insight into how to bring more globalization into schools. Vollmann informed participants about opportunities to combine service learning and globalization for students in their schools, while McGuire discussed ways to infuse globalization into the standard course of study.

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a school system to educate him or her to be globally competent and competitive,” McGuire said.

Vollmann recognized Piedmont High School students for their Hands of Hope project that raised money for the national effort, House of Hope, a project established for children with AIDS in Uganda. Elizabeth Brewer, 16, a rising junior; Kiersten Porter, 17, and Maggie VonCannon, 17, both rising seniors, presented Vollmann with a check for $300 that was raised from selling donuts and T-shirts.

Some of the school system’s administrators, Central Services staff and Instructional Technology Specialists offered “breakout sessions,” including those that addressed integrating and understanding the new social media and ways to prevent students from dropping out of school.

Also during the conference, 52 schools were recognized for their efforts to be globally aware. Nineteen schools were designated as a UCPS International School, the highest ranking offered. Thirty-one schools were named UCPS Global Partners Schools and two schools were given the UCPS Goodwill Ambassadors School designation.

The school with the most points for the second year in a row was Cuthbertson High School, with 86.62 points. New Salem Elementary and Porter Ridge Middle schools had the next highest scores, respectively, with New Salem getting 83.7 and Porter Ridge Middle getting 83.2. This is also the second year that New Salem has been named an International School.

The designations were based on a points system, with 75 points or above getting the highest designation, 50 to 74 points winning the second designation and 35 to 49 points attaining the third designation.

The points system allows schools to earn points based on such things as travel of staff and students, having cultural awareness days, international days and different strategies and components of their school improvement plan that are designed to promote globalization and global education.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina WDB Youth Council are both strong partners with Union County Public Schools and is happy to see educators thinking creatively on how to reach our youth, our future workforce. For more information on the Summer Leadership Conference, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.

Bill Breckenridge, principal at Stallings Elementary, shares his ideas on ways to prevent students from dropping out of school during the UCPS annual Summer Leadership Conference.


Education + Skills = Your Future

Students at South Stanly High School Show Off their Classroom Knowledge and Win Medals

A group of students from South Stanly High School recently took part in a Skills USA competition in Greensboro. “South took home a combined eight medals,” Instructor Bill Sorenson said. “Once again, the Bulls contingent proved to be one of the strongest schools at the highly competitive event.”

Senior Dakota Barfield took first place in Nurse Assisting. “I had to take vital signs, measure intake and output of a liquid and do a one person adult CPR,” Barfield said.

Barfield was told at the competition that he had placed second, but found out a few days later that he had actually won first place. “It’s a very out-of-body experience,” Barfield said. “I’ll be going to Kansas City to compete on a national level.”

Senior Kyle Burleson also earned first place in his field, Computer Programming. “They had a little trouble setting up my competition, and it ended up being a written test,” Burleson said. Burleson said he felt “pretty good” about placing first. “I was really happy about that,” he said.

Senior Jordan Livingston placed third in Electronics Technology, where the competitors were required to solder, troubleshoot a circuit and put together electronics kits. “It feels good to have placed, just not as good as winning,” Livingston said.

Junior Evan Faulkner also competed in Electronics Technology, placing fourth. “It was fun, but it was challenging,” Faulkner said.

Senior Marshall Hervey, Junior Tyler Blalock and Sophomore Kaitlin Wood competed as a team in Digital Media, taking third place. “We had to make a website, a video, a public service announcement and a graphic presentation,” Wood said. “We didn’t place last, which is always a good thing. It’s not first, but it’s not last.”

Junior Chelsea Piccolo earned second place in Principles of Technology. “It was supposed to be a contest with a project and presentation, but they changed it at the last second to a written test,” Piccolo said, adding that it “feels good” to have placed second.

Skills USA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board and the Centralina Youth Council are strong partners with Stanly County Schools and are proud to see their partners reaching out in innovative ways to inspire our youth and better the community. For more information on the Centralina Youth Council or on this program, please contact Natasha Pender at (704) 348-2725 or by e-mail at npender@centralina.org.

These students took part in the Skills USA competition: Dakota Barfield, Chelsea Piccolo, Evan Faulkner, Kaitlin Wood, Tyler Blalock, Jordan Livingston, Marshall Hervey and Kyle Burleson.


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



What's Happening in the Region?

Comings, Goings, Kudos…


  • Sheila Crunkleton has been named Executive Director of the Union County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Crunkleton has worked with the Union County chapter in fund development for more than three years. She previously served on the board of directors.
  • Linda Little, Union County Public Schools Exceptional Children’s Transition Specialist, received the Lighthouse Award presented by the Council for Exceptional Children North Carolina Division on Career Development and Transition. The Lighthouse Award is given to an individual or group that has made a difference through commitment and dedication to ensuring that all students with disabilities in North Carolina make a successful transition from school to adult life.
  • David Treme will retire on August 1, 2011 after more than 25 years as Manager for the City of Salisbury.
  • Erskine Smith has been named the Town Manager of Mooresville. Smith has worked for the town for 23 years and has twice stepped into the town manager position on an interim basis.
  • D. Dontae Latson has resigned as the Director of Union County Department of Social Services. His last day is July 1. After that, he assumes a new position as Presbyterian Hospital Behavioral Health Services director.

  • Jerry Chandler, Vice-President at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has announced that we will retire from the college effective October 1, 2011. We wish Jerry all the best in his retirement.

  • Michael Keith has resigned as the Executive Director of the Statesville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Keith was hired in February 2010 to replace Libba Barrineau.


• Centralina Workforce Development Board meeting
Tuesday August 9, 2011 – 4:30 PM
Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce – Kannapolis

• Centralina JobLink Career Center Managers quarterly meeting
Tuesday August 9, 2011 – 3:00 PM
Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce – Kannapolis

• Centralina Youth Council meeting
Thursday September 22, 2011 – 10:00 AM
Boys and Girls Club - Concord

• Centralina WDB Executive Planning Committee meeting
Tuesday July 19, 2011 – 12:30 PM
The Floor Pavilion - Concord

• Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership
Thursday July 21, 2011 – 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Location to Be Announced
More Information: Emily Clamp 704.348.2732

• Energy Careers for a Bright Future
Tuesday August 9, 2011
CPCC Harris Conference Center
Contact: 704.330.6097
Information: Seating is limited, so register early.

• Identifying Your Career Options
Tuesday July 5, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Stand Out from the Competition
Tuesday July 5, 2011 – 6:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Interview Techniques
Wednesday July 6, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Looking for Work at 50+
Thursday July 7, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Resume Clinic
Tuesday July 12, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Meet the Dean
Wednesday July 13, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Resume Clinic
Saturday July 16, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Interview Techniques
Monday July 18, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Stand Out from the Competition
Monday July 18, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Looking for Work at 50+
Monday July 18, 2011 – 6:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Online Job Hunting
Tuesday July 19, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Looking for Work with a Criminal Record
Tuesday July 19, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Identifying Your Career Options
Tuesday July 19, 2011 – 6:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Is It Time for More Training?
Wednesday July 20, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Understanding Credit Reports in a Work Search
Wednesday July 20, 2011 – 11:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Resume Clinic
Thursday July 21, 2011 – 11:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Letter Writing for the Job Seeker
Thursday July 21, 2011 – 2:00 PM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

• Resume Clinic
Thursday July 28, 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 July 29, 2011 – 9:00 AM
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – NCRC Kannapolis
More Information: 704.216.3500

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


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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