VGCC announces free Small Business Summit with holiday focus

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center has scheduled its sixth annual Small Business Summit for Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Lake Gaston Lions Club in Henrico. Entitled “Making the Holidays Pay Off,” the free event is designed to help local businesses plan ahead for the upcoming holiday season with innovative marketing practices.

CenturyLink is the presenting sponsor for the event. Local partners helping VGCC to organize the summit are the Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

Business representatives and interested members of the community are invited to attend. Registration is now open at tinyurl.com/holiday-summit.

The day starts off with registration and networking with attendees and vendors at 8 a.m. The first hour-long seminar will be “Shop Local — Buy Local — Invest Local to Gain More Business for You and Your Area” at 8:30 a.m. Presenter Martin Brossman will help participants get the most out of a “Shop Local” program, including the use of social media.

“Holiday Event Planning for the Small Business Owner” follows at 9:45 a.m. with Lisa Gingue of Vino Oasi in Stem. Gingue will discuss planning events that attract holiday shoppers.

At 11 a.m., Brossman will present “Take Photos like a Pro to Get More Business with Your Social Media.” This session covers the basics of low-cost photography techniques to attract more customers with social media and web marketing.

The keynote presentation, from noon until 1 p.m., will be “Get Social! Grow Your Business!” with Kristen Baughman and Stacey Price Sprenz, both of Raleigh-based Tabletop Media Group. Baughman, the founder of the agency, and Sprenz, a photographer, will teach attendees how to take their social media to the next level using photos and videos. They will offer a few tips and tricks on how to promote participants’ businesses and unique holiday offerings to media outlets and social influencers in their community. Tabletop Media Group is a boutique agency serving clients in the food, beverage, agriculture and lifestyle industries.

Lunch will be provided free of charge to the first 100 registered participants by CenturyLink. For more information, contact VGCC Small Business Center Director Tanya Weary at (252) 738-3240 or [email protected].

–VGCC–

VGCC invites community to Manufacturing Day

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a “Manufacturing Day” celebration on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 8:30 to 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Job seekers and students are invited to attend and to learn more about manufacturing and related careers.

Local manufacturers and equipment vendors will provide demonstrations and information highlighting their products and their employment opportunities. Attendees will learn about career options in the region’s industries and the technical skills required to succeed in such careers.

Participants are set to include Altec of Creedmoor, Boise Cascade of Roxboro, Glen Raven of Norlina, Mars Petcare of Henderson, CertainTeed of Oxford and Carolina Sunrock of Butner, among others.

Representatives of VGCC technical programs, including those that provide education and training related to advanced manufacturing, will also be on hand. These include curriculum programs in Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology, Automotive Systems Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology and Welding Technology. VGCC’s Admissions and Financial Aid departments will also have representatives there. Attendees will also be able to learn about the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP), a four-year program that leads to a student obtaining an associate degree at a community college and paid, on-the-job training at a participating employer.

Event organizers hope to develop a pipeline of highly trained and skilled employees. “VGCC and industry partners are working together to address the skills gap, connect with future generations, and educate them about the outstanding opportunities that manufacturing careers can provide,” said Ken Wilson, project manager for the TechHire grant at VGCC, which supports advanced manufacturing training and information technology training.

The VGCC event is one of many across the country celebrating National Manufacturing Day (also known as “MFG Day”). The annual observance was established by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

For more information, contact VGCC Academic & Career Coach Tiffani Polk at [email protected] or (252) 738-3291.

Granville County to hold Business & Industry Appreciation Day

The Granville County Economic Development department, in partnership with the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center and the Granville County Chamber of Commerce, is planning this year’s “Business & Industry Appreciation Day.” The annual event is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 4-6 p.m. at the Granville County Expo & Convention Center, located at 4185 Highway 15 South in Oxford.

For local businesses and industries, the event is not only a networking opportunity but also a chance to learn more about services and resources that are available to assist them. Organizations, agencies and businesses that provide services to a business (such as lending or education/training) are invited to set up a table to share information with those in attendance. For information on reserving a table, which is free of charge, contact Lynn Cooper at the Granville County Economic Development department at (919) 693-5911 or [email protected].

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. A brief program, including remarks to recognize the important contributions made by local employers, will take place at 5 p.m.

–VGCC–

The Embers Coming to Downtown Oxford

The Granville County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the last Alive After Five event of 2017 – Thursday, September 21st – will feature the music and entertainment of THE EMBERS – “truly one of the finest entertainment experiences of our lifetime.” THE EMBERS will soon be celebrating their 60th anniversary, as the band began in 1958.

From The Embers’ website:  “There are many bands or groups today yet few that are considered a musical institution.  The Embers have solidified their position as a thriving musical entity leaving their mark on listeners for decades.

The Embers boast numerous albums and single releases that span decades and all the crazes continuing to exhibit top quality showmanship, musicianship and professionalism.  Having been inducted into the SC Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame and most recently the SC Beach Music Hall of Fame, THE EMBERS are honored to carry the moniker of North Carolina’s Official Ambassadors of Music.  They have traveled the country and the world and have performed for every event imaginable from the highest dignitaries to the hottest back yard frat parties.  THE EMBERS were also honored to travel throughout South Korea to perform their Christmas special “Christmas with the Embers” on American Military bases for America’s troops in Dec. 2007 and 2008.  They were awarded Military Coins of Excellence for their distinguished services.

A MUSICAL MARVEL:  THE EMBERS are widely considered a musical MARVEL and have laid the groundwork for what has become known as “Beach Music” in the Carolinas, Virginia, the gulf coast region of North America and every each in between.  They are a true musical tradition with which many Americans have listened to from childhood to adulthood.  THE EMBERS consider the genre of Beach Music as “music with a memory” and have been creating lasting since its inception in 1958.  Simply put – Heart and Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Feel Good Music.

For decades THE EMBERS have been making music by playing a mix of rhythm and blues and heart and soul.  Rhythm and Blues became the foundation and essence of soul music and the Motown sound, but in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Alabama, the name that applies is ‘Beach Music.’  Bobby Tomlinson, drummer and the leader of the band, believes that Beach Music is music with a memory.  Others believe that Beach Music is simply lyrics that are easy to sing with and simple melodies and pretty harmonies that accompany them.

AN ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE:  THE EMBERS are truly one of the finest entertainment experiences of our lifetime.  Come to their show, and they will put JOY in your step, LOVE in your heart and BEACH MUSIC in your soul!”

This outdoor event is free to attend.  Chamber member concession vendors will be available to purchase food from – Chick-fil-A, A Place to Eat, Jay Boys Hot Dogs, Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell – with beverages available from Coca-Cola and Long Beverage.

Come early, bring a chair, listen to this incredible music, dance and enjoy visiting with friends.  The last Alive After Five event of 2017 will be a night to remember!

Granville County sees 3% Boost in Tourism Spending

Visit North Carolina announced that domestic visitors to and within Granville spent $47.08 million in 2016, a 3% increase from 2015.

“We are excited to hear that Granville has made a 3% increase in the last two years due to collaborations with area hotels, retail shops, restaurants, farms, parks and recreation, and events to promote our area as a destination for many travelers.” said Angela Allen, Granville TDA Director.

Tourism impact highlights for 2016:

  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Granville was $6.02 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Granville totaled $2.81 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $1.33 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2016. The $22.9 billion in total spending represented an increase of 4.4 percent from 2015.

These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2016,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.

“All eight economic development regions of the state had spending growth of 3 percent or more, and 96 percent of the state’s counties saw direct tourism employment growth from 2015 to 2016,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “Tourism continues to be major driver of economic development across North Carolina, which is the sixth most-visited state in the country.”

Statewide highlights include:

  • State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 5.1 percent to nearly $1.2 billion in 2016.

 

  • Visitors spend more than $62 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds more than $5.1 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.2 million in state taxes and $1.9 million in local taxes).

 

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 219,000 North Carolinians.

 

  • Each North Carolina household saves $497 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.

Granville County to host Business and Industry Appreciation Day

Come join the Granville County Economic Development Department in partnership with the Granville County Chamber of Commerce and the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center for the annual “Business and Industry Appreciation Day” on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 from 4-6 p.m. at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center, located at 4185 Highway 15 South in Oxford.

For local businesses and industries, the event is not only a networking opportunity, but also a chance to learn more about services and resources that are available to assist them. Organizations, agencies and businesses that provide services to a business (such as lending or education/training) are invited to set up a table to share information with those in attendance.

For information on reserving a table, contact Lynn Cooper at the GCEDD at 919-693-5911 or [email protected]

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. A brief program including remarks will take place at 5 p.m.

Scammers Targeting Local Businesses

Please help us spread the word about a scam targeting our community.

Someone using the number (919) 277-0344 is calling Oxford residents claiming to represent the Oxford Fire Department and claiming they are raising money for our schools.

This is a scam.

Do not provide them with any personal or financial information. If you received such a call and did provide them with any information you should contact your financial institution immediately and report the incident.

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the legitimacy of a fundraiser or event.

Thanks.

Cynthia Bowen

City Clerk

City of Oxford

300 Williamsboro Street

Oxford, NC 27565

VGCC connects students and new graduates to employers

As the end of the spring semester approached, the staff of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program at Vance-Granville Community College held their first-ever “College-to-Career Mixer” for students to meet with potential employers. Not only were 15 new graduates of the Welding Technology and Mechatronics Engineering Technology programs in attendance, but also five students who were not yet ready to graduate but were looking for potential Work-Based Learning (WBL) opportunities.

Prior to the event, college staff members drilled the students on job interview techniques, and some students participated in mock interviews. All received resume preparation assistance and detailed information about the employers who would be in attendance at the mixer. Participating employers included BFS Industries, LLC, of Butner; Bridgestone/Bandag of Oxford; Novozymes North America of Franklinton; Carolina Sunrock of Kittrell and Butner; Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions of Youngsville; Glen Raven of Norlina; Delhaize America of Butner; J.P. Taylor/Universal Leaf of Oxford; and Altec of Creedmoor. 

“As we move forward, VGCC will be looking for ways to increase our synergy with our employer partners while providing a robust pipeline for qualified future employees,” said Zane Styers, who manages the TAACCCT grant. “Industry tours, Work-Based Learning, internships and apprenticeships are options that form the framework for our College-to-Career pipeline.”

The $1.75 million TAACCCT grant, the largest single competitive grant in VGCC history, has helped the college develop and enhance innovative training programs for advanced manufacturing careers. The TAACCCT grants are part of a nearly $2 billion initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade. For more information on TAACCCT, contact Zane Styers at [email protected] or (252) 738-3342.

–VGCC–

Granville Teachers and Manufacturing Leaders hold summit

On Monday, June 19, a group of teachers from GCPS joined leaders from local advanced manufacturing companies for a “Pipeline to Employment” summit.  The purpose of the event was to strengthen collaboration and understanding between local Advanced Manufacturing businesses and our school district.

Advanced Manufacturing is one of the fastest growing sectors of our local economy, and there are an increasing number of well-paying careers available.  Most of these require some type of post-secondary education offered through our community college system or specialized industry training. Local Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses offer pathways into these areas as well.  It was shared that starting salaries for students with specialized credentials or 2-year degrees can start as high as $40 thousand a year, with excellent benefits and lots of opportunities for overtime.  Many of these careers can also be extended with additional BS degrees and beyond with higher levels of engineering, IT or biotech sector jobs.

During the event, educators heard from a variety of speakers, including a presentation from Alexis Franks of NC Works, Ms. Judy Woodson-Bruhn, Career Resource Specialist & Labor & Economics Analyst, from the NC Department of Commerce, and Michael McConchie, Certified Business Coach, M&M Consultants. They also had a chance to participate in industry roundtables, where representatives from twelve local companies presented information about their products and workforce needs.

Representatives from the following companies attended:

Altec

SunRock

PRM

Bridgestone Bandag

Delhaize America

Plastic Ingenuity

CertainTeed

Revlon

Stay Online

Gate Precast

NT Techno

Summit Engineering and Design

Dr. Stan Winborne, Director of the Career and Technical Education program explained the importance of the event, “Educators don’t often have an opportunity to hear first hand from local business and industry about their workforce needs.  This was a fantastic way to make direct connections between the classroom and the workplace.  The teachers who participated now have great information about all of the career opportunities to share with their students.  Not many people realize how technically advanced most of these jobs are, and they would be shocked to learn just how much money someone can make with 2 years or less of technical training – no 4-year degree required.  It’s amazing the opportunities in our own back yard.  I am grateful to the time these business leaders gave to this event.  It is evident they are truly invested in the future of our community.”

Several County Commissioners were in attendance, and Chairman Tim Karan and Commissioner Dr. Tony Cozart both offered remarks supporting partnerships to help better prepare our young citizens for careers in our local economy.  Board Chair Dr. Houlihan was also on hand and praised the efforts to bring our schools and employers together.  This event was co-planned by Mr. Harry Mills, Economic Development Director for Granville County, and the Career and Technical Education program of GCPS, under the leadership of Ms. Tamara Rodebaugh, Career Development Coordinator.

Dr. Stan Winborne
Director of High Schools
Director of Career & Technical Education Program
Public Information Officer
Granville County Schools

Harry Mills Graduates from REDI

Harry Mills, Granville County Economic Development Director, graduated in May from the Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI), an intensive, three-month training program designed for rural community leaders. Rural Center President Patrick Woodie presented certificates to the program’s 31 graduates during a ceremony at the NC Rural Center.

For 27 years, REDI has helped rural leaders improve their leadership skills and increase their knowledge of economic and community development strategies, equipping them with the tools they need to tackle the issues facing their rural communities.

This year’s class participants included elected officials, economic development professionals, business owners, and civic leaders. More than 1,100 rural leaders have graduated from REDI since the program began in 1989.

Cover Photo By: York Wilson