Archive for September, 2020

9-30-2020 – JBS plans $200,000 Lenoir investment

Posted on: September 30th, 2020 by admin


September 30, 2020






A global food company with a processing plant in Caldwell County plans to spend $200,000 to help the Lenoir area respond to needs related to the coronavirus pandemic.


JBS USA will work with local leaders to identify sectors in the community that will benefit the most, particularly involving food insecurity, community infrastructure  and  well-being, and  COVID-19  emergency response and relief efforts, the company said in a press release. The money is part of the company’s Hometown Strong initiative, a $50 million program geared towards protecting employees and shoring up job security during the pandemic, the company said in a press release.


JBS Lenoir General Manager Jonathan Tucker said that it is an example of the company’s focus on being active in all of the communities where it is based.


“The Hometown Strong initiative is allowing us to support our community in what has been a challenging year,” said Tucker. “In addition to our role in providing food for our country, we pride ourselves in being a good neighbor and making it a priority to work with local leaders on how to best invest our time, talent and treasure in the community.”


Nikki Richardson of JBS USA said that projects will be different in ever y community and that more information will be available soon about what will be done in Lenoir.


“The JBS Lenoir team has had discussions with local elected officials, health care leaders, nonprofit organizations and economic development leaders to identify projects that will help us meet immediate and longer-term community needs,” she said.


All projects will be determined by the end of the year, the press release said.


Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons said that the company has been an important partner of the Lenoir community, notably in its efforts to protect its 195 local employees during the pandemic.


“I recently toured the Lenoir JBS facility and have been so impressed with the care and attention to safety and com- munity by the entire organization during these challenging times,” Gibbons said.

9-30-2020 – Craftmaster sets job fair

Posted on: September 30th, 2020 by admin


September 30, 2020


From Staff Reports

Sep 29, 2020 11:34 AM


A furniture company that began production earlier this month in the former Broyhill Furniture upholstery complex will have a job fair next week.


Craftmaster Furniture opened the new upholstery facility at 830 Complex Sr. on Sept. 8. It has set up six production lines, two of which currently are operating, and has about 25 employees so far, Roy Calcagne, Craftmaster’s president and CEO, said in a press release. The first piece of upholstery came off the line on Sept. 10.


“The entire space has been cleaned and painted, along with the renovation of the break area, bathrooms, HVAC systems and office spaces. We have installed a rail system for production in the plant for six lines and have the capacity for 12 lines as needed,” he said.


Craftmaster has also installed 25 sewing machines that will be set up in a few weeks and will be hiring experienced sewing operators by the end of October, the company said.


The job fair will be Thursday, Oct. 8, from 2-6 p.m. at the plant. The company is looking for experienced upholsterers, sewers, frame builders, and more, and says it is offering competitive wages and benefits, and great working conditions.


Craftmaster Furniture announced in late August that it was opening the plant in a portion of the 400,000-square-foot complex where Broyhill, Henredon, Thomasville and Drexel upholstery products once were made. It has renovated about 100,000 square feet for production that is expected to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity by 20%.


In August the company said it planned to employ about 50 people at the campus by the end of this year and potentially more than another 50 next year.


The upholstery campus includes warehouses used by Baker Furniture, Legacy Classic Furniture and Grand Manor, which are sister companies to Craftmaster. The campus was purchased by Craftmaster’s parent company, Samson Holdings, in 2018 for $4.75 million after the bankruptcy of Heritage Home Group.


Posted on: September 4th, 2020 by admin


September 4, 2020





Wednesday September 30 12 p.m.


Local companies will introduce you to their businesses, available job opportunities, salaries and benefits and education and training requirements in these online workshops. Open to students, alumni and the public. To join visit this link:


First up – BEMIS. Bemis has operated in Lenoir for 20 years. The company manufactures implements for a number of familiar brands, including Sleep Number, John Deere, Kubota, Honda and Yamaha. The Lenoir facility employs approximately 165 people. Ideal job candidates are interested in automation, mechanics, electronics, robots or maintenance. Bemis is dedicated to employee development. Once hired employees will find many opportunities for training and advancement.


9-3-2020 – Workers surge back into labor force

Posted on: September 3rd, 2020 by admin


September 3, 2020



By Guy Lucas

Sep 02, 2020 11:09 AM


The number of people with jobs surged in Caldwell County and statewide in July, but local unemployment rates jumped as thousands of people who sat out the workforce in June came back looking for jobs in July, according to the latest state report.


Caldwell County’s unemployment rate jumped 1.5 percentage points to 9.7 percent even as the number of people with jobs increased by more than 1,300, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported. Unemployment rates rose in 99 of the state’s 100 counties, generally reflecting the same trends seen in Caldwell.


The county’s labor force – those who have jobs combined with those actively looking for work – surged by more than 1,800 people to more than 38,000, according to the report.


That means the labor force is back to the around the level it achieved in 2019 for the first time since the 2008 recession, but the surge also pushed the number of unemployed up by nearly 500 to almost 3,400.


From March to June, Caldwell showed a 3,700-person drop in the labor force, but it has been difficult to evaluate what that meant for the underlying economy because of various factors related to the coronavirus, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. Anecdotal reports by local employers indicated that some workers were reluctant to rejoin the workforce while receiving federally enhanced unemployment benefits. Congress authorized adding $600 a week to benefits starting in the spring, but that expired July 25.


“As the pandemic lingers, a number of employers have been forced to adjust to its grip on their businesses. We continue to hear of layoffs where employers are forced to shrink some departments and add to others – or smaller, more vulnerable businesses contemplate staying open at all,” she said.


The timing of the economic downturn also coincided with the end of the school year. Normally in June and July the local unemployment rate rises as jobs end for school employees on nine- or 10-month contracts.


More than 6,500 Caldwell residents lost jobs from March to April, but more than 1,000 had regained a job by mid-May, about 1,800 more had by mid-June and more than 1,300 by mid-July.


With the July increase in the number of Caldwell residents who are employed, the county is getting closer to the employment level it had before coronavirus-related business closings began in March.


Murray said there are plenty of jobs available in the region.


“That is evidenced by the numbers of companies and the hundreds upon hundreds of jobs posted on the EDC website and Caldwell Is Hiring social media,” she said. “It is a complicated time – and it is a challenge to manage – but it isn’t all bad news and it isn’t a failing economy. We are very optimistic.”


Other counties also reflected the same kinds of changes as Caldwell. In neighboring Catawba County, the number of those with jobs increased by more than 2,500 from June to nearly 75,800, but the number of unemployed also rose by more than 700 to nearly 6,300. In Burke County, those with jobs increased by more than 1,400 to almost 39,000, but the number of unemployed rose by more than 400.


Catawba’s local unemployment rate rose by 1 percentage point to 9.3 percent in July, and Burke’s rose by 1.2 points to 8.3 percent.


Statewide, the number of those with jobs increased by more than 140,000, but the number of those without jobs grew by more than 60,000.

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