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

Posted on: June 22nd, 2017 by admin

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June 22, 2017

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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.”

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