By Jeanna Baxter White
Mocksville is rolling out the red carpet and entering the glitz and glam world of show business. Special Event Services, an industry leader in audio, lighting, design, staging, and live event production broke ground this month on a space that will make room for growth, provide greater efficiency, and free up space for one of its affiliated companies.
Founded in 1986 by Jim Brammer and Jeff Cranfill in Brammer’s Winston-Salem garage, SES provides state-of-the-art equipment with unmatched service to clients including Ed Sheeran, Zac Brown Band, Hootie and the Blowfish, Franklin Graham, Joyce Meyer Ministries, and many others.
Located on a 15-acre site at 216 Angell Knoll Avenue, the 52,000-square-foot pre-engineered metal building will include conference rooms, offices, and warehouse space. The company plans to move in next November. Future plans at the site include the addition of a rehearsal facility that will allow artists and productions to practice in a space set up to simulate the venue where they will be performing. The general contractor is Fourth Elm Construction of Kernersville. The project architect is CJMW Architecture, and the engineer is Stimmel Associates, both of Winston Salem.
“This expansion was a long time in coming,” said SES Director of Touring Michael Brammer, Jim’s son, who represents the second generation of the family business. “Over the past few years, we’ve experienced steady growth and needed more space to spread out to build and prep our events.”
“Mocksville provided us the right place at the right time. We found a great piece of land with easy access to I-40,” added Brammer. “It has been great getting to know everyone and working with the Davie County team. Everyone has been very welcoming and accommodating throughout the entire process. We are thrilled to be able to call Davie County home for SES!”
“What an exciting company to have in our community with its built-in star-studded list of customers,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “Special Event Services offers a tremendous opportunity for our Davie County community to learn and grow from their wealth of knowledge and experience in the entertainment business. In addition, breaking ground at this site opens up new sites for industrial and commercial development in the future.”
The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has awarded the Town of Mocksville a $2 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to support public water and sewer improvements to accommodate Brakebush Brothers, Inc., a manufacturer of processed poultry products for foodservice, industrial, and chain accounts. The company began operations in Mocksville in October. The grant supports the creation of more than 200 jobs, along with a private investment of $60 million.
The Golden LEAF Foundation has provided the Town with an additional $450,000 utility infrastructure grant for the project.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has also approved $700,000 in road improvements at US Hwy 601 S. and Eaton Road to alleviate any traffic concerns related to the plant’s expansion.
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 after the central portion of the manufacturing facility at 251 Eaton Road was heavily damaged by a fire in December 2017.
The plant has re-opened after two years of intensive repairs and renovation. 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.
In order for the Town of Mocksville to accommodate the significant increase in wastewater from the Brakebush facility, the Town would need to install a pump station and a force main sewer line consisting of two 400-gallon per minute submersible pumps and 9,100 LF of 8-inch for main. An additional 1,800 LF of new 12-inch water line was also needed to augment the single 12-inch water line to the facility. The grants have made those improvements possible.
“We are happy for Mocksville and Davie County to get these dollars to facilitate expansion,” said Carey Brakebush, vice president of facilities and transportation, who also expressed appreciation for the hard work of local officials who made the grant a reality. “Brakebush is thrilled to be in Mocksville and looking forward to what it brings for our company and the community.”
“Brakebush Brothers have proven to be a great corporate citizen, and we are proud that they have chosen Mocksville for their latest expansion,” said Mocksville Town Manager Matt Settlemyer. “We are pleased that the Town of Mocksville, Davie County, the EDC, and the State of North Carolina continue to work collectively to improve the area’s utility infrastructure and to provide economic opportunities to our local community.”
Economic Development is a Team Sport in Davie County
Local officials are pleased with the success of their collaborative efforts to make this project possible and are looking ahead to future opportunities.
“Town and County elected officials working together to bring business and industry to our town is what makes Davie County such a great place to live,” said Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin. “Collaboration between all parties involved in making the economic development machine run smoothly benefits all of our citizens by ensuring jobs and prosperity for future generations. Establishing relationships with great companies like Brakebush will benefit our local economy and community as we move forward into 2020.”
John Eller, county manager for Davie County agreed, saying, “As our economy grows, it takes all of us to be successful. Together, Davie County Government, the Town of Mocksville, and our Economic Development Commission continue to strategically plan for the future. Joint ventures and regionalization of shared utilities is a great example of what intentional partnerships can yield. Our collective goal is to enhance our water and sewer infrastructure for years to come.”
Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission (DCEDC), also wanted to express his appreciation for the support of Representative Julia Howard in Raleigh. “Our residents should know that Julia Howard continues to play a key role for us in Raleigh as she works to bring jobs and new investment to Davie County. Without her tremendous help, most of these grants would not be possible.”
Brakebush is Hiring
The company is now hiring for 50 second-shift production and QA positions as well as maintenance and refrigeration technicians for all shifts. Additional positions will open in March of 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), a $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.
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.
About the Community Block Grant Program
The Community Development Block Grant program is a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by the NC Department of Commerce. CDBG’s economic development funds provide grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Project funding is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of economic distress of applicant communities.
About the Rural Infrastructure Authority
The Rural Infrastructure Authority was established as part of the Rural Economic Development Division at the NC Department of Commerce to assist with the review and approval of grants for rural areas in the state. The grants-making programs of the Division include assistance for building reuse and restoration, water and sewer infrastructure, and economic innovation in rural communities.
About the Golden LEAF Foundation
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The Foundation has provided lasting impact by helping create 63,053 jobs; $624 million in new payrolls and more than 68,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages. Golden LEAF has awarded 1,557 grants worth over $802 million since its inception. To learn more about applying for a grant, visit www.goldenleaf.org or call (888) 684-8404.
By Jeanna Baxter White
Skyline National Bank has leased the former BB&T bank building in downtown Mocksville and will open its newest branch during the first week of December with a grand opening scheduled for December 12th.
Grand opening festivities will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., refreshments, giveaways, and account specials with CD promotional rates and safe deposit box fee waivers. The first fifty people to register for a door prize will also receive a free Christmas wreath. Door prizes will be drawn every hour from 12 until 4.
“National is in our name but community is in our heart,” said Blake Edwards Jr., president, and CEO, “Skyline is a community bank that has been serving small towns in North Carolina and Virginia for over 100 years. We are excited to be in Davie County. Mocksville is a tremendous community and Davie County is very much underserved from a traditional community banking standpoint as are many communities in North Carolina because of recent bank consolidation.”
He explained that the decision to open a branch in Mocksville was an easy one.
“Mocksville stood out on our radar as being a good-sized market, it is conveniently located near Winston-Salem, and it’s only 15 minutes due south from our existing branch in Yadkinville. We also had business folks, particularly Mr. Bralley (Terry Bralley, president of Davie County Economic Development Commission), reaching out to us and asking if we would be interested in bringing community banking back to Davie County,” Blake Edwards said. “We saw a fantastic opportunity and thought the timing was right.”
“In more than 20 years in the banking industry and after opening several branches I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a new branch opening,” Blake Edwards added. “We’ve been very impressed with the people you have in this community like Terry Bralley, Bill Junker, and Joe Harris, and other business and community leaders. The level of effort that they’ve put into helping us get here is not something you see every day.”
What is a Community Bank?
Community banks are typically locally owned and operated. Mainly conducting traditional banking services like lending and deposit gathering activities, community banks operate under a personal banking relationship with their customers. They tend to focus on the needs of the businesses and families where the bank holds branches and offices. Lending decisions are made by people who understand the local needs of families, businesses, and farmers and focus on fostering small businesses and growing the local economy.
Forging community connections is important to Skyline’s management team. New customers to the bank will be pleased to see a familiar face in Dottie Graham, a long-time member of the Mocksville banking community, who will serve as the branch manager.
Chris Pardue, senior vice-president, and Davie County market executive, is pleased to be part of the local management team. “I knew Greg (Edwards, executive vice president and NC market president,) from our earlier days at Northwestern Bank and when he told me about the opportunities they had in Mocksville it sounded like a good opportunity to get involved with a bank in my own community.”
Greg Edwards also has personal ties to the Davie County community through his involvement in the early 90s with the founders of Bank of Davie, which became the Bank of the Carolinas, and is now Bank OZK. “I got to see the potential in Davie County back then and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to work in this market now.”
A Commitment to Community Involvement and Stewardship
The management team takes pride in Skyline’s history of involvement in the communities in which it has branches and promise the same will hold true in Davie County.
“Skyline is very much a community player and citizen,” said Blake Edwards. “We tailor our involvement to each individual community. In the past, we’ve supported fire departments, rescue squads, schools, wherever the needs are in the communities we are in. We support community organizations as much as we can and encourage our employees to be active in the community whether it be non-profits, local civic organizations, or some other opportunity.”
Greg Edwards is proud of the company’s support and commitment to its employees, as well. “We offer a ‘kindness fund,’ administered by the human resources department, which allows employees, including board members, to designate payroll deductions which are used to help employees who are experiencing economic difficulties such as medical expenses. I think it’s pretty unique. I don’t know many organizations that do something like that.”
“We are really pleased to be here in Davie County and I think the people of Davie County will appreciate our community bank approach.”
Mocksville Town Manager Matt Settlemyer is also pleased with the bank’s decision to come to Mocksville, “A thriving downtown community bank is an important partner in the growth of Mocksville. We are excited that Skyline National Bank has chosen our community and we look forward to working with Skyline to promote their valuable services to our residents.”
Bralley agreed, “From our first meeting, the Skyline team had a hometown feel. I believe bringing a bank like Skyline downtown could be the spark that compliments the hard work that Mocksville is doing to attract new investment. Another vacant building downtown will come to life and bring new opportunities for our growing community. I see great things ahead for our downtown area.”
Skyline National Bank — Bringing Community Banking to Rural Communities
Skyline National Bank was formed when Grayson National Bank and Bank of Floyd – two independent, neighboring banks – combined on July 1, 2016, and rebranded as Skyline National Bank on March 13, 2017. Prior to this combination, Grayson National Bank officially opened for business on November 1, 1900, in Independence, Virginia, and Bank of Floyd on February 24, 1951.
Grayson National Bank in Independence, Virginia is located in Grayson County, Virginia which borders Ashe and Alleghany Counties in North Carolina. “Through Grayson National Bank we have literally been serving North Carolina customers since 1900,” Blake Edwards explained.
For the first 96 years of its operation, Grayson National branches had never expanded outside of Grayson County, VA. It wasn’t until 1996 that they expanded to an office in the adjacent city of Galax, VA and In 2000 they opened their first North Carolina branch in Sparta, North Carolina.
On July 1, 2018, Great State Bank — a neighboring bank with branches in Wilkesboro, Boone, and Yadkinville — joined with Skyline National Bank to expand the communities served in northwestern North Carolina. The bank now has 20 branches from Roanoke to Boone.
Skyline National Bank is located at 119 Gaither Street, Mocksville, NC 27028. The phone number is 336-244-5200. The hours for both lobby and Drive-Thru: Monday – Thursday 9-5, Friday 9-6, Closed Saturday.
By Jeanna Baxter White
Davie County has the 17th strongest economy out of the 100 counties in North Carolina, for the second year in a row, according to the 2020 North Carolina Development Tier Designation report issued by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
“We have a lot to be proud of in our community,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “This is another example of how we are stronger together and how we are continuing to make a difference.”
Since 2007, North Carolina has used a three-level system for designating development tiers. The designations, which are mandated by state law, are incorporated into certain state development programs to encourage economic activity in all 100 counties of the state.
How Tier Rankings Are Calculated
The Development Tier Designation statute (§143B-437.08) provides specific guidelines for calculating annual tier rankings. This process assigns each county to a designation of Tier One (most distressed), Tier Two, or Tier Three (least distressed). Assuming no ties in rankings, the statute requires 40 Tier One, 40 Tier Two, and 20 Tier Three counties each year. In the event of a tie for the final position as a Tier One or Tier Two county, both counties will be placed in the lower tier.
Tier Rankings use Four Factors
- Average unemployment rate for the most recent twelve months for which data are available (November 2018 – October 2019, NC Dept. of Commerce, LAUS)
- Median household income for the most recent twelve months for which data are available (2017, U.S. Census, Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates)
- Percentage growth in population for the most recent 36 months for which data are available (July 2015 – July 2018, NC Office of State Budget & Management)
- Adjusted property tax base per capita for the most recent taxable year (FY 2019-20, NC Dept. of Public Instruction)
Each county is ranked from 1 to 100 on each variable, making the highest possible county rank sum 400, and the lowest 4. After calculating the county rank sum, counties are then ranked from most distressed (1) to least distressed (100) in order to determine their economic distress rank.
Davie County’s Rankings
Davie County received a Tier Three designation again this year with a county rank sum of 307 out of 400.
- Davie County ranks 8th for the lowest unemployment at 3.51%. The North Carolina state average is 3.99%. Unemployment from November 2018 – October 2019 ranged from 3.05% in Buncombe County to 8.24% in Hyde County.
- Davie ranks 12th for median household income at $58,147, which exceeds the state average of $52,797. The highest median household income was $77,875 in Union County while the lowest was $33,022 in Bertie County.
- Davie County ranks 35th for population growth with an increase of 3.25% between July 2-15-July 2018. The state average for growth was 3.58%. The highest increase was in Brunswick County at 11.50% while Washington County had the greatest decrease at -2.99%.
- Davie County ranks 43rd for adjusted property tax base per capita at $108,094 which is slightly below the state average of $109,067. The highest was Dare County at $389,059 and the lowest was Robeson County at $51,236.
The full report can be viewed at https://files.nc.gov/nccommerce/documents/files/2020-Tiers-memo_asPublished.pdf
“I’m super excited you are all here today to learn about Edge Factor, an innovative online platform to educate and inspire the next generation workforce. This program is going to open the doors for our middle and high school students to discover and explore careers right here in Davie County,” Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT, told plant and human resource managers during a luncheon hosted by Davie County Economic Development Commission (DCEDC), DavieCONNECT, and the Davie County Chamber of Commerce.
Next month, Davie County Schools will begin rolling out the innovative workforce development tool which uses high-impact videos and interactive activities to inspire students, parents and job-seekers to pursue career pathways, discover how STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) comes alive in the real world, learn soft skills, and browse local training options, including CTE programs, postsecondary courses, apprenticeships, and other options.
All of the multimedia content Edge Factor creates is distributed through a cloud-based membership platform on edgefactor.com. Through DCS’s contract with Edge Factor, all students at the three middle schools, high school, and early college will be able to go to the organization’s website and set up personal portals which will allow them to explore dozens of career fields through engaging videos that provide a lot of information in a short amount of time and build a profile of the areas they are interested in.
The benefits of Edge Factor will not be limited to the students of Davie County. A Community Hub customized to Davie County will be introduced later this fall and will allow any Davie County resident to create a FREE Edge Factor membership and access collections of high-impact Edge Factor videos that showcase local industries and career pathways.
“The Community Hub gives students and residents access to information about our local businesses as they relate to a particular career,” said McManamy. “It will raise awareness of the wide range of career options available here in Davie County and this will be very beneficial for all of us, but especially our local businesses during their recruiting process.”
Larissa Hofman, VP Edge Factor, attended the meeting to explain Edge Factor, the Community Hub, and how they will benefit area businesses.
“Workforce development is not an easy issue,” Hofman said. “It’s not easy to walk someone, especially a student or parent, through that journey of ‘I have no idea what I want to do with my life’ to ‘now I’ve successfully achieved the skills and training I need to launch a successful career in a local company.’”
“One thing we’ve really learned is that families need the right information at the right time,” she added. “For students and parents to go on that journey of career exploration it sometimes requires some handholding. They aren’t ready to learn about what programs are available postsecondary until they understand what that industry is all about. With Edge Factor, we walk people through a timeline of understanding. We want them to go on a journey of discovery and get excited about what their community has to offer and what their future could look like. Inspiration, exploration, preparation, and connection are at the heart of what we do.”
“The Community Hub will raise awareness of the companies that exist in this area. If I was a student, parent, or jobseeker of any age in Davie County I’d be able to go to edgefactor.com and instantly find information specific to Davie County. We are working with the Davie CONNECT team to create that community directory and listing out all of the businesses which will include your company name, logo and address. The goal is to instantly have a snapshot of local companies. There is no cost to the company, and we are working on adding all of that information in the next couple of weeks.”
While all Davie County businesses will be listed in the community hub, Hofman explained that there are additional benefits for companies that purchase a business membership. Business members can add a full profile of their company, specific career profiles, training opportunities, wages, job listings, and any other desired information. Dashboard analytics allow companies to evaluate their reach.
To learn more about Edge Factor and its role in Davie County visit DavieWorks.com/explore-careers.
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.
To celebrate Manufacturing Day 2019, several local businesses and Davie County manufacturers provided a unique opportunity for all eighth-grade students in Davie County.
On October 4th, students from Ellis, North Davie, and South Davie Middle Schools each toured two different locations including DEX Heavy Duty Parts, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Gildan, Ingersoll Rand, Pro Refrigeration, DCCC – Davie Campus, and WFBH-Davie Medical Center – Bermuda Run. Other students from all three schools spent their tour-time experiencing many different facets of Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
This was the third year Davie County has participated in National Manufacturing Day through the collaborative efforts of Davie CONNECT, Davie County Chamber of Commerce, Davie County Schools, Davie County Economic Development, and the Davie business community.
Approximately 450 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 by the emphasis on safety, size of the facilities, the variety of jobs including the educational requirements for the job, and the machinery used in the day-to-day operation of the businesses.
Hosted annually, Manufacturing Day is a national event executed at the local level and typically focuses on manufacturing careers. “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,” said Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT, an initiative of Davie County Economic Development to connect businesses to resources and kids to careers. “During the tours, businesses showcased the scope of jobs available at their facilities and discussed the requisite higher education or skills training needed.”
“As a school district, it is our responsibility to make students aware of all educational and employment opportunities, and this collaborative effort is an excellent means to familiarize our students with the diverse careers available in Davie County,” said Anthony Davis, director of CTE and Federal Programs for Davie County High School. “MFG Day was also a wonderful learning experience for our middle school teachers who saw first-hand the practical application of the skills they are teaching in the classroom.”
Business and industry participants appreciated the chance to showcase their facilities as well as the career opportunities they have to offer to this future workforce.
“At Ashley, we are proud to participate in National Manufacturing Day and open our doors to students,” said Todd Wanek, president and CEO of Ashley Furniture Industries. “We believe it is important to showcase to students at a young age what opportunities are available to them in their local communities and showcase advanced manufacturing career paths.”
“Manufacturing Day introduces kids at a young age to a manufacturing environment, allowing them to witness real-world applications of the skills they are learning now and will continue to learn, as they progress through their education,” said Jeremy Neff, general manager of Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Inc. “It gives them the chance to see future opportunities available at Dunlop when starting a career and shows them that they are the future of manufacturing.”
Tonia Shore, director of human resources at Gildan, recognizes that students can’t really understand what they’ve never experienced. “Gildan is one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world and proudly operates yarn-spinning and distribution facilities in the U.S. We are pleased to provide students in Davie County with the opportunity to discover all the interesting and varied opportunities that a career in manufacturing can offer. We truly hope to inspire the next generation to find their passion in manufacturing.”
Todd Parsons, senior HR generalist at Ingersoll Rand agreed. “We are committed to good corporate citizenship and believe that advancing the quality of life requires taking an active role in addressing the issues impacting our company and communities. It is vital for our success that we focus on and support STEM and early education experiences. Partnering with Manufacturing Day to bring students through our facility is a great way to foster STEM education and create awareness of technology trends and the work environment that they can then take back to the classroom. Our hope is that their experience translates to students, especially females, developing a passion to join STEM-related careers in manufacturing.”
“As an Academic Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Health strives to not only teach the doctors and healthcare professionals of today, but also next week, next year, and beyond,” said Matt Britt, marketing manager, Davie & Lexington Medical Centers. “That means when Davie County Schools asks Davie Medical Center to be involved with touring 8th graders and sharing information about the medical profession with each of them, we are all about it. We love opening the doors of Wake Forest Baptist Health Davie Medical Center to our community and surrounding areas in whatever way we are needed.”
DEX Heavy Duty Parts participates in National Manufacturing Day for numerous reasons. “First and foremost, as a company in the Davie County community, it’s important for the community to know the industries that operate and support the area,” said Darin Redmon, director of operations. “DEX utilizes local employees and vendors from our area to help us all grow together; MFG Day helps share the DEX operations, employees and services showcasing this. Additionally, it’s important for students and others to see opportunities in our industry. DEX is unique in that it offers all levels of career paths from business and finance to marketing and manufacturing. It’s critical for students to see there are local companies that can support various levels of employment and career paths while also supporting our youth and the future of the community and state. Lastly, DEX is proud of our operations, employees, and community, we want to capitalize on every opportunity to share that when we can.”
McManamy has been pleased with the great feedback she has received from businesses as well as the students and teachers. She and Davis appreciate everyone who helped make MFG Day 2019 a success. “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. Aligning business needs with curriculum will ensure Davie County has a well trained and educated workforce to meet the challenges of businesses today and in the future.”
As an employer, you will be happy to know that there is an untapped labor force among people with disabilities here in the state – people who make outstanding employees and are job-ready. According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity (ICP), hiring people with disabilities can:
- Improve productivity and reduce turnover by almost 50%
- Include employees who have equal to or better overall job performance ratings than fellow workers
Many of these candidates are well prepared, have earned certifications and have post-secondary education. In fact, the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NCDVRS):
- Has over 4,000 applicants who are pre-qualified and “job-ready” from month to month
- Places thousands of people each year in healthcare, hospitality, and personal services jobs
- Provides over 1,500 employees to the transportation, manufacturing and construction sector each year
- Fills an additional 500 positions in the business, professional and financial services areas as well
Recruiting and Placement Services for Employers at No Charge
To recruit and employ these talented people, you can rely on NC DVRS which offers recruitment and job placement services to employers at no charge.
“We want businesses to see us as a partner in helping them achieve their staffing needs,” said Dave Hiller, manager of the Lexington unit of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which serves Davidson, Davie, and Randolph Counties, as well as high school students in Yadkin County.
He listed the programs that are available to assist employers in hiring individuals with disabilities.
- Tax credits for hiring individuals with disabilities
- Tax credit for modifying the workplace such as installing a ramp or automatic doors or widening aisles to accommodate wheelchairs
- Federal bonding program which provides no-cost fidelity bonds for hard-to-place job applicants who face barriers to employment.
- Agency-paid internship program. The employer then has the option to hire the candidate who is now trained for that specific position.
- Agency-paid On the Job Training (OJT) program
“We want to make our services available to as many people with disabilities as possible, and businesses and employers are crucial to our success.”
NC DVRS Impacting Lives, Creating Success Stories
Hiller gave an example of the benefit NC DVRS offers to both employers and consumers. “We had a client who was working for a manufacturing company in Mocksville, but her limitations were causing her to have difficulty with some of her tasks. Our vocational evaluator and counselor completed a job site analysis of the tasks and the client’s ability to perform them. They then made recommendations to both the client and the employer so that the tasks could be accomplished more efficiently. Both parties embraced the suggestions and the employee was able to continue employment. Our experts were able to assist both the employer and the client, and the situation is now a success.”
“We have specialized training to serve people with disabilities,” he added. “We are experienced in serving people with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and physical disabilities such as cardiac or pulmonary issues, diabetes, and amputations. And we also understand the local labor market, who the businesses are, and general workforce trends.”
Hiller explained that in addition to supporting businesses, his office also works directly with individuals with disabilities, beginning with high shool students, who need assistance to retain, obtain or maintain competitive employment.
Getting Help for The Disabled Begins Here
The process usually begins with a referral from a doctor, mental health professional, high school, community college, or another agency like the Department of Social Services or NCWorks. Consumers may also contact NC DVRS directly themselves.
If an individual meets the criteria for assistance (has a disability and would like to go to work), a case manager will help them develop job goals and then plans services to help meet those goals. This can include helping with access to community resources, counseling, job coaching, job leads, interview skills, resume assistance. Depending upon income, candidates may also receive financial assistance with training and transportation.
“We are all parts of a big pie. The more we work together the more the community as a whole will benefit. Our local businesses have their staffing needs met and our clients are able to achieve their goals.”
North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation is located at 375 Hospital Street, Suite 100 in Mocksville and can be reached at 336-751-0558.
For more information, you may also visit the following websites:
By Carolyn McManamy and Jeanna Baxter White
We all want to live in a vibrant community with abundant job opportunities, excellent schools, high quality of life, and low crime. We want the best for our children – to earn a great education that will launch them into independent adulthood with successful careers and the promise of a bright and prosperous future.
Education is one of the most important factors in a community’s economic success. More education means more opportunity for everyone. Yet the soaring cost of college prevents many students from furthering their education.
What if we put education at the very center of our community and Davie County students had the opportunity to continue their education beyond high school graduation, without incurring substantial student loan debt?
What if our students earned a degree or certification, providing them with the right education, skills, and training to obtain a career in the modern workforce?
And what if high-demand, high-paying careers could be found right here in our own community, further positioning Davie County as a highly desirable place to live and work?
Now imagine the impact all of this would have on the lives of our students and their families. Imagine the impact it would have on the vitality of our community, the success of our employers, and the prosperity of our future generations!
These are the dreams and the passion behind IGNITE DAVIE, a collaborative community initiative designed to develop a well-trained and educated workforce to meet the needs of our local businesses and industry. IGNITE DAVIE will raise the educational attainment of Davie County residents through tuition assistance to attend community college and will assure that all eligible high school graduates, regardless of financial need or academic ability, can earn a certificate or an associates/transfer degree.
The idea of a college promise program was initially discussed by the Davie County Chamber of Commerce a few years ago but only recently became a viable initiative as the result of a meeting in January prompted by Zach Wright’s conversation with Dr. Darrin Hartness, president of Davidson County Community College, about a college promise program for Davie students. The meeting participants included representatives from several organizations including the County of Davie, DCCC, Davie County Economic Development Commission, Davie CONNECT, Davie County Schools, Davie Community Foundation, Phil Fuller, and Zach Wright. The group quickly embraced the idea and a subcommittee of Susan Burleson, VP of DCCC Davie Campuses and Institutional Effectiveness, Jane Simpson, president/CEO of the Davie Community Foundation and Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT was formed to investigate the feasibility of launching a college promise program in Davie County.
Following several meetings and a lot of research, the community partners created the IGNITE DAVIE college promise program. With the program clearly defined, the founding partners were quick to kick off the fundraising efforts with their financial commitments toward the endowment to make it permanent. Once the Davie County Chamber and United Way joined the initiative, it was clear that IGNITE DAVIE had become a true community collaboration and would be transformative for all in Davie County.
IGNITE DAVIE is a “place-based scholarship” which means it is not based on financial need or academic merit, but upon living in Davie County. It is for all students who live here and graduate from our public high schools or a registered home school. The percentage of scholarship awarded will be based upon the number of school years the student resides in Davie County.
Beginning with the graduating class of 2020, IGNITE DAVIE will:
- Cover in-state tuition and required fees to attend Davidson County Community College (DCCC) after all financial aid or other scholarships have been applied
- Provide up to $250 per semester for textbooks
- Cover the cost of summer courses for programs that require enrollment through the summer term
To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:
- Reside in Davie County with award prorated based on continuous enrollment in a Davie County school
- Graduate from a high school or a registered homeschool program in Davie County beginning with the Class of 2020
- Complete the IGNITE DAVIE application, the FAFSA application, the DCCC application and apply for Davie Community Foundation scholarships
- Enroll full time in a Davidson County Community College (DCCC) curriculum program (certificate, diploma, or degree)
- Maintain a minimum 2.0 college GPA and successfully complete at least 75% of credit hours attempted each semester for continued eligibility (no minimum high school GPA required)
- Use the award within three years of high school graduation
- Participate in “Career Connections” through career readiness training and experiences with local business and industry each year for continued eligibility
- Volunteer in the community for continued eligibility
“IGNITE DAVIE will open doors for all high school graduates in Davie County to earn affordable post-secondary credentials and will position our community to develop the most talented workforce in the Southeast,” said Dr. Hartness. “At DCCC, we are excited about this investment in the future of Davie County and hope you will consider supporting this community partnership to enrich our community and prepare tomorrow’s workforce through higher education.”
Providing access to post-secondary education is more important than ever as data suggests that by 2020, an estimated 67% of all jobs in North Carolina will require some education and training beyond high school.* In Davie County, less than 33% of our high school graduates (age 25 – 64) continued their education and actually earned an Associates Degree or higher. Davie County’s post-secondary attainment and completion rates indicate many of our students do not have the requisite qualifications to compete in the modern workforce. As a result, there is a significant misalignment between our workforce needs and capabilities.
“This is the time in our county history where a collaborative vision clearly defines the path forward for the greater good and the investment in future generations becomes a critical building block for tomorrow. Our time is now as we continue to celebrate the rebirth of manufacturing jobs returning to America. Let us continue to invest in our future as we remove impediments to developing a prepared workforce,” said Terry Bralley, president of Davie County Economic Development Commission.
“IGNITE DAVIE is an investment in our students to spark the economic vitality of Davie County,” said McManamy. “It will open doors to educational access allowing eligible Davie County students to further their education beyond high school to ensure they possess the skills required for career and life readiness. Given the strong connection between overall academic achievement and the community’s economic vitality and quality of life, IGNITE DAVIE is an investment in Davie’s greatest resource: Our Children!”
The goals of the initiative are to:
- Improve high school graduation rates
- Increase post-secondary attainment & completion rates
- Strengthen our workforce and ensuring alignment with business & industry needs
- Attract young families to our county
- Increase the tax base
- Create a competitive advantage
“The Davie Community Foundation has been a supporter of Education since its formation,” said Simpson. “Our Scholarship Program was the fastest-growing segment of the Foundation because the community wanted to invest in Davie students. Unfortunately, students continue to be left out of the process because of limited money to award or lack of action on their part. We are very excited about the opportunity IGNITE DAVIE will now offer to all Davie kids who choose DCCC! The opportunity for additional education will be available to all and will help our students be ready for jobs right here in Davie. Thank you, Zach Wright, for getting things started and pushing all of us to move forward with this transformational opportunity!”
“This is a chance for all that face financial and other challenges to seize an educational opportunity that can empower and propel themselves, their families and even their future generations forward into the 21st Century economy!” said Wright.
From the beginning, the potential impact of IGNITE DAVIE was quite evident to everyone involved. Over the summer, the IGNITE DAVIE partners have met with business leaders and other community organizations to educate them about the program and encourage financial support. When asked about their strong commitment to the program Phil and Darlene Fuller stated “We are passionate about our community and the future of Davie County. It is so important that our students have all the resources they can get. They ARE our future!” Statements like these are frequent and very telling of the anticipated community support now that the public fundraising campaign is officially underway.
“IGNITE DAVIE is an extraordinary promise and we invite you to join us,” said McManamy. “We currently have commitments for one-third of the $3 million needed to endow the program for our students and our community, but we need YOUR help to make the promise a reality! Together, we can create a bright and prosperous future for everyone!
Please join us and others with a vision for a vibrant Davie County by making a gift that will truly spark our community.” Go to IGNITEDAVIE.com to make a donation or to learn more about the IGNITE DAVIE program that begins this fall. Specific questions may be directed to Carolyn McManamy: firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 753-6670.
Whether it’s in a boardroom, parking lot, or on the shop floor… EVERYONE is talking about workforce development, and many are working hard to find solutions.
To help empower its students to become part of that solution, Davie County Schools is rolling out Edge Factor, an innovative workforce development tool that uses the power of cinematic storytelling and interactive tools to open the eyes of students, parents, and adults to rewarding career opportunities that will get them excited about planning their future.
“Career exploration is a large piece of what we do in CTE, STEM, and core education,” said Anthony Davis, director of CTE and federal programs for Davie County Schools (DCS). “We must talk to the kids about what opportunities are available in Davie County and the rest of the world. Edge Factor is a dynamic tool for introducing students to careers that will interest them.”
All of the multimedia content Edge Factor creates is distributed through a cloud-based membership platform on edgefactor.com. Through DCS’s contract with Edge Factor, all students at the three middle schools, high school, and early college will be able to go to the organization’s website and set up personal portals which will allow them to explore dozens of career fields through engaging videos that provide a lot of information in a short amount of time and build a profile of the areas they are interested in.”
Edge Factor’s videos, activities, and tools help people to discover how STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) comes alive in the real world, learn soft skills, and browse local training options, including CTE programs, postsecondary courses, apprenticeships, etc. Davis hopes parents will get involved and take advantage of the opportunity to explore career possibilities with their students.
Edge Factor is also a boon to teachers who will be able to use the program to demonstrate the relevance of course material to the real world.
“If I’m a calculus teacher and I’m having a hard time getting my students to understand how calculus applies to the real world I can go on the website, look up the standard I am teaching, and show the class a video of a person explaining how they use that part of calculus in their career,” Davis said.
Additionally, the teacher portal offers lesson plans and activities that are aligned with North Carolina’s curriculum standards to go along with the videos.
Davis learned about Edge Factor from Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT, an initiative of the Davie County Economic Development Commission (DCEDC) to connect businesses to resources and kids to careers. McManamy was introduced to the program while attending an event for 8th graders at Gaston County Community College that turned out to be the county’s rollout of Edge Factor. She was impressed with the program’s potential to ignite students’ interest and thought it would be perfect for Davie County.
“Edge Factor marries curriculum to careers through short, edgy videos that students will want to watch,” said McManamy. “They offer a very broad range of content that explores several career pathways within a particular field, like healthcare. Edge Factor is an excellent career awareness and discovery tool that will help students more clearly identify their strengths, skills, and passion and gets them excited about potential careers. These videos will be a great resource for parents too as they help their children figure out what they want to be and the educational pathway to get there. Ultimately, we want our students to get a great education, so they are career and life ready as they step into independent adulthood and Edge Factor is an invaluable partner in the process.”
She is equally excited about Edge Factor’s value for the community as a whole. A Community Hub customized to Davie County will be introduced later this fall and will allow any Davie County resident to create a FREE Edge Factor membership and access collections of high-impact Edge Factor videos that showcase local industries and career pathways. “The Community Hub gives students and residents access to information about our local businesses as they relate to a particular career. It will raise awareness of the wide range of career options available here in Davie County and this will be very beneficial for all of us, but especially our local businesses during their recruiting process,” said McManamy
To learn more about Edge Factor and its role in Davie County visit DavieWorks.com/explore-careers.
More than a dozen electrical and mechanical trade students committed to four-year manufacturing apprenticeships last week during a signing ceremony at Sapona Ridge Country Club in Lexington, N.C. The event marked the completion of 500 hours of classroom and hands-on training in a pre-apprenticeship program and the beginning of full apprenticeship with one of six local manufacturers.
Apprenticeships are coordinated through the Davidson and Davie County Apprenticeship Consortium (DDAC), an alliance of manufacturing companies in Davidson and Davie counties providing classroom education as well as on-the-job training for students.
Participating employers include EGGER, Ingersoll Rand, BMK Americas, CPM Wolverine and Kurz. Apprentices who are accepted into the program earn pay and benefits while they are training. They complete the program with an associate’s degree, journey worker cards from the State of NC and DOL, and guaranteed full-time employment after graduation.
For more information on the DDAC Apprenticeship program, please visit www.ddac.tech.