Wood House Upholstery LLC has chosen Mocksville, NC for its first US manufacturing facility and will begin operations in the Shelba D. Johnson Trucking building at 970 Milling Rd in August. The company is now seeking upholsterers, sewers, cutters, frame builders, general laborers as well as an experienced cutting and sewing supervisor and plans to hire 20-30 employees immediately and an additional 10-20 employees within the next six months.
Applications Accepted Next Week
Wayne Stewart, CFO/COO, will accept applications at the Davie County Chamber of Commerce located at 135 South Salisbury Street in Mocksville beginning next week. The hours will be Monday, July 1st from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. and Tuesday, July 2nd from 1-5 p.m. in the upstairs conference room; and Monday, July 8th and Tuesday, July 9th from 4-6 p.m. in the lower conference room on the back side of the building. The company is offering competitive pay and benefits.
Wood House Upholstery’s parent company, family-owned Caribbean manufacturer Wood House Furniture, began making standard and custom upholstered furniture in 1992. Since 2002, Wood House has expanded production from a 3,000-square-foot plant to a combined 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space in factories in Barbados and Trinidad that employ 150 people.
Wood House Owner Alan Cox decided the timing was right for the company’s North American debut which has been in the works for several years. Wood House already exports to 21 countries in South and Central American and the Caribbean.
Wood House introduced its new USA collection of 20+ frames retailing from $599 to $899 during the High Point Furniture Market this April. The pieces are available through retailers across the country.
Initially, the furniture has been imported from the Caribbean and distributed through warehouses in Miami and at Shelba D Johnson. However, corporate leadership soon realized that producing the furniture in the US would help the company maintain its competitive edge in pricing and began seeking a manufacturing site.
The decision to locate in Mocksville was an easy one, according to Stewart. “Being from this area I am well aware of the proximity of raw materials suppliers and the employee work ethic of folks around here. We will have a family-oriented work environment which treats employees with respect and rewards hard work.”
He also cited the serendipitous nature of being able to lease the manufacturing space from Shelba D Johnson Trucking which already warehouses and transports Wood House Upholstery’s products.
“Shelba Johnson had excess space they weren’t utilizing inside a former furniture plant that still had much of the infrastructure we need in place. It’s really a win-win situation for everyone.”
Cox is pleased with how well everything has come together. “We are excited to be opening our facility here in Mocksville. The company is well positioned for growth and the Mocksville area has an excellent reputation for a seasoned and talented workforce.”
Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, is equally pleased. “We are happy to share the great news of more jobs and another international manufacturing operation locating in our community. We are extremely excited to welcome Wood House Upholstery to our well-positioned community and business ready county.”
“The war for talent is real! You must prepare for it like it is a battle. Job growth in the region is at an all-time high which means employees have a lot of choices,” David Hollars, executive director of Centralina Workforce Development Board, told plant and human resource managers during a luncheon hosted by Davie County Economic Development, DavieCONNECT and the Davie County Chamber of Commerce.
He shared a number of startling statistics from www.ncworks.gov.: North Carolina’s unemployment rate in December 2018 was 3.8%. The area unemployment rate was even lower at 3.4%. To put those numbers into perspective, he explained that during that time period the Centralina WDB region had 49,939 job listings but only 47,056 people listed as unemployed, many of whom might not be ready to do those jobs. That means that there is 0.65, or less than 1, candidates available per job opening!
He asked numerous questions that encouraged attendees to examine their recruitment practices and then offered tips that would help an organization stand out in its attempts to attract new qualified employees and to retain the ones it has.
“What is the first thing people are going to do when they hear you are hiring?” Hollars asked. “They are going to Google your company. How quickly could a potential candidate find out about open positions with your organization?
He explained that the more clicks it takes to find out about job openings, their description, and necessary qualifications, the more likely a job seeker would go on to the next company.
“Are you utilizing multiple approaches as part of your recruitment strategy? he asked. He recommends increasing visibility by using:
- social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, including career specific FB and LinkedIn groups)
- job boards (Indeed, Monster, Career Builder, Dice, etc. as well as industry associations)
- and the NC Works Career Services system
He suggested that organizations take a careful look at their website. “Do you have a career page? Is it easy to find? Do you have specifics to the open positions listed? Can candidates apply via your website? How well do you respond to candidates?”
Organizations should not only make it easy to find available jobs and apply for them but companies should also utilize their website to make a case that they are “an employer of choice.” Good websites are your key to getting good talent.”
He quoted PepsiCo’s Rebecca Gloyne who said, “Companies need to put as much thought and care into their employer brand strategy as that of their consumer brands, or they will miss out on talent as well as long-term growth.”
One way for a company to positively brand itself is to have an employee tell its story. “Perhaps you have an employee who started at a low level and moved up or someone who is now able to support their family because of their job with your organization.”
He also explained that retention is as critical as recruitment.
“Other employers want to steal your people! If you have a good employee, you certainly want to keep him. It costs 1 ½ times to 2 times the salary to replace an employee and surveys indicate that 65 percent of employees are confident they can find a better position that pays more. Employees have lots of choices, you aren’t the only game in town.”
Hollar discussed the importance of embedding new employees to a company through mentoring, training, and development.
“Studies suggest that a supervisor is the #1 reason employees leave. People leave their bosses, not their companies. Develop leaders!”
Compensation and rewards are also important and pay level is not the top predictor of retention.
“Recognition in all forms is a powerful retention tool. Let people know that you appreciate them. Recognition is not just about recognizing great work. It’s also about acknowledging and appreciating the people you work with. Say “hi” to people in the hallway, say “thank you” when someone does something for you, and offer your help to show your support.”
He also shared information about all of the tools that NCWorks Career Centers have to offer both businesses and career seekers. Businesses can use NCWorks Online to post jobs, search candidates, and find labor market information. Career seekers can create an online profile and work with a counselor to identify and build skills, prepare for interviews, etc. These tools can be found at www.NCWorks.gov.
His top three takeaways?
- Position yourself as an “employer of choice” starting with your website.
- Do a business recruitment audit on your company/organization.
- Use ALL available resources for finding talent – especially NCWorks.
DavieCONNECT is a workforce initiative of the Davie County Economic Commission designed to connect businesses to resources and kids to careers and to provide innovative workforce solutions for Davie County. For more information, contact Carolyn McManamy at 336.753.6670 or email@example.com.
After two years of intensive repairs and renovation, the former House of Raeford Farms chicken processing plant in Mocksville is now hiring with plans to begin operations in October.
The central portion of the manufacturing facility off Eaton Road was heavily damaged by a fire in December 2017. Brakebush Brothers, a 94-year-old family-owned value-added processor of traditional and innovative chicken products, purchased the facility from House of Raeford in July 2018.
Brakebush has upgraded the facility with state-of-the-art production equipment and has expanded it from 72,000 SF to 110,000 SF. The updated facility will accommodate three production lines with three shifts and will employ over 300 team members when fully operational. The initial production capacity will be 90 million pounds of chicken annually, which will increase as lines are added.
“We’re excited to be a part of the Mocksville community, to continue our tradition of excellence in producing quality products, and providing an exceptional work environment for our employees,” said Scott Sanders, president of Brakebush Brothers.
The company is now hiring for first shift, with a start date of August 12th. Available positions include production associates, industrial maintenance technicians, RETA-certified refrigeration technicians, waste-water technicians, and more.
Recruitment for second shift will begin in November with a start date of January 2020.
Pay starts at $13.35 & up. Personal and professional growth opportunities are available.
Benefits include 401K with company match (100% vested from the first day of enrollment), health, dental, vision, life, short-term disability, and long-term disability as well as paid holidays, paid sick time and paid vacation.
Bonuses include a $500 sign-on bonus (after 6 months), $100 referral bonus (if both parties are still employed at 90 days), and an annual discretionary incentive bonus.
Apply in person at 251 Eaton Rd., Mocksville, NC., online at www.Brakebush.com, or by calling Bobbi Jo Kreiger, human resources manager, at 800-933-2121 ext. 3303.
Interviews will be conducted offsite at the Davie County Chamber of Commerce or Mocksville Public Library.
About Brakebush Brothers, Inc.
Family-owned and operated since 1925, Brakebush Brothers, Inc. provides a complete line of further processed chicken with over 200 products for the foodservice industry. The company is headquartered in Westfield, WI with additional operations in Irving, TX and Wells, MN. Visit www.brakebush.com for more information.
Pro Chiller Systems has announced that it will shift the production of all standard equipment from its Auburn, Washington headquarters to its east coast manufacturing facility located in Mocksville, NC effective June 30th.
Pro Refrigeration designs, manufactures and distributes state-of-the-art refrigeration systems for the dairy, winery, food processing, medical, and brewing industries. Since opening in North Carolina in 2013, the percentage of equipment produced in North Carolina versus Washington has steadily increased reaching a 75% (NC) to 25% (WA) split in 2018. Pro will continue with limited manufacturing in Auburn with a focus on product development, testing, and certification.
“From a business standpoint, it makes sense to have all of our standard products produced in a single facility,” said Jim VanderGiessen, CEO. “We’ve invested in building a world-class facility in North Carolina, adding this volume will challenge us, but the capacity is there. On a personal level, it’s really a tough call to make when decisions affect longtime members of the team.”
“Several factors were considered before making this decision. First of all, our production costs are lower in North Carolina for many reasons, primarily because we are producing more here and benefit from the economy of scale. Secondly, we have 80 percent of our suppliers within a one-day drive of our Mocksville plant which decreases inventory and transportation costs. Lastly, our facility costs are much lower. It currently costs the same to operate our 25,000 SF plant in Washington as it does to operate our 65,000 SF plant in North Carolina.”
According to VanderGiessen, the move will save the company about 15 percent in production costs of standard products.
The Mocksville facility, located on Beechtree Place, just off of Farmington Road near Interstate 40, currently employs approximately 35 people. With the consolidation, the Mocksville manufacturing facility will hire as many as five additional employees and increase production by 25 percent.
The 25,000 SF Auburn headquarters will continue to have an important role in Pro’s ongoing strategy. In addition to ongoing finance/accounting, customer service, training, and inside sales- this new shift will focus on product development and product certification. “Going forward, the priority in Auburn will be developing and testing new equipment and finding additional industries to serve,” VanderGiessen added. “We’ve spent the past 30 years disrupting some big markets and are excited about the opportunities we are working on. Having a dedicated team and facility for these opportunities is huge.”
He emphasized, “Our goal is to create some new roles in both Auburn and Mocksville and find opportunities for anyone affected, we will do everything we can to minimize the impact on the team.”
“Davie County continues to prove itself as the right location for our East Coast operation and has become home,” he said. “It has been a supportive community since day one and continues to be. That’s why we are increasing our investment here.”
Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission is pleased with that decision. “Davie County Economic Development continues to make an impact with connections across the United States. We are grateful for companies like Pro Refrigeration that believe and invest in Davie County.”
History of Pro Refrigeration in Davie County
Pro Refrigeration landed in Mocksville in 2013 after a yearlong search for a site that would fit its expansion plans. The family-owned manufacturer decided that both the Davie County facility and the community best reflected their vision. According to CEO Jim Vandergiessen, the company chose Davie County for “its skilled workforce, the business-friendly environment, and the amazing support we’ve received from everyone we’ve met.”
Two years later, the company outgrew its 40,000 square feet of space in the former Crown Wood building on John Crotts Road and expanded into its current 65,000 square feet of space in the former Renegade Tobacco warehouse. The layout of the new location doubled the amount of space dedicated to the manufacturing process and allows for the upcoming consolidation.
About Pro Refrigeration, Inc.
Pro Refrigeration, Inc. was co-founded by Jim VanderGiessen Jr., CEO, and his Father Jim Sr. in 1990. In addition to being industry leaders to the craft beverage and dairy markets, Pro designs and manufactures chiller systems for numerous industries with a complete product offering from ¾ to 300 HP serving applications that require chilled fluid from –45 F to +45 F.
Pro Refrigeration, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn, WA with a 65,000 SF East Coast manufacturing facility located in Mocksville, NC. Pro also has a network of regional salespeople serving in each corner of the US. For more information, visit www.prochiller.com.
Davie CONNECT and DCCC, the Community College of Davidson and Davie Counties joined forces on Wednesday, May 8th at the Davie Campus in Mocksville for the first co-sponsored job fair.
The event brought together more than 20 employers representing a wide range of professions and industries. Career options at the job fair included positions in the areas of healthcare, advanced manufacturing, business, IT, education and more.
According to Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT, “Our first co-hosted job fair attracted a large number of job seekers and we are thrilled with the teamwork and the support of DCCC as we strive to connect businesses to resources and kids to careers and to provide innovative workforce solutions for Davie County.”
“This job fair was open to students and to the public as well. Our employers gained access to a wide range of talent which provided wonderful direct recruiting opportunities that reached beyond the walls of the community college student body. We were very pleased that our pre-event outreach attracted both DCCC students and other job seekers from the community,” added McManamy.
A survey of job seekers attending the job fair indicated that 98% of job seekers attending the job fair were satisfied with the variety of employers represented while 97% of job seekers found the schedule of the job fair was convenient. 40% of attendees spoke with less than 5 employers, while more than half of the attendees spoke with more than 5 employers.
Employers attending the job fair included Ashley Furniture, Avgol, Blakley Landscaping, Brakebush Brothers, CPP Global, DCCC Human Resources, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, First Choice Personnel, Gildan, Home Instead Senior Care, Ingersoll Rand, Morrisofa, NCWorks, O’Callahans Publick House, PalletOne, Patterson Company, REEB, The Resource, Sabeti Wain Aerospace, Sheetz, Smith Excavating, Summershine Resort Staffing, Woodman Life, and Workforce Unlimited.
Given the success of this first DCCC/Davie CONNECT job fair, we can expect additional job fairs to be scheduled moving forward.
About Davie CONNECT
An initiative of the Davie County Economic Commission, Davie CONNECT is designed to connect businesses to resources and kids to careers and to provide innovative workforce solutions for Davie County. For more information, contact Carolyn McManamy at 336.753.6670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Davidson County Community College
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is a fully accredited, multi-campus college where students of all ages and backgrounds pursue academic and career-focused education in order to build successful futures. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers more than 40 degree and professional certificate programs to students in Davidson and Davie counties, as well as affordable college-credit coursework to students who plan to transfer to 4-year universities. With a mission to serve the changing needs of students competing in a global environment, DCCC is committed to quality education, innovative and equitable learning experiences, training, and support across a wide range of 21st-century career fields.
“It’s all about exposure,” says Anthony Davis. “It’s exposing the students to the businesses but also exposing the businesses to the students.”
Davis, Director of CTE and Federal Programs for Davie County Schools, was referring to the Davie High CTE (Career and Technical Education) Program’s efforts to connect its students with area businesses.
“There are some communities in our state that don’t have any large businesses, others have big businesses but they don’t interact with the schools, and some places have multiple school systems within their county fighting for the same businesses. We are very blessed here to have one high school and several businesses willing to come out and work with us.”
Janet Barnes, Career Development Coordinator (CDC), agreed, adding,” We have quite a bit of interaction, but we’d always like more. We can never have too much interaction.”
“We were super pleased with the number of business and industry representatives that we had willing to reach out to our students during the Career Expo, but we want local businesses and industry to know that there are many more ways to get involved with our students throughout the year.”
“We have these amazing businesses and industries out there, wonderful places that will eventually provide wonderful opportunities for our students full time. Often the students know the names of the companies, but they don’t know what goes on there. By industries opening their doors to us I think that it will definitely open up a pipeline of potential employees.”
Davis believes this could be especially beneficial to businesses in helping to recruit younger workers. “Now that it is such a competitive job market, they are having to learn what it takes to recruit a millennial. Job recruiting today is nothing like it was 20 or 30 years ago. We are having to work together to figure out how we mesh today’s workforce with the current needs of employers. Millennials sometimes get a bad rap, but they have a lot to offer. Millennials do a great job of multitasking and they were born into technology whereas we were not. We have to be able to utilize their strengths to develop the workforce businesses need.”
An easy first step for businesses to get involved is to allow a student to job shadow.
“Some businesses are limited on the amount of time they can host students and that’s fine,” said Barnes. “Job shadowing can be half a day, a full day, or even a couple hours, whatever will allow a student to get a snapshot of the type of work that is done at that particular workplace.”
“If job shadowing is successful, they might want to consider an internship which allows a student to work 135 hours over the course of a semester. Maybe they will really like the student and want to continue working with them through a pre-apprenticeship and even an apprenticeship.”
“We’d love to have businesses willing to have our students come to serve as interns throughout the year, summertime, or whenever they can do it,” said Davis. “We can do internships at any time.”
As part of an internship, students earn course credit and are required to provide several items of evidence to demonstrate what they’ve learned and how they’ve grown.
Businesses Don’t Need to Worry about Insurance Liability
When approached about offering job shadowing or internships opportunities, some businesses have expressed concerns about having students under 18 in their buildings because of insurance liability. “We’d love for our business community to understand that our students are insured by us through state and CTE funds so it’s okay for businesses to open their doors to the students,” said Davis.
He’d also like businesses to know that there are students looking for internship opportunities in all different areas. “My daughter did an internship in a doctor’s office. It doesn’t have to be a huge corporation, small businesses can offer opportunities for students. We had a student who wanted to work with pets who completed a semester internship with a pet groomer. It can be anything.”
Barnes would like to assure businesses that in addition to insurance the school provides a confidentiality statement. “These things are in place to protect both our students and businesses.”
Pre-Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships
“If a company wants to expand beyond an internship we can go to a pre-apprenticeship,” said Davis.
“Pre-Apprenticeships and apprenticeships offer great educational and employment opportunities for our students and graduates. A student still in high school can join a cooperating business for a pre-apprenticeship or if they wait until after high school a full apprenticeship. Businesses can create their own apprenticeship programs or collaborate in a consortium of companies. In Davidson and Davie Counties, we have Davidson & Davie Apprenticeship Consortium (DDAC) which has a focus on advanced manufacturing. Consortium members include Ingersoll Rand, Avgol, BMK Americas, CPM Wolverine Proctor, Egger Wood Products, and Kurz. Consortium members and Davidson County Community College collaborated with ApprenticehipNC to set expectations for students and businesses. Eventually, we are hoping to see an expansion of this consortium to include other academic and career pathways as well.”
“In either case, through a consortium or individually, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships are win-win situations for students and businesses. Businesses get a reliable, educated employee whom they have trained from the beginning, and our students get a quality education debt-free and are guaranteed employment.”
According to Davis, Davie High is currently in the process of developing a pre-apprenticeship program with Davie Construction and hopes to expand into other industries and with other companies.
Lunch & Learns, Classroom Collaborations, STEMinars, and STEM Field Trips
Barnes is always looking for business owners, industry representatives and other professionals to conduct a Lunch & Learn session during Smart Lunch, the 40-minute time slot students have to make up school work, receive tutoring, or attend lectures or club meetings.
There are also opportunities for individual class-based collaboration to occur. “For example, both Members Credit Union and the State Employees Credit Union have come into our Personal Finance classes as guest speakers.”
“STEM teachers also invite local businesses and individuals to Smart Lunch sessions,” said Davis. “In these STEMinars, businesses help students learn about their business or occupation through discussion and hands-on activities. Recently, STEM teachers have included pertinent CTE classes to share in this opportunity. Field trips are taken to area businesses and attractions, mainly during the summer, to expose students to STEM-related fields. We are always looking for partner businesses who will open their doors for tours and who would be willing to join us on our campus for STEMinars/Lunch and Learns.”
CTE/STEM Alliance Business Advisory Council
Another way businesses can be involved with the high school is to join the CTE/STEM Alliance Business Advisory Council, which is mandated by law, according to Davis. “Thankfully, ours is well attended. We have a good group of people who come and want to be involved. We certainly want to showcase to our businesses what we are doing, but we also want input from them as to what we can do better to help them.”
Equally important is the summer externship program for teachers.
“Getting our teachers exposed to what our businesses are doing is very beneficial for helping them to guide students,” said Davis. “Businesses can host the externs for as little as an hour or as long as a couple of days. Offering that type of flexibility turned out to be very successful last summer.”
New Collaboration Opportunities in the Works
Barnes and Davis are constantly brainstorming additional ways to enhance the business/student connection.
They are exploring credentialing options through state-approved modules on specific soft skills or professional skills since those are areas business advisory members have expressed concerns about. Students would receive a certificate detailing the modules and skills they had completed. Examples of available modules include balancing work and home life, proper use of technology, and teamwork.
“The certification would let potential employers know that the student has been properly vetted in that skill,” Davis said.
“Manufacturing Day has been a wonderful experience for our middle schoolers,” said Davis “We would like to be able to do the same thing for the high school students. We don’t know what that would look like yet because there are so many more students but getting the high school students into the businesses would also be valuable.
Barnes would like to establish a job board as well as a job link on the school’s website to assist both students and employers.
“We want all of our businesses to know that there are so many opportunities available to them,” said Davis. “You can come to a STEMinar, you can come to a Lunch & Learn, you can be involved with the business advisory council, or come participate in our Career Expo. We want to be involved with you and we want you to be involved with us”.
Barnes added, “We are so grateful for all of the business owners and industry reps who’ve chosen to be involved with our students and we look forward to continuing to expand that.”
For more information about how your business can connect with Davie High please contact:
Anthony Davis, CTE Director – email@example.com or 336-751-5921 x1015
Janet Barnes, Career Development Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-751-5905
Larson Manufacturing, the largest manufacturer of storm doors and storm windows in the United States, has opened a new 130,000 SF distribution center adjacent to its Comfort Bilt Windows and Doors manufacturing facility in the SouthPoint Business Park in Mocksville.
Comfort Bilt began operations in Mocksville in 1999 with one production line. Today, nine different product lines are manufactured by 200 dedicated employees residing in Davie and surrounding counties, and the shared 194,000 SF facility had become a growth-limiting factor for both divisions.
Relocating the distribution center increases distribution space from 70,000 SF to 130,000 SF which will increase the company’s ability to service its East Coast customers and will expand its manufacturing capacity explained Troy Bunker, director of sourcing and logistics at Larson Manufacturing, during a grand opening celebration facilitated by the Davie County Chamber of Commerce. “That will be a 40 percent increase in our manufacturing capacity at that facility and a 90 percent increase in our storage capacity here, so we are really set up to succeed into the future. This is a really nice opportunity for Larson.”
“The new distribution center will allow Larson to optimize the picking layout and increase efficiencies in all areas,” said Dale Albright, eastern operations manager for Larson. “This relocation will set us up for future expansion and allow Larson to more effectively utilize its premier east coast location.”
The manufacturing facility will be up-fitted and reconfigured to improve efficiency and productivity and will begin producing a line of storm doors with retractable screens this fall.
“With this move, and the added square footage it brings, we have the unique opportunity to focus on the efficiency of the entire Comfort Bilt operation and not just a single line or department,” said Michael Barron, Comfort Bilt plant manager.
A $212,000 grant from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority awarded to the Town of Mocksville last October is supporting the renovation. The company plans to invest over $500,000 to expand production at the facility, creating as many as 50 new jobs over the next two years.
Comfort Bilt became the first tenant of the SouthPoint Business Park on Hwy 601 after Larson, its parent company, headquartered in Brookings, South Dakota, began seeking an East Coast location.
According to Barron, the company desired a location in a growing area near an interstate, with competitive property prices, good utilities, and a skilled labor force where it could develop a good working relationship with city and county government. It found all of that in Davie County.
Comfort Bilt and the SouthPoint Business Park have helped fuel the manufacturing boom that has provided Davie County with hundreds of needed jobs as well as an increased tax base.
“There’s something pretty special about hosting the biggest company in the world at something,” said Terry Bralley, president of Davie County Economic Development. “Larson and Comfort Bilt have demonstrated the leadership it takes to not only become number one but to stay number one.”
“For logistics, there is probably no better location on the eastern seaboard than the one you are in today. We are just so excited to see you grow and to have you grow with us in this community. You represent so much to our citizens to whom you’ve provided stable jobs in both good times and bad. I wish you much success today and in the future.”
About Larson Manufacturing
Larson Manufacturing is recognized for making homes better with a market-leading selection of storm doors, high-efficiency interior and storm windows, a patented porch window with retractable screens and other door and window innovations. For over 60 years, the company has placed a high value on its employees as part of a long-standing commitment to product excellence and customer satisfaction. LARSON is headquartered in Brookings, SD, and has additional plants in Lake Mills, IA; Mocksville, NC; and Salt Lake City, UT. The company maintains its own distribution centers and a national field sales team. LARSON products are widely available from home improvement retailers and dealers in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.LARSONdoors.com.
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: