Archive for January, 2017

1/27/2017 – Automated Solutions, LLC receives SHARP Award from Labor Commissioner Berry

Posted on: January 30th, 2017 by admin


January 27, 2017


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Sawmills-based Automated Solutions, LLC, received the prestigious North Carolina Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) award for an exemplary safety and health management system.


“We are very pleased to welcome Automated Solutions into this elite group of companies who provide outstanding safety and health protection for their workers,” said N.C. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry. “We applaud your success in the highly competitive protective packaging industry – while you diligently protect your employees.”


Commissioner Berry presented the SHARP Award to Kevin Burch, in charge of health and safety, and the entire Automated Solutions team. Invited guests, management personnel and employees attended the ceremony.


The SHARP program recognizes small business employers who have used the On-site Consultation Program services of the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program.  According to the OSHA website, acceptance of a worksite into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that singles the company out among its business peers as a model for worksite safety and health.


Automated Solutions CEO Steve Ellis said, “Our customers can be rest-assured that they are supporting a company who cares about the safety of its employees.  We continually place safety as the most important thing we do and think about on a daily basis.  It is the first point in our Safety-Quality-Service triangle, and we are very excited to be recognized for doing as we say.”


The company has an excellent system in place, which incorporates each of the seven required SHARP elements: Hazard Anticipation and Detection; Hazard Prevention and Control; Planning and Evaluation; Administration and Supervision; Safety and Health Training; Management Leadership; and Employee Participation.


Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray noted “out of the 161 SHARP sites in North Carolina, Automated Solutions is one of the approximately 40 percent of those sites which are manufacturing in nature.  They are also the first company in Caldwell County to be so recognized.”


Automated Solutions is a privately-held diversified manufacturing company with product lines primarily in the packaging industry with polyethylene foam rolls, Cro-nel® and Nyvel® protective packaging wrap, specialty multi-layer furniture bags that eliminate rub damage in shipping, polyethylene foam Cold Seal wrap, packaging equipment, and replacement vacuum cutting surfaces.  The company’s products are sold across the U.S. as well as into Europe, Australia, and Mexico.  Some of the company’s packaging products are featured in the storage and organization department of The Home Depot.  The company has been in operation for over 18 years.



01/18/17 – Event Spotlights Economic Progress

Posted on: January 18th, 2017 by admin



January 18, 2017


The annual Caldwell Economic Development Celebration largely honors specific local businesses and industry, but this year’s guest speaker lingered a while on some of the overall milestones that the local economy hit in 2016.


In particular, the 11 percent growth in median household income, to more than $38,000, was the highest percentage growth reported last month by the N.C. Department of Commerce, said Dale B. Carroll, a former deputy N.C. Commerce secretary who is now COO of the Appalachian Regional Center in Asheville.


That comes on top of a drop in the unemployment rate from 17 percent in early 2010 to 4.9 percent this past October, and a reduction in vacant industrial space from about 6 million square feet at its worst to under 1 million square feet now, Carroll said while praising the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.


“Ladies and gentlemen, you are one awesome EDC,” he said.


Deborah Murray, executive director of the EDC, presented this year’s Herman Anderson Award, given for lifetime achievement in economic development in Caldwell County, to Donna Bean for her work representing Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute as part of the EDC’s industrial recruitment team.


Murray said Bean, who was hired by the City of Lenoir in late August as finance director, preferred to work behind the scenes but is a tireless worker who often helped design specialized training for industrial recruiting targets and found funding for those programs.


“Don’t ever, ever tell her that she can’t do something or that it can’t be done, Murray said.


Bakers Waste Equipment was honored as Industry of the Year. Bakers Waste began renovating a vacant former Broyhill Furniture factory on U.S. 321-A in 2012 to consolidate operations that had been split between sites in Burke and Catawba counties. Murray said that in many ways that project signified the beginning of the county’s economic recovery after the layoffs and closings that started in the mid-2000s and continued when the Great Recession hit.


The Economic Leadership Award went to Blue Ridge Energy, formerly Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. Carroll, who presented the award to Blue Ridge CEO Doug Johnson, said that since the company’s founding in Lenoir 81 years ago to bring electricity to rural areas it has been an integral part of economic development and is involved on all the boards and committees involved in industrial recruitment.


By Guy Lucas, (Lenoir) News-Topic



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