Archive for June, 2017

6/22/2017 – Caldwell County educators gain exposure to local industry during Hired Ed program

Posted on: June 22nd, 2017 by admin


June 22, 2017


More than 20 Caldwell County educators gained new insight into local industries and the employment opportunities that are available during the recent 2.5-day Hired Ed program.


Sponsored by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, Caldwell County Schools, and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, the program aims to inform and update teachers and administrators about the many diverse and new careers now available in Caldwell County and the required skills industries are seeking from potential employees.


Prior to visiting the industries, the program participants gained fresh insight into the state of Caldwell County’s 21st-century economy that has witnessed vigorous growth and an unemployment rate that is the lowest since 2000.


“Caldwell County is not the economic model people thought it was,” Caldwell County EDC Executive Director Deborah Murray said. “There are real opportunities here. We are not a single-dimension economy tied to an old economic model.


“Incomes and opportunity are growing rapidly.”


Program participants visited Caseworx, a cabinetry manufacturer that is utilizing advanced technology; 80 Acres Farms, a manufacturer of vertical farming equipment that is installed into refurbished international shipping containers; Bemis, an injection molding manufacturer that supplies parts and shells to a variety of international companies; Bakers Waste Equipment, a manufacturer of industrial waste bins and compactors; Stallergenes Greer, a pharmaceutical company that specializes in making allergy drugs and testing equipment; and Exela Pharma Sciences, a manufacturer of injectable pharmaceuticals and has featured exponential growth in the past five years.


Prior to the tours, the participants were briefed about the companies they visited and the types of skills needed for employment. The companies all stressed the importance of “soft skills” – including appearance, punctuality, the ability to work with others, and the willingness to be trained. The businesses also noted that there are ample opportunities for high school graduates to earn a living wage and beyond.


In addition to the tours, the program also featured representatives from Google, Blue Ridge Energy, CCC&TI, and Krystal Engineering to discuss the role of technology in today’s employment world and the opportunities that are available now and into the future.


On the final day of the program, the participants gathered into groups to put together presentations about what they had learned. They discussed their findings during a luncheon at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center that featured representatives from industry, the school system, and local elected officials.


“We hope these instructors will take what they have learned and incorporate the information into the classroom,” Murray said, adding that the county has changed more since the Great Recession than at any other time in Caldwell’s 176-year history. “There is an amazing amount of opportunity for students right here in Caldwell County, if they are willing to put in the work and learn the skills that are required.


“We look forward to hosting this program every year because it gives us the opportunity to dispel myths and open up eyes to the reality that is right in front of us.”

6/16/2017 – Blue Ridge Energy hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony for new district office

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by admin


June 16, 2017


Blue Ridge Energy celebrated the completion of its new district office in Lenoir with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.


The $13-million project totals 47,000 square feet and is adjacent to the company’s corporate headquarters along U.S. 321 South.

6/15/2017 – Tennessee-based retailer coming to former Bi-Lo space in Lenoir

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by admin


June 15, 2017


According to the CEO of Vanguard Associates, a real estate management firm headquartered in Atlanta, a new anchor tenant has been signed to occupy the space at the Lenoir Festival Shopping Center on U.S. Highway 321.  Vanguard CEO Tim O’Neill told Caldwell EDC Executive Director Deborah Murray that he was proud to say that Bargain Hunt would occupy the space occupied many years ago by Bi-Lo.  The space is 37,000 square feet and is currently undergoing renovation in preparation for the new company.


Bargain Hunt is headquartered in LaVergne, Tenn., and has approximately 100 stores, according to O’Neill.  The company has stores in the Midwest and Southeast.  Bargain Hunt is a true close-out liquidator and will have merchandise at 30-50% below normal retail pricing.  The business typically carries clothing, electronics, home furnishings, toys, sporting goods, and furniture.


“The Lenoir store construction is scheduled for August completion at which time the space will be turned over to the retailer for move-in,” O’Neill said.  The company anticipates a fall opening.


“We are really excited about our property in Lenoir.  (The Caldwell EDC has) a great website and we have watched it very carefully since we began marketing Lenoir Festival.  We have used it to make sure we have the most current information about what is happening in your county,” O’Neill told Murray.  “It has been great to watch all of the recent announcements and developments be posted there.  It helps us keep prospective tenants informed about the activity in the area.”


Murray said she looks forward to more good news from the company in the coming months.


“They are doing a great job promoting the area and telling our story,” she said. “I was so impressed when he told me he was proud of our ranking 26th in the state for unemployment.  That’s a number I don’t expect many local people to know.”


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