It all starts with a scoop of dirt! The Davie Community Foundation (DCF) broke ground last week on COGNITION, an interactive learning center and makerspace coming to downtown Mocksville in January 2020.
The mission of COGNITION is to create an interactive space for children, families, and the community to acquire knowledge through adventurous play, investigative learning, and creative growth.
Jane Simpson, president of the Foundation, envisions COGNITION as a space where learners of all ages are able to ask questions and then discover answers through inspiring learning. “The exhibits and programming will have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) focus. From the factory floor to the executive suite, workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math are essential in today’s market. Employers want both entry-level employees and upper management to be equipped with critical thinking skills, problem-solving ability, and a teamwork mindset. The Davie Community Foundation fostered the creation of COGNITION to fulfill our vision to equip our next generation with enthusiasm for STEAM concepts and to facilitate a qualified workforce for the community. At COGNITION, young learners will have early opportunities to explore career paths through real-life STEAM situations and hands-on learning as they build the skills Davie County needs for tomorrow.”
“By collaborating with local businesses and additional partners, COGNITION will act as a catalyst for workforce development and equip families to engage with their community.”
Hands-on exhibits will highlight our community’s past as well as its future. Below is a list of exhibits currently under consideration for the learning center although they are still being developed and subject to change:
Agricultural Avenue will highlight the agricultural industries of our community featuring seasonal crops specific to our county, a tractor element, water and energy elements, a chicken coop, and ways to learn about weather.
Market Lane will blend the look of a brick and mortar grocery store and an open-air farmers market with an interactive checkout counter, stocked shelves, and dress up and pretend play elements.
HEALTHY FOOD HALL
This open-air food hall will feature a Food Truck vignette and focus on health and wellness. With the back of the food truck being a mock kitchen, young minds can explore what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Weavers Way allows for the exploration of the textile industry with an interactive loom, spinning elements, a pulley system, and a sliding shuttle.
With a focus on hands-on interactive tinkering, Construction Court will be a living house with “real” interactive building activities. This exhibit will show the inner workings of a structure with pipes, wiring, and electrical connectivity. With blueprints and an interactive bulldozer, imaginations can run wild.
LITTLE COG CORNER
Built for children ages 0-2, Little COG Corner will be enclosed with multi-sensory interactive walls and seating that encourages the interaction of parents with their learners.
The makerspace will include tools and equipment for people of all ages to enjoy tinkering and creating. Planned options include: laser cutter, table top router, tabletop milling, home and industrial sewing and textiles, circuit vinyl cutter, a large variety of art materials, small electronics for building and tinkering, and various smaller tools and machinery that may be used to accomplish a project.
History of COGNITION: The Community Spoke and the Community Foundation Listened
In 2016, the Davie Community Foundation (DCF) purchased the building located next door to their office on N. Salisbury Street. Their goal was to make an impact investment to continue to improve downtown Mocksville and find a use that would revive an older building while benefitting the entire Davie County community. DCF reached out to the community for feedback about the best use of the building and brought a variety of community leaders together to discuss self-sustaining uses for the space. After more than a year of research, conversations, and visits to other communities, it was agreed that an interactive children’s museum and makerspace had the best chance to meet all of the criteria. The DCF Board approved moving forward with COGNITION in February 2018.
In April 2018, COGNITION of Davie County was incorporated and a new board was established from interested citizens including two recent graduates of Davie County High School who have returned to Davie County to live and work! The eleven-member board is comprised of a variety of talents including educators, school principals, attorney, non-profit leader, educational consultant, early childhood specialist, marketing, design, and finance. Committees have also been formed comprised of passionate citizens who want to share their talents and expertise in order to make COGNITION a reality!
A capital campaign for $500,000 has begun to support the renovation and development of the space. Your donation will be a COG in the wheel of progress as COGNITION of Davie County becomes a reality! A COG transfers motion by engaging with projections on another wheel. Just as every COG is essential to the running of an engine, the support of donors like you is essential to creating an interactive space that promotes exploration, learning, and innovation.
Donations of all sizes are appreciated and a number of named opportunities are available. Named COGS may be purchased in three sizes for display in the building: $1,000 – Exploration, $2,500 – Learning, or $5,000 – Innovation. Checks can be made out to COGNITION Davie, P.O. Box 816, Mocksville, NC 27028.
The community is invited to a preview of exhibits on Thursday, May 9th from 8:30- 11 a.m. at COGNITION Davie at 119 N. Salisbury St. Mocksville, NC.
Davie Health & Rehabilitation Center celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the opportunity for area residents to explore the new 59,000 square foot, 108-bed state-of-the-art skilled-nursing facility on Madison Road in Mocksville.
Owned and operated by Saber Healthcare, the facility replaces Autumn Care of Mocksville which the company purchased in March 2016. The old 33,000 square foot facility on Howard Street was built in several phases beginning in the 1950s and continuing through the early 1990s.
The new location provides an expanded rehabilitation center, more private rooms with private bathrooms, and an indoor courtyard where residents can visit together or with their guests. The new facility also allows the company to offer outpatient therapy which will be accessed through a separate entrance.
“Our goal at Davie Health and Rehabilitation is to provide high-quality healthcare and customer service to the Mocksville and surrounding communities we are privileged and fortunate to serve,” said Michael Demagall, Saber Health’s VP of Population Health & Business Development. “We believe if we provide good care, improve the health of the population we serve, and ensure our patients and families are satisfied with that care and services then we bring a much-needed value to that community and area healthcare partners. We then are able to connect in a meaningful way! We are excited to reinvest with our newest facility Davie Health and Rehabilitation and have the ability to “Give Back” in support of Mocksville and the surrounding communities.”
Davie Health and Rehabilitation currently employs 102 full-time, part-time, and PRN employees, and is still hiring, particularly nurses and CNAs. Interested in a job? Stop by the facility and fill out an application.
Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, is thrilled with the expansion and considers it a testament to the ease of doing business in Davie County and to its prime location near I-40. “One of Davie County’s greatest assets is its existing industries and businesses,” said Bralley. “It is always so rewarding to see them reinvesting here because when they succeed our community succeeds. Please join me in thanking Saber Healthcare for its continuing commitment to our community.“
Five years after Davie County residents voted overwhelmingly to pass the Parks and Recreation general obligation bonds, construction is now underway on Phase One of the new Davie County Community Park being built at the former site of Davie County High School.
“Today is a day of celebration and today we celebrate community ownership and a partnership that is fundamental in serving the ever-changing needs of the Davie community …,” said Terry Renegar, chairman of the Davie County Board of Commissioners, during the groundbreaking ceremony. “In 2014, the residents of Davie County voted overwhelmingly to spend $5 million to make this facility the centerpiece of its recreation plan. …It has been a lot of work ….. there have been a lot of hurdles, but those challenges have been met and the hurdles overcome.”
The Davie County Community Park project is a 3-year culmination of extensive resident input, park design master planning, and construction preparation. According to Paul Moore, director of recreation and parks, Davie County’s public park needs survey return rate of 22.8% was one of the highest return rates in the nation for a community population of 40,000-50,000. “Anytime a controlled survey reaches double-digits, you have statistically valid results. Hence, Davie residents were paying very close attention!”
“From contemplation and initial dialogue to the creation of shared vision; from deliberations to the formulation of strategies, and through communication, collaboration, and coordination, our design team has made the vision of our Davie residents happen. The new park will contain most of the key features that Davie County residents specifically identified as top priorities,” said Moore.
Slated to be completed Spring 2020, the County-owned park’s initial Phase One facilities will include the largest Vortex splash pad in North Carolina, an amphitheater and civic green, an inclusive playground, a 310° baseball/softball field, a dog park (for small and large dogs), walkways and trails (including a boardwalk), a horseshoe and bocce courtyard, a 625 square foot medium shelter, and gymnasium renovations along with a number of other infrastructure elements.
The County also secured additional support from the General Assembly to reconstruct the old parking lot which will include a road course for local law enforcement and emergency services vehicular training.
Additionally, the County is pursuing grant funding from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) for other park features that would become part of phase one construction if successfully awarded.
“We want our residents to know that this new park will not only lead as a regional destination park, but will serve as a joyful experience through recreation and play for individuals, families, seniors, and pets too!” he added.
He went on to say, “Working in the field of Parks and Recreation and public service is not just a job for us, it’s a calling. We’ve committed ourselves to this profession and our mission to enrich the quality of life in Davie County because we’re all striving to be part of something that makes a real, meaningful difference. We couldn’t have made it this far without all of you!”
Moore gave credit to the many individuals and organizations who have devoted themselves to the future of Davie County by supporting recreation and parks with the construction of the new park. “On behalf of our Board of Commissioners, community residents, and the DCRP Team, we express our heartfelt appreciation to:
Davie County High School hosted its annual career expo at Davie High on February 21st to bring students together with local businesses. The goals of the expo were to:
- Help students connect with all of the various industries and careers available to them in Davie County.
- Identify future workforce needs in our community.
- Align educational programs offered at Davie High and Davidson Community College to meet the needs of our local businesses.
- Communicate employment needs and necessary credentials to students.
“Our goal is to provide information on all options regarding college and career opportunities for the students of Davie County,” said Anthony Davis, director of CTE and Federal Programs. “It is imperative we have a positive, collaborative relationship with the community college and businesses in our community in order to ensure the future success of our young people.”
Fifteen local businesses and DCCC took advantage of the opportunity to meet with around 500 students and to share what their company has to offer. Participants included: Ashley Furniture, Avgol, Davie Construction, Davie County Government, DCCC, Debbie’s Staffing, Dunlop Tyres, Foster Drug, Gildan, Ingersoll Rand, Members Credit Union, SafetyNetAccess, State Employees Credit Union, The Resource, UTI, Wake Forest Baptist Health.
Davie CONNECT and the Davie County Chamber of Commerce were instrumental in organizing the event.
Although this year’s career expo is over, there are still many ways for your company to connect with this future workforce. For more information, contact Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-751-5921 x1015 or Janet Barnes, career development coordinator, at Barnesj@davie.k12.nc.us or 336-751-5905.
For more information about Davie CONNECT, a new economic development initiative focused on connecting businesses to resources, kids to careers and providing innovative workforce solutions for Davie County, contact Carolyn McManamy, director, at 336-753-6670 or email@example.com.
Training is a valuable way to improve business performance, increase profits, and boost staff morale.
Training helps a company stay ahead of competitors and keep up with the latest industry and technology changes. Ensuring that your employees’ skills and knowledge are up-to-date can grow your business and boost its competitiveness.
Training has many benefits for your staff: acquiring new skills, increasing their contribution to the business, and building self-esteem. Employees who receive the necessary training perform their jobs more effectively. Training also helps prepare employees to grow within their companies as they aspire for positions with increased prospects and pay.
When companies plan their employee’s training schedule, Davidson County Community College (DCCC) makes a variety of options available, such as on-site or off-site, training professionals or internal resources, formal classroom instruction or on-the-job training. DCCC has training options to meet all of your needs.
DCCC Workforce Development and Customized Training
DCCC’s Workforce Development and Customized Training programs can provide classes that meet most of a company’s training needs, anything from OHSA safety, CNC machining, welding, and LEAN Manufacturing to notary certification, computer skills, and leadership training.
Elizabeth Kilby, Program Director Customized Training and Workforce Development at the Davie Campus, and Carolyn Davis, Director of Customized Training and Workforce Development at DCCC’s Davidson Campus, meet with representatives of local companies to determine specific employment and training needs.
DCCC offers classes in the areas of business and computers, construction, manufacturing and transportation, inspection and licensure, leadership, safety, continuous improvement, hospitality, health and wellness, advanced law enforcement training, fire and rescue, and EMS, EMT, paramedic programming. The college also offers around 230 online classes that run for eight weeks and can be offered for as few as one student making the classes accessible to even the smallest companies. A complete list of options can be found at https://davidsonccc.edu/academics/continuing-education/.
Kilby and Davis will also assemble a customized program if a company has multiple or specialized needs that can’t be met through continuing education classes.
“Classes can be customized to the specific company,” Kilby said. “And because it isn’t a curriculum course, we can cater uniquely to the company, be it a variable class schedule, location, or additional soft skills training added to the class.”
Through either method, classes that don’t require special equipment can be offered at the college or at the industry and do not have to fit into a traditional semester model. Classes can be offered during the day, at night, or weekends based upon an instructor’s availability. The college even has an advanced manufacturing mobile lab that can be brought onsite for training when needed.
Classes can be started quickly if there are enough students and an instructor and class space are available. As an added bonus, Kilby and Davis handle all of the registration and paperwork.
For more information about how DCCC’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development program can benefit your company, please contact:
Program Director, Workforce Development and Continuing Education
DCCC – Davie Campus
336-751-2885 ext: 4852
Carolyn D. Davis
Director, Customized Training and Workforce Development
Continuing Education and Workforce Development
Davidson County Community College
336-751-2885 ext 6331
Energy United has awarded the Davie County Economic Development Commission a $300,000 interest-free revolving loan to help build a 324,000 SF industrial space which will enable Davie County to attract larger manufacturing companies and enhance its ability to continue growing its industrial base.
“We are so fortunate in Davie County to have Energy United,” said Terry Bralley, president of DCEDC, during a check presentation ceremony Tuesday. “They’ve been a great economic development partner for us. We’ve built water tanks, been able to pay for incentives up front, and put in water and sewer lines with their assistance and access to zero-interest money. Those loans have helped us develop infrastructure, bring jobs to our neighborhoods, and grow our community. In fact, the loans helped bring Avgol and Gildan, now two of Energy United’s largest customers, to Davie County.”
DCEDC then loaned the money to the Davie Industrial Group to support the construction of the Davie Industrial Center at Interstate Drive and Gildan Drive in Mocksville. When completed, the center will offer 920,678 SF of manufacturing/warehouse space. The first of three precast concrete industrial buildings is currently under construction and will be available as early as May.
“This $300,000, zero-interest loan is for five years or until the building is sold or leased. The idea is to do it again and again. We hope it truly is a revolving loan fund. What a great asset for us! And had we not had a successful private capital campaign we would not be in a position to leverage these dollars.”
“I say all the time that economic development is a team sport and it takes everybody at the table working hard. Since we are a small community we have to work even harder.”
Recognizing the struggles faced by small rural communities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) program to promote rural economic development and job creation projects. The USDA partners with nonprofit utility organizations to distribute the funds. The funds provided by the REDLG program must be used to help finance projects such as business start-up costs, business expansion, community development, and business incubator projects. This program contains two subprograms that administer funding opportunities. They are the REDLoan program and the REDGrant program.
Under the REDGrant program, the USDA provides grant funds to local nonprofit utility organizations which are used to establish a revolving loan fund. Loans are made from the revolving loan fund to finance projects that will create or retain rural jobs. The utility applies to USDA for funding support on behalf of specified local projects.
These funds are made available for projects in rural areas or towns with a population of 50,000 or less and up to $300,000 in grants may be requested to establish the RLF. The funds can then remain in the community as part of a revolving loan program where the repaid money is loaned out again.
Under the REDLoan program, the USDA provides zero-interest loans to awardees which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) at zero percent interest for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly and the utility repays the Agency.
“Energy United is one of the co-ops in the state that has access to USDA funds. The USDA uses the co-ops as a conduit to provide funds to projects like this,” said Keith Wingler, manager for business development for Energy United, the largest energy co-op in North Carolina which serves more than 125,000 customers in 19 counties. “Davie County is one of our strongest partners with economic development projects. Terry has the unique ability to pull private investors, the community and the county together to make things happen. He has been very aggressive at tapping into those funds and we are glad to be able to offer them. We stay very busy in the Davie County area and appreciate everyone who worked together to make this project happen.”
“This is the first of two checks we plan to do on this project. This check for $300,000 is from Energy United’s revolving loan fund which was created with money from the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. There is also a REDLG loan of $1 million in process for this project.”
Bralley explained the significance to the community of a project of this magnitude. “About 18 months ago I had the opportunity to meet with the Davie Industrial Group to look at doing some more industrial projects. In today’s world, things move pretty rapidly. Within 90 days from when I get the phone call, that company needs to be up and operational. Companies have contracts to meet and business moves at an extraordinary speed. If you don’t have a building up or at least a graded site with water, sewer, electricity, natural gas, and fiber in the ground you are playing way behind. We are blessed in this county to have the opportunity to partner with the Davie Industrial Group.”
He shared an example of how important the project is. “Yesterday, I got a phone call from a broker in South Carolina who was meeting with a client who needed 400,000-600,000 SF and I was able to tell him I could help him with that. I was able to send the information to the broker. We are able to play for bigger projects now. You are going to see different clients looking at these type of buildings. We are excited about that.”
Davie Industrial Group partners, John Reece of Commercial Realty Advisors, Buddy Seymour, president-manager of Windsor Commercial, and Bill Junker, owner of Trailers of the East Coast, who supplied the land also shared their thoughts on the project.
“We feel very fortunate to be here in Davie County with this project,” said Reece. “I’d like to thank Terry and the economic development staff. Without these types of loans, I’m not sure we could pull off these types of projects. The effort that has gone into this on behalf of Terry and his staff is unbelievable. We’ve found that Davie County is just an awesome place to do business.”
Seymour added, “We are excited about Energy United’s participation because not only are we constructing a 324,000 SF spec building which allows us to meet the speed our clients require, this loan also help us to prepare the other sites. By the time we finish the first stage of our project, we will have a 324,000 SF spec building a 425,000 SF pad and another 175,000 SF pad ready and these funds were very important for us to be able to do that. We are very thankful for this opportunity.”
Junker praised the teamwork involved to make the project happen, saying “I’m so proud of how this partnership has come together. Every partner brings a lot of value to this deal.”
Ingersoll Rand announced today that it plans to transfer the majority of its core product line production to Mocksville from Buffalo, N.Y., by July as part of a global consolidation strategy.
The company plans to hire for approximately 40 new assembly, machinery, and technical manufacturing jobs between its Mocksville and Davidson, NC plants, according to Misty Zelent, communications leader, Industrial Businesses for Ingersoll Rand.
The Mocksville plant, which sits on 130 acres off Sanford Avenue, currently employs around 400 full-time employees and supports the Compression Technology Services Branch of Ingersoll Rand through the manufacturing of Rotary, Centrifugal, and Thermo King air compressors and the fabrication of parts for its Trane businesses.
This is the second job shift of work from another Ingersoll Rand plant to Mocksville in less than a year. Zelent said the shift of the Buffalo product line “further fulfills the company’s ‘in-region for region’ manufacturing philosophy.”
“Consolidating manufacturing continues our strategy, and previously announced plans, to expand and scale for future global growth, reduce duplicated fixed costs, and efficiently and effectively serve our customers.”
Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, appreciates the significant role Ingersoll Rand has played in the community for more than 50 years.
“Mocksville and Davie County are proud to host Ingersoll Rand, one of the leaders in the world in advanced manufacturing,” said Bralley. “For decades Ingersoll Rand has been the crown jewel of our community, providing jobs, and developing skills in the workforce for generations. This continued growth and investment into their machining operation is great news for the future of this facility and our community.”
About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand is a diversified industrial manufacturer with market-leading brands serving customers in global commercial, industrial and residential markets.
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 many 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.
To apply for a job at Ingersoll Rand visit www.IngersollRand.com/Careers
“What would you say if I told you there was a way to go to college for free and to get a paycheck at the same time?” asked Ashley Kern, human resources manager at Ingersoll Rand, a member of the Davidson & Davie Apprenticeship Consortium (DDAC), as she explained apprenticeships to students at Davie County High School.
US manufacturers are facing a gap—not only in finding the skills needed but also in Americans’ interest in pursuing long-term careers in manufacturing. Apprenticeship programs have become one of the ways businesses and education systems are coming together to build a pipeline of qualified labor for the workforce.
Seven local companies have joined forces to establish the Davidson & Davie Apprenticeship Consortium (DDAC) to address national workforce challenges and to educate high school students, parents, and the public about the many benefits of pursuing a career in manufacturing. In addition to Ingersoll Rand, Consortium members include Avgol, BMK Americas, CPM Wolverine Proctor, Egger Wood Products, and Kurz. It is sponsored by Davie County Economic Development Commission, Davidson County Economic Development Commission, Davidson County Community College, and ApprenticeshipNC.
“Although 90% percent of Americans believe manufacturing is very important to economic prosperity, only 30% of American parents would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing,” said Kern, referencing statistics from the Deloitte Perception of Manufacturing Study. “We are essentially saying that manufacturing is important, just not for my kids.”
“There is a huge branding issue for manufacturing,” she added. “I tell students all of the time that manufacturing is considered DDD–dirty, dark, and dangerous. Students don’t know about all of the cool things happening in manufacturing like automation and robotics and all of those little pieces that are part of manufacturing. And women aren’t well represented in manufacturing, so when I speak to students in high school classes all of the women tune me out because they think manufacturing isn’t for them. We are trying to rebrand manufacturing by sharing all of the wonderful things that are happening within our companies.”
As part of this rebranding effort and as a means to attract young workers, the DDAC has created an apprenticeship program that will give students the opportunity to learn a skill set or trade by combining paid on-the-job learning and classroom instruction. Students gain work experience as they build a career without accruing student debt. If the apprentice is recruited three months before graduating from high school, the state of North Carolina will pay for the tuition and books. Otherwise, the employer pays the expenses.
Apprentices are paid for 40 hours per week which includes 8 hours in class and 32 hours in on-the-job training. During the four-year program, apprentices work between 6400 to 8000 hours and attend 1600 hours of community college classes which earns them an associate’s degree. Based on North Carolina journeyman’s rates, participants earn $9 an hour the first year, $10 the second, $12 the third, and $15 an hour during the final year. They also receive company-paid benefits of health, dental and vision insurance as well as a 401K program during the entire program. Upon completing the program, apprentices have an associate’s degree, a journeyman’s certificate from the state of North Carolina, a journeyman’s certificate from the Federal Department of Labor and a guaranteed job with a minimum salary of $36,000 per year and no educational debt.
“When we are going into classrooms, we are specifically targeting students who have decided four years of college is not for them,” Kern said. “We want to let them know there is another option. We tell students about the apprenticeship program and how they can work with their hands every day and that we will pay for all of their tuition and books. The students are getting really excited. The parents are getting even more excited because we are giving them another avenue they didn’t know existed.”
The approach is working. During a recent presentation at Davie County High School, 67 qualified students expressed an interest in the program.
Kern outlined the steps to becoming an apprentice:
- Like to make things happen?.
- Like to work with their hands?
- Are ready to start a career?
Consortium members will hold classroom presentations January 29 – February 6, 2019. Davidson County Community College is hosting a public information night on January 31st from 3-7 p.m. Presentations on the program will be held at 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m.
Step 2: Open House
- You must attend at least one.
- Your parent/guardian must attend too.
- Opportunity to take a tour and ask questions
This is where members of the Consortium can set themselves apart because each will host an open house between February 10 – March 3, 2019
- Deadline is March 3
- An official transcript is required.
Selection guidelines: Recommended 2.5 GPA, Math 1,2,3, preferred courses include physics, drafting, metals manufacturing. Applications will be accepted from January 29 – March 3, 2019; visit the DDAC website to see how to apply.
Step 4: Orientation
- Four nights (must be there every night).
- Projects and testing > is an apprenticeship right for you?
Orientation will be held the week of March 9, 2019. DCCC will administer an assessment and applicants will complete a number of projects like running conduit and building wire racks and welding them together. Our supervisors will assess how well they pick things up, how well they take direction as well as the final product. The assessment will be followed by a matching ceremony. Students pick the companies they are interested in working for based on their interactions with the companies and the companies choose the students they would like to work with and the Consortium tries to align the two.
- Start earning money!
- Two college classes.
- Hands-on training.
- Paid for training and classroom hours.
Pre-Apprenticeship training will be held June 11 – July 29, 2019. During the six-week program, apprentices work a couple hours a week to get their feet wet and then take a couple of required basic classes. This is paid for. At the end of the pre-apprenticeship program, there will be a huge signing ceremony to make things exciting for the students.
After outlining the apprenticeship program, Kern also enthusiastically explained how it can benefit many different stakeholders:
Apprentices earn an associates degree and journeyman certificate(s) and the earn-as-you-learn model ensures earnings while training.
Educational institutions have the opportunity to develop closer relationships with industry partners. Members of the Consortium are partnering on the boards of the schools and helping them develop their curriculum so that what students are learning in the classroom directly ties to what they are learning on the job.
Businesses benefit through increased visibility from their recruitment efforts; expand their training and education options for their employees which can increase employee retention, loyalty, and leadership; and gain trained and educated employees which addresses pipeline concern and problem-solving capability.
State, Federal, and local government see an increase in upwardly mobile individuals who fuel economic development.
‘We are targeting kids within Davie and Davidson Counties and encouraging them to stay here by specifically hosting the apprenticeship program here and then guaranteeing them jobs post-apprenticeship,” said Kern.
“The apprenticeship program is a true win-win for everyone in the community,” said Kern. She is proud of the work the Consortium is doing and hopes that additional companies will want to join. For more information about the Davidson & Davie Apprenticeship Consortium, visit http://ddac.tech.
“You can’t sell cornfields anymore,” says Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “There’s too much red tape, hoopla, and time involved. Companies today are looking for a building shell that can be customized and up and running in 90-120 days.”
Fortunately, Davie County is in the enviable position of having a high-quality building inventory in the right location — just off of I-40, within 30 miles of four additional interstates, and centrally located between the Triad and Charlotte Metros.
And the new Davie Industrial Center located at Interstate Drive and Gildan Drive in Mocksville will soon add to that inventory. The first of its three industrial spaces, a 324,000 SF precast concrete industrial building, is currently under construction and will be available as early as May. When completed, the Center will offer 920,678 SF of manufacturing/warehouse space.
“This is an advantage that every small community and every economic developer would love to have,” said Bralley.
Private Investors Bringing New Jobs to Davie County
While some communities have taken public funds to compete with other developers, Davie County has taken the opposite approach of supporting private sector efforts and partnering with private developers rather than competing with them. For the past 22 years, the SouthPoint Industrial Park, located just north of Interstate 40 on US Highway 601, has been a shining example of this approach. Founded in 1998 by the Hollingsworth Companies, SouthPoint has brought thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of investment to Davie County.
The Park consists of 10 buildings from 72,480 to 253,180 SF and has two additional buildings planned for 2019.
Bralley believes that Davie Industrial Center’s larger industrial spaces will attract a different manufacturing clientele enhancing the County’s ability to continue to expand and grow its industrial base.
“Bigger buildings widen our potential to attract larger clients,” he said. “Larger buildings also have less competition in state-wide project searches which will increase our odds of securing a deal.”
Economic Development is a Team Sport – Building a Project Team
Davie Industrial Center is the vision of Bill Junker, owner of Trailers of the East Coast. He had often heard Bralley talk about running out of available inventory of industrial buildings and he knew that he had the perfect piece of property with a great location off of I-40 that already had most of the necessary utilities, a road, and a stoplight. He simply needed help developing it, so he turned to Bralley for advice.
“I told Terry that if I could find some people that I could trust, that knew how to build buildings, who knew how to market them, and knew how to go through the deal, I would love to be a part of that because it’s something I’ve never done,” said Junker. “I’m sort of an entrepreneur, I love to take on new challenges.”
Together they went to Greensboro to talk with developers experienced in creating and marketing large industrial projects. Their first meeting was with John Reece of Commercial Realty Advisors who offers a wealth of commercial real estate development experience in the Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte markets. He connected them with Buddy Seymour, the president-manager of Windsor Commercial which specializes in industrial development and construction. At the time, Windsor was working on the McConnell Center, a 145-acre mixed-use business park in East Greensboro at the split of I-85 and I-40.
Both Junker and Bralley liked what they saw at the McConnell Center. “We were really excited about what they could do in building such quality buildings and at a marketable price,” Junker said.
Seymour took a look at Junker’s site and agreed that it was the perfect place for the type of industrial complex he had in mind and a partnership was born. Reece joined the team as the marketing partner. Near the end of the project, a friend of Reece’s, Louis DeJoy, president of LDJ Global Strategies, LLC, a strategic real estate investment and consulting company based in Greensboro, joined the group as an investor and provided the remaining needed capital.
“It has impressed me that they were all willing to get involved,” Junker said. “I saw the value, but I’m a rookie and this is all new to me. I continue to grow in confidence in my partners and what we are accomplishing. We are already looking at other opportunities in Davie County.”
Its all about Relationships
Bralley agreed, saying, “A speculative project of this magnitude involves a tremendous amount of risk but we have a great community here and the ability to assist with getting state and federal grants to help put deals together. They see that as an asset. Securing partners of this caliber says a lot about this project and this community’s reputation for knowing how to win big deals.He’s (Junker) put together a winning combination of talent, capital, know-how, and marketing with the right location and the right infrastructure.”
“The ability to attract outside investors that believe in your economy and want to participate is how you develop a community. You bring outside dollars in,” he added.
Junker gave much of the credit for Davie County’s success to Bralley, calling him a “visionary who is always looking at what is coming over the horizon.” “Terry had the vision 30 some years ago that this corridor between Hwy 601 and Hwy 64 would be the lifeline future of Mocksville. What he and the Economic Development Commission are doing every day of the week is the lifeline of the citizens of Davie County to bring better-paying jobs to our county so that our children and grandchildren can come back here to live and have a better way of life. This is our future”
Embarrassed by the praise, Bralley smiled and said, “It’s all about relationships, developing relationships, and making connections. Those relationships can be worth millions”
I was a long-haired 11th grader in Carolyn Beaver’s journalism class at Davie High School when I decided that would be my career path. Journalism. Newspaper work.
I never got rich, but I don’t regret that decision.
And the 11th grade is not too early to begin thinking about a career choice. Heck, eighth grade isn’t too early, either, just don’t set anything into stone at that young of an age.
As editor of the student newspaper at Chowan College, I learned quickly that when you’re the editor of a newspaper at a Baptist college, it’s probably best not to criticize the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. But I did. My professor loved the editorial, but the college administration did not. Chowan had just started a newswriting and advertising two-year degree program, geared towards those of us who wanted to work at a community newspaper.
The only professor on the news side was a retired editor of a major daily newspaper in the Tidewater, Virginia area. He didn’t last long at Chowan, either.
Then it was on to East Tennessee State University to study mass communications (journalism). I had a work study job on the student newspaper there, and yes, I thoroughly enraged the university president with an article. It was his fault for refusing to answer simple questions, but he didn’t see it that way.
To get a degree in journalism at East Tennessee, students had to complete a semester as an intern – at a newspaper, magazine, television station or other news outlet. It wasn’t a suggestion, it was a requirement. Get your own job or they would find one for you.
I worked for the Johnson City Press Chronicle for a few months, and received invaluable, real-world training there. I even wrote a couple of top stories for the Sunday edition.
That was the best requirement ever. I’ve seen too many students graduate from the University of North Carolina School of Journalism with no idea of what it is like in the real world. They could write, but were lost at a county commissioner’s meeting. They could write, but a deadline put them in a panic. They could write, but cringed when an editor made changes, whether for clarity or length.
I was lucky to know my career path early, and Davie County is on the right track in training our students for the workforce.
Terry Bralley and the Davie Economic Development Commission continue to amaze. Pretty much full on the employment scale, the director of economic development didn’t stop in his efforts to recruit new industry, or help local industries expand.
But he added staff to help keep more young people here.
Carolyn McManamy, former president of the Davie County Chamber of Commerce, is heading the project, and I’m sure she will do well. The idea is to get our students and teachers familiar with local industries, learning their needs, learning the skills they expect from employees. The hope is that teachers will teach more of these skills, and students will find something they’re interested in and stay in Davie after graduating from high school or college. It’s a great idea.
Sending their kids to college is every parent’s dream, but when the student graduates with no real-world job skills, that dream can turn into a nightmare – a financially crippling nightmare. It is not entirely the fault of the student and parents, many of whom believe that a college degree in itself is a path to career success. It is not. Blame some of the colleges that offer degrees that give the student little or no hope of finding a job.
Yes, I believe in a well rounded education. College students should be exposed to all types of information, but there should be more of a focus on job skills.
Students, find a career choice that suits your desires, and learn the skills it takes to be successful in that career. Even if you change your mind later, those skills will be with you forever.
– Mike Barnhardt
By Mike Barnhardt
Editor, Davie County Enterprise Record
This editorial was originally published in the
Davie County Enterprise Record and is reprinted here with permission