Archive for December, 2017

12/20/2017 – Workforce development leader Lockhart retires from CCC&TI after 43 years of service

Posted on: December 20th, 2017 by admin


December 20, 2017


By Edward Terry
CCC&TI Public Information Officer


After 43 years as an educator and leader in the community, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Vice President of Continuing Education and Workforce Development Elaine Lockhart has announced her retirement. She recently was honored for her successful career and lifetime of service with a statewide award.


At her retirement celebration, Lockhart was presented with the Governor’s Longleaf Pine Award. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina, is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers and many years of service are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for the award.


According to one of several nomination’s for the award, Lockhart’s years of dedication and hard work will leave a lasting legacy on the region’s economy.


“Her decades of dedication to education, workforce development and economic development have guaranteed a consistently improving workforce for Caldwell County over many years,” said Deborah Murray, Executive Director of the Caldwell Economic Development Commission. “Elaine is known as the consummate professional, someone who demands and delivers high levels of professionalism from her teams. She has been a strong leader in many of the new initiatives developed in recent years that have become regional models for workforce development partnerships.”


CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch said that Lockhart’s contributions to the college and the communities it serves have been invaluable.


“Elaine has dedicated her entire adult life to CCC&TI, the North Carolina Community College System and to the communities we serve,” he said. “She has certainly gone above the call of duty and has impacted thousands of lives during her tenure in service to the state. Her leadership will be missed, but her legacy will always be present.”


Lockhart began her career as a part-time instructor at CCC&TI in 1974 and a home economics teacher at North Mecklenburg High School in 1975 after earning her Bachelor’s degree at Appalachian State University. In 1976, CCC&TI hired Lockhart as an instructor in the Home Economics and Aging departments. In 1980, she was named Coordinator of Health and Home Economics. As she rose through the ranks at CCC&TI, she served as the Coordinator of Fire/Rescue/EMS/Law Enforcement and Health and Safety Services, as well as Director of the Occupational Extension and Foodservice Management programs. In 1997, she was named Dean of Corporate and Continuing Education and in 2004 was named Vice President for Continuing Education and Workforce Development.


In addition to her accomplishments at CCC&TI, Lockhart has led key projects that helped with getting area residents back to work by retraining them for new jobs following shifts in local industry and high unemployment rates during the Great Recession. Those efforts included establishing new programs, including the IT Institute, Electrical Lineman program and other customized training initiatives, and expanding others, such as the Truck Driver Training program. Lockhart and her staff also were important partners with state and local agencies in workforce development initiatives such as establishing the NCWorks Career Planning and Placement Center in Lenoir and developing Caldwell Is Hiring, a semi-annual event that connects local employers with job-seekers.


“Over the years, I have worked with what I consider to be the finest leaders and mentors in education. I have been blessed by being given opportunities to be a part of serving our students and to have some part in their success in meeting their educational goals,” Lockhart said. “My decision to retire is bittersweet. While I look forward to the opportunities coming my way, I will miss my colleagues and my college family. I look forward to watching the exciting things to come for this great institution.”


Her work and leadership outside of CCC&TI includes serving on the boards of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board and many other local organizations.


In her retirement, Lockhart plans to spend time with family and volunteer at her church and Hospice. She also plans to continue supporting CCC&TI by assisting the Foundation of CCC&TI with fundraising efforts.


12/19/2017 – Dunkin’ Donuts breaks ground, plans for spring opening

Posted on: December 19th, 2017 by admin


December 19, 2017


By Virginia Annable
(Lenoir) News-Topic


City, county and local business officials gathered in an empty lot along Wilkesboro Boulevard to celebrate another international brand coming to Caldwell County and Lenoir.


On the clear, cool, sunny morning the only thing missing, said Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray, was a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.


Soon, she’ll have one. Construction of a full-service Dunkin’ Donuts has started. Roy Clark, franchisee of the Lenoir Dunkin’ Donuts and three others coming to the area, said construction will take about 120 days, so the new store should open about May.


Murray said Lenoir is ready and waiting.


“The community has been asking for this, so I’m going to guarantee you a strong pipeline of customers,” Murray said.


The store is being built on the northwest corner of Wilkesboro Boulevard and Lower Creek Drive, next to the Aldi grocery store.


About 25 people will be hired, Clark said.


“We’re local people that want to bring local jobs to local people,” he said.


Clark, owner of HARA Foodservice Group LLC, lives in Marion, where another of his four Dunkin’ Donuts shops will open. Construction on the first just finished in Hickory, and the fourth will go to Morganton. The new stores were announced in April.


State Rep. Destin Hall (R-Caldwell) said he has noticed more and more businesses coming to the county.


“I see our role in government to create an environment where the free market can create jobs, … and I see that happening in Caldwell County,” Hall said. “It seems like every other week Deborah (Murray) is emailing telling me we have another event like today.”


Murray said the Dunkin’ Donuts store is another step in efforts to bring more retail and hospitality businesses. Three years ago, the EDC turned some of its focus toward those companies, she said, which led to stores such as Chick-fil-A, Dairy Queen, Bargain Hunt – and now Dunkin’ Donuts.


The store will be open from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., Clark said, and will have a drive-through window.




12/18/2017 – Dunkin’ Donuts welcomed to Caldwell County with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Posted on: December 18th, 2017 by admin


December 18, 2017


Dunkin’ Donuts was welcomed to Caldwell County with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Lenoir. The store will be located on Wilkesboro Boulevard next to the Aldi grocery store. The Dunkin’ Donuts is expected to open later this spring.

12/15/2017 – Caldwell EDC November/December 2017 Newsletter

Posted on: December 15th, 2017 by admin


December 15, 2017


12/14/2017 – Sealed Air awarded One NC, Building Reuse grants for planned expansion

Posted on: December 15th, 2017 by admin


December 14, 2017


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced that Sealed Air Corporation has received a $100,000 One North Carolina Fund grant for a planned expansion that will create 25 new full-time jobs at the company’s Lenoir facility during the next three years.


In addition, the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division also announced Sealed Air has been awarded a $300,000 Building Reuse grant for the $10.4-million project that includes the development of a new manufacturing line.


“Leading manufacturers continue to recognize North Carolina as the best state for business in America,” Gov. Cooper said. “Sealed Air decided to expand here because they know North Carolina has what it takes for businesses to succeed.”


Long noted for its packaging products, Sealed Air has operated in Caldwell County for nearly four decades and has manufacturing sites in Lenoir and Hudson that employ more than 200 people combined. The company recently moved its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte, and Lenoir was selected for the expansion over other international and domestic locations.


“Sealed Air Corporation and – in particular – the Sealed Air Lenoir facility sincerely appreciate the partnership and financial commitment that the State of North Carolina has demonstrated through its support of our investment in this facility and its talented and committed employees,” Sealed Air Plant Manager Karen Crisp said of the project previously referred to as Project Joynes by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. “We are looking forward to continuing to grow our operations here in the local community.”


Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but will average $49,306 per year. The average annual salary in Caldwell County is $34,744. In addition to the state grants, Sealed Air was awarded a $2,000 Local Jobs Incentive by the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners. All of the grants are performance based and require specific job creation and investment documentation.


“Sealed Air continues to be one of the most significant anchor companies in our county and has played a major role in diversifying our economic landscape,” Caldwell EDC Executive Director Deborah Murray said. “The company possesses a culture of opportunity and has exemplified its commitment by assisting its employees with training, education, and workplace advancement.


“It gives us great pride in demonstrating that our location can compete on an international level and win. The selection of Lenoir also shows Sealed Air has tremendous confidence in its local personnel.”


Rated for three consecutive years by Forbes magazine as the most admired company in its industry, Sealed Air – a primary packaging supplier for companies such as Amazon – has grown steadily over the past five years and has a market value of more than $8.7 billion.


“Sealed Air is bringing quality, well-paying manufacturing jobs and a significant capital investment to Western North Carolina,” N.C. Sen. Deanna Ballard said. “I am proud of our community’s momentum to maximize our talent, business climate, and infrastructure towards supporting business expansion like Sealed Air’s.”


In addition to the Caldwell County Commission and the Caldwell EDC, Sealed Air was assisted in the grant process by the N.C. General Assembly, the N.C. Department of Commerce, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.


12/1/2017 – Dunkin’ Donuts announces construction location in Lenoir

Posted on: December 1st, 2017 by admin


December 1, 2017


By Virginia Annable
(Lenoir) News-Topic


A national doughnut and coffee chain has chosen a site near Smith Crossroads for its first shop in Caldwell County.


Dunkin’ Donuts will build its shop on the northwest corner of Wilkesboro Boulevard and Lower Creek Drive near the Aldi grocery store. It is the second of four stores coming to the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area, franchise operator Roy Clark said. All four operations are owned by HARA Foodservice Group LLC.


According to Clark, construction of the Lenoir site is expected to start before the end of the year and will follow the completion of the first shop in Hickory by G.E.M. Constructors Inc. Clark added that the store should be open in mid to late 2018.


“We’re looking forward to joining the community and serving the area,” Clark said.


He added that the site was chosen because of its proximity to Smith Crossroads, and the open lot was an easy pick.


“It’s a growing area and a good location next to an already established Aldi,” Clark said.


The store will be full-service Dunkin’ Donuts with a drive-through and 20 to 30 employees, who will be hired about a month before opening, he said.


HARA Foodservice Group had announced its development plans in April. Along with the Hickory and Lenoir stores, additional locations will be in Marion and Morganton.



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