There is an old phrase that says, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” House of Raeford Farms in Mocksville is doing just that after the central portion of the chicken processing plant off Eaton Road was heavily damaged by a fire on December 14th.
While investigators and insurance adjusters have investigated the cause of the fire and determined the extent of the damage, House of Raeford has maintained its commitment to its 150 employees by continuing to pay their normal wage until further notice.
More Than 100 Local Families are Grateful for Company Support
House of Raeford, a family-owned company, made that same generous commitment to its employees last February when the Wallace, NC plant burned to the ground. Over about a two-and-a-half month period, employees were paid their regular wages until they could be relocated to the company’s Rose Hill, NC plant or decided to leave for other opportunities. The Wallace location is scheduled to reopen this summer.
“Bob Johnson, the CEO of House of Raeford, often says ‘“the company and the buildings are just brick and mortar but what really makes this company are the people.”’ Nothing could be truer today, and we appreciate the patience of our employees as we work to provide some settlement to their unexpected situation,” said Dave Witter, manager of corporate sustainability and communications.
Such a commitment to employees is a rarity in the business world today, and the employees at the Mocksville location do not take it for granted.
“I genuinely appreciate the effort House of Raeford is making to show its employees that they are valued members of a team by continuing to pay all of our salaries even while the plant is not operational,” said Angela Delk, quality supervisor. “I know for a fact that some of the bigger companies would have sent people home with nothing but a shallow promise to rehire once the plant is reopened. I think this is one of the benefits of working for a family-owned business and I am very grateful.”
“House of Raeford has been amazing in paying us while the plant is down,” said Roxana Norris, team lead.
Latia Melton, a machine operator, agreed, saying “House of Raeford has been amazing to us and has shown how much they care for us. We are a family here at the chicken plant.”
Micah Harris, a machine operator, added, “House of Raeford is what a work family is about.”
“You hate for something tragic to happen in order for everyone to realize what a great company you work for, but it’s times like these that show you how a company really feels about you and that you are important,” said Bobbi Krieger, human resources manager. “I think all of our employees understand that they are very valued.”
House of Raeford Uses Down Time to Provide Workforce Training
The company’s mission, “To do the right thing in all things that we do” is also evident in its effort to offer employees multiple opportunities to expand their skills and improve their lives while the plant is rebuilt. According to Bobbi Krieger, human resources manager, employees have many options available.
Travis Hoeben, the plant’s chaplain, will be teaching Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to interested employees. Employed by House of Raeford through a partnership with the Corporate Chaplains of America program, he also assists employees with personal, work-related, family, or financial issues and can be called anytime, day or night, in a crisis.
Lisa raft, a representative of The College of Davidson and Davie Counties, attended an employee meeting to share information about GED and ESL classes, Career Readiness Certification, and continuing education and college classes.
Jill Hidalji, Wellbeing Muse Advisory Career & Wellbeing Coach, will be conducting training for team leaders.
The company will also be conducting in-house training and team building exercises.
Additionally, Krieger reached out to the Winston Salem chapter of the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) for added support. They put her in touch with Holly McDaniel of The Resource, which is assisting employees who are interested in temporary jobs while the plant is closed, and Goodwill Industries which will be offering outplacement services.
“In addition to wages, we have provided the resources and training opportunities, and it will be up to our employees to take advantage of them,” said Krieger, adding that sign-ups have been good.
“House of Raeford a Shining Example of Humanity”
Terry Bralley, president of Davie County Economic Development, has been impressed with the steps House of Raeford has taken to care for its employees and appreciates its presence in Davie County.
“I think House of Raeford stands as a shining example of humanity, with a reputable character for a company and employer – the kind of right stuff this community is made of and delivers on,” he said.
“Our employees are our family, and we don’t want to let our family down,” said Marty Gautreau, general manager. “We want to take care of our folks as if they were part of our family. We have to continue to rebuild the operation. We don’t have an exact timeline, but we are going to be back in business and processing chicken hopefully in the very near future.”
The plant has begun demolition of the damaged portion and will reopen as quickly as possible.
“I have worked for House of Raeford for many years and in many different plants. This company means a lot to me and I believe in us,” said Stephen Mixon, operations manager. “I truly have been blessed to be a part of their management team all these years. We are going to rebuild and build stronger.”
Krieger added, “Once you weather something like this together, you become a very tight group. It’s going to be good when we reopen.”
About House of Raeford Farms
House of Raeford Farms, Inc. is one of the nation’s top ten largest chicken processors, providing ready-to-cook and further processed chicken products to the foodservice, retail, and export markets. The company is family-owned and operated and based out of Rose Hill, North Carolina with additional facilities in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. House of Raeford Farms FLOCK is the company’s non-profit arm that aims to help people in the communities in which House of Raeford operates through youth development, hunger relief, and other programs. Last year FLOCK donated over $1.1 million and approximately 212,000 pounds of chicken to people in need across the Southeastern United States. Visit HouseofRaeford.com for more information.
Two Davie County Companies Listed on JUST 100 Ranking
Forbes magazine, in partnership with Just Capital, recently released its JUST list of the top-100 U.S. corporations, and two Davie County companies, VF Corp (85) and Ingersoll Rand (97) made the list.
The nation’s 1000 largest publicly traded companies were evaluated on “how they perform on the issues Americans care about most.”
Those issues include worker pay and treatment, customer respect, product quality and environmental impact. Just Capital surveyed 10,000 respondents in 2017 and more than 72,000 over the past three years.
The top 10 are Intel, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Microsoft, IBM, Accenture, Cisco Systems, Alphabet, Salesforce.com and Symantec.
“Business can and should be a unifying force for good in America today, but what it needs is a new North Star,” said Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital. “That is what these rankings represent. By trusting in the American people to define what really matters when it comes to measuring business performance, we think we can help breathe life into the vision of a more just economy that better serves the broader best interests of society.”
“The second annual JUST 100 list serves as a report card for corporate America, providing unbiased data about how corporations are performing on the issues Americans care most about,” said Forbes editor Randall Lane. “At a time when corporate America, as a whole, faces low public approval, the companies in the JUST 100 provide an example for their peers on how to win back the trust of the American people.”
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation is an American worldwide apparel and footwear company founded in 1899 and headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. The company’s more than 30 brands are organized into five product categories: Outdoor & Action Sports, Jeanswear, Imagewear, Sportswear and Contemporary Brands.
The company has operated a distribution center in Mocksville since 1988. Formerly Lee Jeans, the VF Jeanswear distribution center employs more than 400 people in Davie County.
About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand is a global leader in compressed air and gas systems and services, power tools and fluid and material handling equipment.
The Mocksville plant opened in 1965 and began machining rotary components for air compressors. Since then, the Mocksville team has manufactured assemblies and components for a number of products within Ingersoll Rand’s product portfolio. The plant has experienced tremendous growth over the last several years as select assembly operations for Trane and Thermo King equipment were moved to the Mocksville plant.
Mocksville employs a workforce of 400 full-time associates.
Congratulations VF Corp. and Ingersoll Rand for making the list. We are proud that you are part of our community!
North Carolina is now the nation’s top state to do business, according to Forbes Magazine’s Best States for Business ranking.
Although North Carolina is the only state to appear among the top five states all 12 years since the magazine launched the list, this year is the first time it has occupied the top spot. Last year, Forbes ranked North Carolina # 2.
Over the past twenty years, North Carolina has built one of the nation’s healthiest business climates through low business costs, incentives, and a young and educated workforce. The state’s strong universities and resources such as Research Triangle Park have helped train that labor pool, the magazine said.
Migration rates into the state are also among the highest in the U.S. annually, according to Forbes.
Frank Emory Jr., chairman of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) Board of Directors, said recognition in third-party rankings the caliber of Forbes helps the state market itself to companies considering the best place to locate or expand.
“This year has been a good one for the state, in terms of such rankings,” Emory said. “Not only is North Carolina Forbes’ top state for business, but we’re also Site Selection magazine’s most competitive state for attracting new plants and its No. 2 state for the best business climate. In addition, Chief Executive lists North Carolina as the third-best state for business, and CNBC ranks it fifth-best.”
NC Only State in Top 20 in all Six Categories
Forbes’ list evaluates states based on their business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. This year, North Carolina is the only state to place among the top 20 states in all six categories, according to the magazine.
North Carolina jumped to the top spot in this year’s ranking because of its improved employment outlook and second-lowest business costs (covering labor, energy, and taxes), Forbes said.
Following North Carolina among the top 5 on Forbes’ Best States for Business 2017 are Texas, Utah, Nebraska, and Virginia.
I sat down with Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, to talk about this exciting news and to discuss the ways Davie County is capitalizing on North Carolina’s positive business climate.
Q: Were you surprised that North Carolina received the #1 spot on Forbes’ Best States for Business ranking?
I wasn’t surprised at all; North Carolina has a terrific geographic location supported by great infrastructure with close proximity to the ports. We have great rail systems, great road systems, and an excellent business climate. We are working on regulatory reform and rolling taxes back to be more business-friendly. We have a great university system here in North Carolina, which has created a great workforce. North Carolina has a lot to offer and has worked hard to earn this spot.
Q: The Forbes list evaluates states on their business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. How does Davie County stack up in these critical areas?
Those are all critical areas that North Carolina has looked at long and hard. The North Carolina General Assembly is rolling back corporate taxes and instituting regulatory reform. We witnessed that this year with Senate Bill 131, which included modifications to the insulation R-values required for certain types of buildings, as well as the resolution of some wetland and environmental issues. I think the general assembly and the people we have elected to public office get it and understand what it takes to strike the delicate balance of less regulation and fewer taxes to make ourselves more attractive to major industry.
Those same attributes are well-reflected here in Davie County. Locally we try to be competitive with our existing companies by helping them to expand and take advantage of whatever state and federal grants and programs are available to help them become low-cost producers for what the do.
I also think Davie County is actively engaged in what is going on in our state when it comes to economic development. We understand what it takes to move an economy both locally and state-wide. We are constantly talking to our lawmakers in Raleigh, and we make the North Carolina Department of Commerce aware of the efforts we are making here. We are continuously looking for ways to better ourselves, and we don’t leave it up to the state and the federal governments to fix our problems or change our small county for us. We aren’t looking for handouts; we are looking for partnerships.
Q: What is Davie County doing to take advantage of the positive developments at the state level in North Carolina?
We are helping the private sector to develop industrial parks so that we have new buildings and building sites available. We are also concerned about the workforce and are seeking ways to add value moving forward by developing apprenticeship programs and working with the high school, the community college and industry to facilitate engagement. We do realize that we have full employment here and we are working on ways to connect the schools and industry in a way they have not been connected in the past and to show our young people opportunities they may not have known existed.
Davie County has developed within the state a reputation for winning deals and doing what it takes to bring new companies to our community and to help our existing companies win opportunities. Our reputation is a positive thing for the brokers and developers that I work and deal with. We are always looking for ways to get better which is why we are currently working on a new five-year strategic plan to determine where we need to be, where the jobs are going to be and what we need to do to take advantage of those opportunities.
Q: Over the last five years, Davie County has been very successful attracting manufacturing companies that have created thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in new investment. To what do you attribute our success?
We were able to take advantage of a growing economy. We had buildings and available product, and we connected with our brokers and the North Carolina Department of Commerce to bring companies here. At the beginning we had a double-digit unemployment rate, so we had a workforce that was available, which is one of the top five things companies consider when looking for a location. We had the road network, and we had all of the necessary relationships in place. The leadership here among the towns and the county is pro-industry and understands that you need jobs for your citizens and opportunities to grow your economy. I think we had the right chemistry to make things happen.
Q: What do you see as our biggest challenges in keeping the momentum in our favor?
Over the years we have learned to make things happen by identifying potential problems or issues and then taking steps to remove the obstacles. I believe we need to focus on developing our next generation of leaders by teaching them the tools we used to gain our advantages while also looking ahead at new tools that may become available. Also, we can’t rest on our laurels. We must remain proactive by looking to the future regarding where jobs are going to be and what new horizons for new companies might be out there. Working with the education system to train the next workforce and making them aware of the opportunities that might exist will continue to be important.
One of the biggest weaknesses in rural counties is infrastructure: water, sewer, natural gas, fiber optics, and rail. We just don’t have the urban concentration to be able to afford to put those in place, but they are critical to our ability to continue to develop industrial sites. Continued site development is certainly a priority. We have to make sure our state and local leaders are aware of those weaknesses and work to make them stronger.
Q: What are Davie County’s most significant challenges over the next five to ten years and what can we do now to begin addressing them?
What we have is good, but we must continue to ask ourselves ‘how do we get better and how do we sustain that?’
We will have to face the challenges of having an older workforce as well as leaders that are a little older. We must continue to develop new talent in leadership roles across the county as well as the state.
We have a low unemployment rate, so workforce development will continue to be a major issue. We are going to have to find ways to attract people to Davie County to help us grow because we suffer from a shortage of labor as does the nation as a whole. We have to do a better job of making people aware of the amenities we have to offer and why they should want to live here. Our quality of life and family values should be a huge draw as well as our proximity to major medical centers and shopping areas.
We must also constantly look forward to new and better ways to attract higher paying jobs and additional jobs for our younger generations that have gone off to universities and would like the opportunity to come back home.
Creating the strategic plan and making sure that we are on the same page and focusing hard on the future will ensure that we ready and able to face whatever challenges lie ahead.
Note: aerial and still photos courtesy Ed Simmons Photography
Davie County participated in National Manufacturing Day for the first time this year through the collaborative efforts of the Davie County Chamber of Commerce, Davie County Schools, Davie County Economic Development, DCCC and the Davie business community.
On October 6th, students from Ellis and North Davie Middle Schools each toured two different locations including DEX Heavy Duty Parts, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Ingersoll Rand, Pro Refrigeration, DCCC – Davie Campus, WFBH-Davie Medical Center – Bermuda Run and the Davie Construction – Dragonfly House construction site.
South Davie students toured Ashley Furniture and met the company’s Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ron Wanek, on October 12th. Many of these students had attended Mocksville Elementary and written to Wanek asking him to locate his new manufacturing and distribution facility in Davie County. They got to experience the fruits of their labor first-hand.
Approximately 500 students and staff were exposed to the many outstanding career opportunities that exist here in the county. Business leaders provided informative tours including examples of how their employees use math, science, technology, and communication skills. Students were intrigued with the emphasis on safety, size of the facilities, variety of jobs including the educational requirements for the job, and the machinery used in the day-to-day operation of the businesses. DCCC showcased its many educational programs through informational stations as well as tours of its mobile labs, a fire truck, and a tractor trailer used for the truck driving program.
Hosted annually, Manufacturing Day is a national event executed at the local level and typically focuses on manufacturing careers. “We expanded the types of businesses students visited to better align the many opportunities available here in Davie. With a newly opened state-of-the-art medical facility in Bermuda Run, expansive career path offerings at DCCC and the opportunity for a comprehensive tour of an active construction site, our event was truly a “career exploration day” for our students,” said Carolyn McManamy, President of the Davie County Chamber of Commerce.
“Middle school students are the next generation workforce and these tours are designed to expose them to career opportunities, show how their current and future curriculum ties to real- world careers and ignite interest in their future,” McManamy said. “During the tours, businesses showcased the scope of jobs available at their facilities and discussed the requisite higher education or skills training needed. For example, students who toured Davie Construction’s building site for the Dragonfly House learned about the many different functions needed to complete a project – from architecture and engineering to site supervision and actual building of the structure.”
“We have received such great feedback from our businesses as well as the students and teachers,” she said. “This is the first in a series of programs that will directly connect our students to our businesses. The next steps will involve developing a formal program where students of various ages are exposed to a broad variety of career paths and educational opportunities,” McManamy said. “Aligning business needs with curriculum will ensure Davie County has a ready and able workforce to meet the challenges of businesses today and in the future.”
As facilitators of Davie High’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, it is their job to open the eyes of students to all of their career options.
Enrolling in CTE classes and courses of study is an excellent way to explore these other pathways.
“We are programmed to think that the more post-secondary education a student gets is better and that a four-year degree will ensure future employment, but that isn’t always the case,” said Barnes.
“There are technical programs that need students with strong math skills, like in the engineering fields. Students who get a two-year degree in computer-integrated manufacturing or electronics engineering have the opportunity for advancement and management positions.”
“And employers are fighting for them,” Goldfuss chimed in, “and are sometimes willing to pay for their education.”
“There are so many high flyers from community colleges who have incredibly successful careers, but there are a lot of students who think they have to get their 4-year degree in mechanical engineering to get those jobs,” Goldfuss explained. “There are so many other options. I wish we could broaden all students’ horizons.”
Explore Career Options Tuition Free
“Sometimes kids don’t know what they want to do,” Goldfuss added. “Our classes, and the DCCC Career and College Promise program, where you aren’t paying tuition, are a great place for students to find out if a field is really for them.”
Goldfuss gave an example, ”We had a young lady who went all the way through the certified nursing program, but when I saw her at Harris Teeter after graduation, she was going to Liberty for communications. She found out tuition-free that nursing was not what she wanted to do.”
“This is a perfect time in life for students to find out what they like, before their parents spend all of that money on tuition or the student shoulders the financial responsibility and comes out with a mound of debt and no direction,” Goldfuss said.
CTE classes provide students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers, and Davie High has many options for students to explore. The expanded CTE facilities at the new high school allow more students to participate in the most popular programs and will provide enhanced learning opportunities as well as the ability to increase the number of CTE concentrations offered.
Davie CTE Ranked Among Best in the State of North Carolina
The school currently offers CTE courses in agriculture, business, health science, family and consumer science, marketing, technology, and trade and industry. Davie’s program is consistently ranked in the top 10 across the state.
Several of these areas of study also offer certifications. The certifications, such as the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) certification available to students who complete concentrations in carpentry, masonry, and core & sustainable construction, demonstrate a student’s skill level and makes them highly desirable to prospective employers.
In addition, seniors, who qualify as a concentrator, which means they have taken four classes in a pathway, have the opportunity to get an ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Credential. The credential certifies the essential skills for workplace success. Employers look for it from job candidates, whether they come directly from high school or through postsecondary paths because it is a valid predictor of job performance.
Goldfuss expects to test around 150 students this year and said that Davie students do well on the test. Two years ago, Davie was number three in the state for their WorkKeys results, and although fewer than 1% of people who take the nationwide test, usually adults, get a platinum level credential, a student from Davie has gotten one each of the past three years.
CTE Internships- Real World Experience & Work-Based Learning
Internships are available for juniors and seniors in all CTE areas. Internships help students connect what they are learning to the real world, and they provide key skills needed for getting a job after graduation. They are also a great way to explore career options and meet the people who work in them.
Davie High currently has interns at Fuller Welding, Gesipa, Harris Teeter, MAC Builders, Shore Fencing, and Southern Ties Boutique.
“Internships are where the rubber really meets the road,” Goldfuss said. “This is where the kids get out there and find out if what they thought would be so cool really is.”
“We are always looking for anyone who would give our students work-based learning experiences,” Barnes added. She is also grateful to the Mocksville Rotary Club for providing job shadowing opportunities for juniors in the program.
The school also sponsors a number of career and technical student organizations such as the National Technical Honor Society, DECA, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), SkillsUSA, Technology Student Association (TSA), FCCLA, Future Educators Association (FEA), FFA, and HOSA. These organizations provide students with additional opportunities to explore their chosen field through leadership development, networking, and competitions.
CTE Students Engaged, Graduating, and Experiencing Success
Barnes noted that CTE involvement not only enhances students’ career options, it increases their educational engagement.
“More than 90% of students who enroll in career and technical education graduate because they have found something they are interested in and invested in,” she said. “The regular graduation rate across the nation is around 80%, so that is a huge difference.”
Research studies agree. A study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute used data from Arkansas to explore whether students benefit from Career Technical Education (CTE) coursework – and, more specifically, from focused sequences of CTE courses aligned to certain industries. The study finds positive outcomes in graduation, postsecondary degree attainment, and salary for CTE concentrators. Key findings include:
- Students with greater CTE exposure are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages.
- CTE students are just as likely to pursue a four-year degree as their peers. There was little evidence of “tracking.”
- The more CTE courses students take, the better their education and labor market outcomes. Among other positive outcomes, CTE concentrators are more likely to graduate high school by 21 percentage points when compared to otherwise similar students.
Barnes and Goldfuss agree that the benefits of a career and technical education can be endless and they both love their jobs. “It’s great to open students’ eyes a little bit and to help them to find the pathway that will lead them to their best and most successful future.”
For more information about Davie County High School’s Career and Technical Education program, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call the high school at 336.751.5905.
As owner and CEO of the Hollingsworth Companies, the largest non-urban industrial real estate developer and construction firm in the southeastern United States, which owns the SouthPoint Industrial Park on US Hwy 601 in Mocksville, he carefully researches economic trends.
“It is my belief that the next 12 years will be the best economic period of our lives,” Hollingsworth said.
“We are coming out of the “Perfect Storm” that had formed against industrial development in the last 10 years. Over-regulation in banking, building codes, and environmental regulations had a virtual stranglehold on industrial developers.”
“While I hear the naysayers and economists pontificate on why this expansion has matured and is getting close to the end, I maintain that never in America’s existence has there been more oppression, rules, regulations, and productivity killers put in the place than the last 12 years. But that is changing. According to recent figures in the Wall Street Journal, over 600 rules and regulations spread out over all departments of federal government have been revised, lifted, or altered to reflect an easier way to do business, all in the last 7 months,” he said.
“The revised rules coupled with the present administration’s intentions over the next 3 years will transform America into achieving productivity and wage increases at a pace that it has historically enjoyed. These changes will allow business to return to the citizens of our country the opportunity and individual growth they deserve.”
“We are investing in it. Many of our 124 tenants are investing in it, and the outcome will benefit us all. Internally, we have seen three times as many prospects per month and two times as many real deals as compared to any time during the last 10 years.”
Hollingsworth believes North Carolina and Davie County are primed and ready to take advantage of this improving economic climate.
“At the state level, the North Carolina Legislature understood the challenges, and didn’t just talk about them, they actually made the changes necessary to create the right business environment in North Carolina, and they are not done yet!”
“Through the hard work of the North Carolina Legislature, and the strong leadership of your local representative, Julia Howard, one of the most crippling regulations, the International Energy Conservation Code, was repealed for industrial properties. This represents at least a 16% cost savings for one of our industrial buildings.”
“The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina also has been a great partner helping us across the state with all of our North Carolina properties; and, with the recent grant announcement to extend the road and utilities, this expansion was possible.”
Hollingsworth is willing to “put his money where his mouth is.” On Monday, his company broke ground on Phase III of the SouthPoint Industrial Park. Construction will begin immediately on a 108,960 square foot spec building and three pre-graded building pads. This combined 641,000 square feet of additional industrial space has the potential of providing hundreds of new jobs over the next five years.
“We could NOT have proceeded with this park expansion without this regulatory reform. Having a more business friendly regulatory environment is a positive step in making North Carolina more competitive. But what industry really wants are modern, flexible industrial spec buildings, and they want them NOW at a reasonable cost!”
“If there is no available stock of industrial buildings, the opportunity is missed and the growth just simply does not happen.”
But thanks to the Hollingsworth Companies, Davie County will be prepared. The four new sites should be completed by the end of the first quarter in 2018.
“We deal in seventeen states and 41 municipalities and Davie County has the best consistent leadership we deal with that realizes what it takes to grow a community,” Hollingsworth added. “We will spend more speculative dollars betting on future prospects in Davie County than anywhere else we do business this year.”
“The expansion of SouthPoint Business Park here in Mocksville will ensure that this community will keep winning for the next 20 years.”
Local and state officials and members of the business community gathered to celebrate phase III of the SouthPoint Industrial Park in Mocksville as well as the longtime partnership between Davie County and the Hollingsworth Companies which has provided the community with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in investments.
The Hollingsworth Companies broke ground September 11, 2017 on construction of a 108,960 square foot spec building and three pre-graded building pads in the industrial park on US Hwy 601, paving the way for continued economic growth in Davie County. This combined 641,000 square feet of additional industrial space has the potential of providing hundreds of additional jobs over the next five years.
“I would like to thank the community for being willing to invest time, effort, and money into being a true partner in making this park successful in the past and even more in the future,” said Joe Hollingsworth, Owner and CEO of the Hollingsworth Companies. ”This truly is a partnership, and I want to thank the entire county for their willingness to help us develop their area. We pledge that we will be an even better partner for the next 20 years than we have been for the past 20 years and we’ll keep this thing going.”
Representative Julia Howard, North Carolina House of Representatives, thanked Joe Hollingsworth for having the vision it took to come to Davie County. “Here we are, a little rural community in the middle of nowhere with a tract of land, but you had a vision of what that could become…We are very grateful that you believed in us and took that step to partner with us. We are approaching the 20-year mark, and I hope that as we reach the 40-year mark another group of people will be sitting under another tent celebrating another expansion.”
“You stick with us and we will stick with you because we are proud to be your partner,” she added.
Terry Bralley, President of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, is equally thankful for the relationship. “The partnership we have with the Hollingsworth Companies has allowed Davie County to leverage private money rather than risking the public’s money. We’ve been able to focus on what we do best — water, sewer, roads, and infrastructure.”
He went on to say that “Economic development really is a team sport, it takes each and everyone of us working together to make these kinds of projects happen. Our representatives in Raleigh along with the elected officials from across Davie County have learned how to coordinate efforts to get things done quickly and efficiently.”
‘It is a very competitive world we live in today,” Bralley added. “What really makes the difference is figuring out the opportunities that are out there and what it will take to make things happen. This community, time and time again, has led by example in terms of finding ways to get rid of impediments to growth.”
“We have been very successful in attracting industry and investment into this area to the point that today there are no existing buildings left in inventory and we have an unemployment rate that is one of the lowest in the state at about 3.5%. We can’t stop there. We have to look to the future. We all know that industry is looking for existing buildings because they want to be able to move in within 90 days.”
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) has played a vital role in helping Davie County attract that industry and investment in the area by offering grants for job development, building reuse, and infrastructure and marketing the area to prospective companies.
Christopher Chung, EDPNC CEO, said, “It’s always exciting to see communities take a proactive approach in adding more “product” in their market, and it’s what often differentiates the most successful local economic development efforts.”
“Davie County is fortunate to have great partner like Joe Hollingsworth and the Hollingsworth Companies… Best of luck as you all begin focusing on the really fun part: finding tenants for those buildings!”
The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has awarded the Town of Mocksville a $411,425 grant to extend Quality Drive in the SouthPoint Business Park. The improvements will consist of 900 feet of 24-foot-wide roadway, 900 feet of water lines and related equipment, and storm drainage, allowing The Hollingsworth Companies to begin construction on one spec building and three pre-graded building pads.
Construction of a 108,000 SF spec building, as well as 130,000 SF, 150,000 SF, and 250,000 SF industrial site pads is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018. This new development has the potential of providing hundreds of jobs over the next five years.
“The grant and this expansion will enable Davie County to continue to expand our industrial efforts, giving our community a huge advantage in attracting new companies and jobs to our county,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “This embraces the forward thinking leadership this community continues to provide.”
With this expansion, the SouthPoint Business Park, owned and developed by site-selection expert Joe Hollingsworth and The Hollingsworth Companies, will become one of the largest semi-rural industrial parks in the state.
The Hollingsworth Companies attributes the success and growth of the park to its central location, support from state and local economic development agencies, and favorable business taxes in the state. The catalyst that kicked off this aggressive expansion was the State of North Carolina’s regulatory reforms that relieved the crippling cost burdens of the 2012 IECC. The regulatory reforms reduced the costs of industrial buildings by as much as 13% which has opened the door once again for developers like the Hollingsworth Companies to proactively invest in speculative industrial space.
Hollingsworth Companies Making a Difference in Our Community
“When we were initially looking for a private partner to shoulder the risk of speculative industrial development, we couldn’t find anyone locally who would take the risk in a small town like Mocksville,” said Bralley. “But over in Tennessee, we met the Hollingsworth Companies and not only were they willing, they were enthusiastic; and they still are nearly twenty years later. We have had a lot of big announcements in the last few years, and they are great, but the steady brick by brick approach of Hollingsworth has really made a difference in our community.”
The Hollingsworth Companies founded the SouthPoint Business Park in 1998. Phase I of the Mocksville park involved the development of 45 acres and the construction of 4 buildings with a total of 325,860 SF. Phase II included the development of an additional 57 acres of land, and the construction of 4 more buildings totaling another 421,126SF of industrial space.
Phase III began in 2015 when the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority awarded the Town of Mocksville a $450,000 grant from the Industrial Development Fund to install a new road and bridge on Quality Drive to open up an additional 85 acres of land for future development.
Due to this most recent grant, this 85 acres can now be developed into 4 building sites totaling 641,000SF of industrial space. The buildings will range in size from 108,960SF; 134,960SF; 152,241SF; and 252,834SF. All these facilities are designed with the ability for future expansion. The largest building, 252,000SF, can be expanded to 378,000 SF. Building construction features include LED lighting, 32 foot minimum clear height, 60 feet by 60 feet column spacing, and ESFR fire suppression system for the ideal combination of flexibility and value.
Located on US Hwy 601, just north of I-40 and near its nexus with I-77, SouthPoint is a natural choice for logistics and includes major regional warehouses for Concordance Healthcare Solutions, Davie Warehousing, and Larson Manufacturing. The secret is that it has also become a superb location for light manufacturing. Workforce development efforts by the Davie Campus of Davidson County Community College, a strong work ethic rooted in an agricultural history, and people who would rather work close to home than drive into an urban area have all contributed to the high productivity that is part of the park’s success.
Thanks to Southpoint Business Park. Comfort Bilt, Gesipa Fasteners, Metal Sales Manufacturing, Davie Warehousing, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Entrematic, Concordance Healthcare Solutions, and Morrisofa Global Inc.now call Davie County home, and they have provided the community with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in investments.
20 Year Partnership with Hollingsworth Companies Continues to Pay Dividends
According to Bralley, ninety percent of all companies seeking a new location are looking for an existing building to move into. “Our partnership with The Hollingsworth Companies means that we have an inventory of available buildings and permitted lots for people who don’t have time to waste. Further, we are blessed with a developer like Joe Hollingsworth who is flexible enough to lease, sell, or provide equity capital for companies locating in our community. This is an advantage that every small community and every economic developer would love to have and it continues to bring jobs and opportunity to Mocksville and Davie County.”
“Our nearly 20-year public/private partnership has developed into a rare and cherished catalyst to economic development in Mocksville and Davie County,” Bralley added. “We are super excited to see the expansion of the SouthPoint Business Park, it just means there will be more good news to come. Stay tuned…”
Beroth Tire & Automotive, a division of Mock-Beroth Tire Group, has broken ground in Mocksville for its fourteenth location.
The 5,200 sq. foot store located on Interstate Drive, next to Sherwin-Williams, is expected to open in October or early November. The company will begin by hiring five employees and will expand to around fifteen. Positions will be available for oil change technicians, tire technicians, as well as experienced technicians with more advanced skills.
“It’s always a great day in Davie County when we can welcome a new business,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, during a groundbreaking ceremony. “And a family-owned and operated company, like Beroth Tire, is a great addition to our family-oriented community. I’d like to thank Bill Junker for his forward thinking and vision in preparing a place for such growth to occur.”
Mocksville Mayor, Will Marklin, also welcomed the company to town. “I was reading online this morning that 90% of businesses in America are family owned or controlled. Family-owned businesses are the backbone of this country. I’m so happy to welcome another family-owned business to this town.”
The perfect time for a location in Mocksville
According to T. Beroth, owner, the company first began looking at Davie County about 10 years ago. After opening stores in Clemmons and Mooresville, it seemed to be the perfect time to add an additional location in Mocksville.
“We looked and looked for a great location, and we are really glad to be here,” Beroth said.
In the late 1950s, Floyd Mock and his two brothers, Carey and Cecil, started the business in their parents’ garage recapping tires. They opened their first store in 1972 on Country Club Road in Winston-Salem. The business grew through the relationships they built with their friends, family, co-workers and neighbors in the Winston-Salem area.
In 1978, Tom Beroth joined forces with Mock Tire with the opening of the Stokes Tire location in King, NC and subsequently other locations in Winston-Salem on Robinhood Rd., Shattalon Drive, and Peters Creek Parkway as well as stores in Mt. Airy, Elkin, Kernersville, Madison, Lexington, and Mooresville, NC.
The younger generations also have tires in their blood. Tom’s son T. Beroth and grandsons, TJ Beroth and Earlie Gilley, along with Carey’s son Bill, Floyd’s son-in-law Mike McKnight, and Cecil’s son Craig continue the same tradition of real people, right pricing, real easy!
“A lot of family businesses are getting bought out by large retailers, but when you work with family it makes it so much more rewarding,” Beroth said. “Some employees have been with me for 37 years. It truly is a family business.”
“My 82-year-old father still comes into work everyday. He wanted to build one more store, so that’s what we are doing.”
Dedicated to providing friendly, dependable services at affordable prices, Mock-Beroth Tire Group now owns fourteen retail tire and automotive centers and two wholesale warehouses. The company employs around 160 people in the local area.
Beroth attributes the company’s success to Christian values and a genuine concern for customers and employees coupled with an ingrained sense of honesty and natural friendliness.
“Our mission is to provide dependable, quality products and service for a fair price in a friendly, honest, and accommodating environment,” he said.
Morrisofa Global, an importer and distributer of upholstered furniture, has chosen SouthPoint Business Park in Mocksville for its first US distribution center. The company is currently hiring for its warehousing operation which will begin in July.
The company is accepting applications for both warehouse supervision and material handlers. Interested parties may apply in person at 130 Enterprise Drive or call 336.753.8300.
Morrisofa’s parent company, Morris Holdings, which started in 2002, designs and manufactures one of the top lines of upholstered sofas and sofa products, including stationary and motion sofas as well as sofas with smart home features like audio, massage, beverage cooling, luetooth, and USB ports. In addition, they are one of the leading exporters of sofa products from China to the United States. This new distribution center will ship to retailers all over the US, including two of their largest customers, Sam’s Club and Costco.
Wayne Stewart, vice-president of Morrisofa Global Inc., anticipates the company will generate $10 million in sales through the distribution center during its first year. That number will increase when the company begins manufacturing operations at the facility, as early as the end of this year.
JOBS – SouthPoint Business Park Helps Davie with Another Win!
Morris Holdings chose the SouthPoint Business Park, located on US 601 S., after an intensive two-month search of North Carolina.
Stewart stated that the company leased the 92,000 sq. ft. building from The Hollingsworth Companiesbecause of its logistical advantage of both North-South and East-West transportation corridors, the availability of skilled labor, and the excellent value of the property.
Terry Bralley, president, Davie County Economic Development Commission said, “We are excited to have the new jobs added to our community, and welcome Morrisofa Global to Mocksville and Davie County. We are in the heart of furniture country, and perfectly located on the east coast for transportation and logistics.”
He is also thankful for the role the SouthPoint Business and The Hollingsworth Companies played in yet another economic development win for Davie County.
“Having a building partner like The Hollingsworth Companies makes a big difference in a rural community. Without a building program this project would not have happened in our community, even though it’s a perfect fit for us! This is the 8th company attracted with this public/private partnership with The Hollingsworth Companies.”