Archive for August, 2016

8/28/2016 – Rep. Meadows, N.C. Sen. Ballard tour Bemis Manufacturing

Posted on: August 29th, 2016 by admin


August 28, 2016


During a visit to Lenoir, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows made a stop to tour Bemis Manufacturing Co.


“For me, it’s all about making sure that we keep the jobs we have, we grow the jobs that we don’t have, and ultimately that we prepare for a workforce that really has to have a renaissance here in the greater Caldwell area,” Meadows said.


Bemis manufactures various plastic products, from chairs to parts for tractor bodies.


“Lenoir’s fingerprint is on products that go all around the world, so there should be great pride in that,” Meadows said.


During the tour, Meadows was joined by Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons, Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray, and N.C. Sen. Deanna Ballard, a Republican who was appointed to the office in the spring after Dan Soucek resigned.


By Briana Adhikususma, (Lenoir) News-Topic




8/25/2016 – Restaurant’s renovations of downtown Lenoir building progressing

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 by admin


August 25, 2016


Work to renovate a historic building in downtown Lenoir, including giving it a partially new facade, is on track for a restaurant to open there, two people within the business said.


Chef Nathaniel Negley of Bella Torte Bistro and Bakery, which had operated at the corner of Main Street and West Avenue, said the renovations are being quickly finished for the restaurant to move into the 103-year-old building at the southeast corner of West Avenue and Church Street – a site formerly known as The Alibi.


“It’s one of those situations where everything’s just coming together at one,” he said.


The work includes new lighting and flooring, and a recessed first-floor facade, which will allow for patio dining just off the sidewalk.


The Caldwell County Economic Development Commission assisted the restaurant in obtaining a $49,250 North Carolina Department of Commerce grant to offset some of the costs of the renovation project.


Along with the move, a new pub will be opened downstairs as Charlie’s Pub and will have a tap system with 10 beers on draft and several televisions for viewing sports.


The main floor will house the bistro, and the top floor will be used as an event space. The top floor features a fireplace and will be able to hold around 65 people, Negley said.


The top floor also is partially used for a photography studio operated by Carla Corriher, whose sister, Amanda Ingles, is the owner of Bella Torte.


“It’s something totally different that Lenoir doesn’t have,” Corriher said, adding that the building will have an “upscale, Asheville” look.


The pub will have a more British pub feel, while the main floor will have a more rustic look, featuring barn wood furniture, and the top floor will have a more elegant look.


The restaurant also will have new menu items, focusing on a French-influenced, American-casual blend, and the pub will have a theme of British pub and American bar food, Negley said.


“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. It’s always fun to get into a new kitchen and stretch a little bit of creative muscle with some of the new menu items,” Negley said.


Construction on the building began around two months ago after the restaurant received approval for the state grant. The building has been vacant for two years since The Alibi closed.


By Briana Adhikusuma, (Lenoir) News-Topic



8/19/2016 – Caldwell EDC assists Exela Pharma Sciences, 80 Acres Investments in receiving state grants

Posted on: August 19th, 2016 by admin


August 19, 2016


The Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, in cooperation with county and local governments, is pleased to announce that two local businesses have been awarded with North Carolina Department of Commerce Rural Economic Development Division grants in order to expand or initiate their operations.


Lenoir pharmaceutical manufacturer Exela Pharma Sciences has received a $500,000 grant to facilitate a planned $2.55 million investment at the former Expo building across from the company’s headquarters along U.S. 321. Meanwhile, 80 Acres Investments, a new vertical farming company in Granite Falls, has received a $125,000 grant to make improvements to the former Hollin Gate building. The grants will assist in the creation of 50 new, full-time jobs.


“Once again, the Building Reuse grant program is providing valuable support for Caldwell County and its businesses,” Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray said. “In this instance, the state program will help an established and cutting-edge company further its steady growth plans, while a new and innovative company will have valuable funding to begin its operations here.


“The partnerships that we have developed at the local and state levels have gone a long way in pushing our economy forward and dramatically reducing the unemployment rate over the past six years. And we are very thankful to have a state program to assist businesses in advancing their goals.”


Since coming to Lenoir in 2008, Exela Pharma Sciences has charted a consistent growth path that has pushed its employment levels from 16 to nearly 200. A manufacturer and developer of pharmaceutical products, Exela plans to renovate and lease the 86,427-square-foot building that is owned by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.


The renovation project will allow Exela to expand its manufacturing lines to produce sterile injectable syringes and infusion bags for hospital use. The site will also be utilized for quality assurance laboratories, packaging, and labeling.


”Exela is thrilled to have received this grant,” Exela Pharma Sciences President and CEO Phanesh Koneru said. “The unwavering support from the great State of North Carolina which started almost eight years ago continues. This energizes us in turn to continue to create jobs in Caldwell County.


“We thank all those involved in the award grant, including the Caldwell Country Economic Development Commission, the County of Caldwell and the City of Lenoir for their support throughout. Finally, Exela thanks its many outstanding dedicated employees that help Exela grow and contribute to the growth of our community.”


Upon completion of the renovations and receipt of FDA inspection protocol approval, Exela plans to begin manufacturing in the middle to latter part of 2017. Along with its corporate headquarters, Exela has additional operations along William White Place and on Morganton Boulevard.



A company already in operation in Ohio, Arkansas, and Alabama, 80 Acres Investments is involved in the engineering and manufacturing of equipment that is utilized in vertical farming operations that are installed into refurbished stainless steel containers.


The company has purchased a 5,500-square-foot building at York View Court, along with adjacent acreage, and the renovations will allow the company to meet the growing demand for vertical farming processes that are proving to be increasingly popular with national food distribution companies and retailers. Vertical farming utilizes LED lighting, enhanced irrigation techniques, and climate-controlled functions to provide a year-round growing cycle that both increases product yield while reducing the overall carbon footprint.


“We believe that 80 Acres is the sustainable future of farming,” 80 Acres Investments President Tisha Livingston said. “We use plant science and technology to bring fresh local food to communities as we strive to create a healthier world.


“We believe that Caldwell County is a perfect place to develop the equipment used to further our quest to bring healthy local food into people’s lives because of the community support and integrity-based, business-friendly environment.”


Added Tracy Canipe, the company’s chief of engineering and design, “We are thrilled to with the Town of Granite Falls, the Caldwell County EDC, and the State of North Carolina to bring good-paying manufacturing jobs back to this area.


“It’s exciting to be able to bring the burgeoning vertical farming industry to Caldwell County.”


The renovation project is expected to be complete in the fall of 2017. The company plans to hire 10 new, full-time employees.

8/17/2016 – Former Broyhill Furniture CEO, EDC Board Member Kincaid dies at 85

Posted on: August 17th, 2016 by admin


August 17, 2016


Brent Kincaid

Brent Kincaid, a Gamewell native who climbed the ladder at Broyhill Furniture to become president and CEO, has died at the age of 85.


A longtime former member of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Board of Directors, Kincaid stepped down from the board in 2015.


Kincaid was named president and CEO of Broyhill Furniture in 1991, having worked for the company since 1957. He retired in 1998 but remained active in the community, serving on numerous local boards and as honorary chairman or co-chairman for capital campaigns to benefit causes, including Caldwell County Schools, the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, First Baptist Church of Lenoir, and many others.


The family will receive friends on Thursday, Aug. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory. Funeral services will be Friday, Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Lenoir.



8/16/2016 – Company planning 1,000-acre development on lake

Posted on: August 16th, 2016 by admin


August 16, 2016


A Colorado-based company wants to rezone more than 1,000 acres of woods along Lake Rhodhiss for a housing development.


Caldwell Timber Partners LLC of Denver submitted a plan to Caldwell County for 178 lots on the 1,011 acres, which currently are zones for industrial use. The developer would be LW Investments LLC of Knoxville, Tenn., according to those plans.


Matt Wilson of LW Investments said the developer’s vision was for single-family homes of 1,450 to 1,650 square feet. Lakefront lots would be at least one acre. He said there were no plans for major amenities such as clubhouse, swimming pool or boat slips.


The site of the development, between Connelly Springs Road and Dry Ponds Road, does not have sewer access. Wilson said the Baton Water Corp. said it could extend water to the development, and septic tanks would be installed.


Caldwell Timber Partners bought thousands of acres in Caldwell and Burke counties from Crescent Properties since incorporating in December. Its developments include Waterside, which it completed in Burke County along Lake Rhodhiss.


Members of the Caldwell County Planning Board have expressed concerns about the lack of sewer and the size of some lots but have recommended that the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approve the rezoning at its Sept. 12 meeting.


By John Brasier, (Lenoir) News-Topic


8/10/2016 – Local wood-products manufacturers seeking grants for expansions

Posted on: August 10th, 2016 by admin


August 10, 2016


The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners is expected to consider incentives for expansions by two local wood-products manufacturers.


The company considering the larger expansion, a potential $4 million investment in new construction that could create up to 30 jobs within a year, has not been publicly identified because it is also weighing its options at a sit in another state, Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray said. The company has factories and offices in several parts of the country and plans to add a new product that will require construction of a new building.


The company expects to choose between the two sites within 30 days and then announce it, with the new production to begin by early 2017, Murray said.


The incentives requested for that project, labeled Project A-Frame, which the Caldwell EDC Board of Directors endorsed, are $2,000 for each new job created, up to $60,000 total, and a tax grant that would reduce the company’s property tax bill for its new construction by 75 percent for five years.


The second potential expansion is by Burns Wood Products on Lower Cedar Valley Road between Sawmills and Granite Falls. The company hopes to increase its business by 30 percent due to some recent contracts, Murray said. The company, which currently employs 35, hopes to add 15 jobs over two years.


The incentives request for Burns Wood Products is $2,000 for each new job created, up to $30,000.


Later this year, Burns also plans to apply for a state grant to help pay for the renovation of the building, Murray said.


If approved by the commissioners, the job incentives are paid only for jobs actually created, filled, and maintained for a specified period. Tax grants reduce the amount of property tax a company pays on the value that its new construction adds to a site, but they do not apply to the site’s previous value, so the company’s overall tax bill does not go down.


By Guy Lucas, (Lenoir) News-Topic


8/3/2016 – Caldwell is Hiring scheduled for Thursday, September 15 at Broyhill Civic Center

Posted on: August 3rd, 2016 by admin


August 3, 2016


With another diverse range of companies expected to be participating, the 13th Caldwell is Hiring is set for Thursday, Sept. 15 from 8:30 a.m. until noon at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.


Sponsored by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission – in partnership with NCWorks and Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute – Caldwell is Hiring started in December 2010 and has continued twice per year since. During that period, nearly 10,000 job-seekers have attended and an average of 30 companies have participated, including a record 49 businesses at this past April’s event.


In advance of the event, here are a few tips for individuals looking for a job or hoping to improve their current employment situation:


  1. Check the Caldwell County EDC website ( or the Caldwell is Hiring page on Facebook each day for job announcements.
  2. Dress appropriately. Your attire is a great way to make a first impression.
  3. Offer a handshake or a greeting to the company representative.
  4. Have a résumé on hand. Be prepared to discuss your work history.
  5. If requested, fill out an application neatly and completely.
  6. Visit different companies, even those you might think are outside your area of expertise.
  7. Be prepared to pass a background check and/or a drug screen.
  8. Ask questions. This will help you learn what the employer is looking for and what a specific job entails.
  9. Arrive in a timely fashion. Waiting until the last 10 minutes of the event is not a good way to visit a number of employers and learn about the available jobs.
  10. Be patient and have a positive attitude. A smile can go a long way. While some employers are seeking to fill jobs ASAP, others can take weeks or months.

    During the next several weeks, companies will be committing to the event and listing available positions. The available jobs will be posted on the Caldwell is Hiring page on Facebook and the Caldwell County EDC website ( Information also will be available through NCWorks.

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