Annual Warren Co. Chamber Meeting Set for Thurs., June 14

— courtesy The Chamber of Commerce of Warren County | Craig Hahn, Executive Director ~ 252-257-2657 ~ ~ Facebook

— by Craig Hahn

One of my favorite events of the year connected with the Chamber is our Annual Meeting. Not only is it a chance to enjoy a great meal with some wonderful people, it’s also a chance for us to celebrate Warren Couny, our strong business community and the things we’ve accomplished over the past year.

Now, when I joined the Chamber in 2015 our Annual Meeting was in October…even though our year runs from July through June. As we started 2018 I asked our Board of Directors why we held the meeting in October instead of near our fiscal year start…and we couldn’t come up with a reason.

So, to help kick off your Summer and to begin a new tradition, our Annual Meeting is going to be held on Thursday, June 14 this year. This year’s meeting is sponsored by our long-time supporters at Maria Parham Health of Henderson. The Social Hour will be sponsored by Warren Estate.

We have a treat for you in our location for this year’s meeting: The Old Cotton Gin at the corner of Franklin & Hall Streets in Warrenton. I know you’re going to be blown away by the incredible renovations that Anne & Tommy have done over the past 1.5 years. Dinner will be catered by Honey’s Kitchen…a local chef that is becoming the favorite for a number of groups hosting events here in Warren County.

The time is 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. and tickets are the same as 2017…$25 each. Look for your official invitation, more details and tickets to go on sale later this week. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in 3 weeks!

(This is not a paid advertisement)

VGCC schedules tax seminar for small businesses


February 28, 2018


VGCC schedules tax seminar for small businesses

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center, in partnership with Woodforest National Bank and the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, is offering a “Lunch Break to Educate” seminar on “Tax Planning & Reporting for a Small Business” on Wednesday, March 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The seminar, which is free of charge, will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office at 414 South Garnett Street in Henderson.

After completing this seminar, attendees will be able to identify the federal, state and local tax reporting requirements of a small business and its owner, and to establish a plan to account and pay for those taxes. They will also learn how to identify methods for researching the local, municipal, and county reporting/licensing requirements for a small business.

Lunch will be provided by Woodforest National Bank to the first 20 participants who register.

The seminar is part of a series, called “Preparing for a Healthy Business in 2018,” being offered by the VGCC Small Business Center periodically throughout the year.

Registration can be completed online at The deadline to register is March 2.

For more information, contact Tanya Weary at or (252) 738-3240.


VGCC to hold Business Technologies event

— courtesy VGCC

VGCC to hold Business Technologies event

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a “Business Technologies & Career Explo” (short for “Exploration”) on Thursday, March 1, from 3-7 p.m., in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County.

Attendees will be able to explore VGCC’s programs related to business and information technology and the career fields for which those programs provide training. The programs include Accounting, Business Administration, Information Technology (with tracks in Business Support, Networking/Security, Simulation & Game Development and Web Design/Support), Medical Office Administration, Office Administration, Paralegal Technology and Supply Chain Management.

VGCC’s Continuing Education division will also be represented, as will the Career & College Promise program, which provides eligible high school students with opportunities to pursue a college degree, diploma or certificate, without having to pay college tuition.

Door prizes will be given away, including a laptop computer, an Echo Dot, LED speakers and Virtual Reality glasses.

Refreshments will be provided by the VGCC Culinary Arts program.

“There will be an incredible variety of programs and careers on display all in one room at this event,” said Christal Thomas, head of VGCC’s Office Administration program and coordinator for the ‘explo.’ “We have tried to make it convenient for anyone to attend, whether they’re a high school student or a working adult looking for a new career. VGCC’s Business Technologies department offers classes on four campuses and online, so there are opportunities that practically anyone can access.”

Those who are unable to attend in person will be able to participate in a live chat during the event, which will be accessible on the VGCC website at For more information, contact Christal Thomas at


(This is not a paid advertisement.)

Students learn about careers at VGCC Manufacturing Day

— courtesy VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College held a “Manufacturing Day” celebration on Thursday, Oct. 5, in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Nearly 200 high school students from Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties attended, along with VGCC students, educators and other members of the community. They learned about how manufacturing has changed, local career possibilities in the field and options for education and training related to careers in the industry.

“Manufacturing Day is a national event meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and expose them to modern manufacturing trends,” said Tiffani M. Polk, an academic and career coach with the TechHire program at VGCC. “Our industry partners described the students as highly engaged and inquisitive. Together, I think we were able to reframe what manufacturing is for our future workforce.”

Participating employers included Altec of Creedmoor, Boise Cascade of Roxboro, Carolina Sunrock of Butner, Dill Air Controls of Oxford, Edwards Inc. of Spring Hope, Fastenal of Raleigh, Glen Raven of Norlina, Home Care Products of Oxford, Mars Petcare of Henderson, Novozymes of Franklinton, Plastic Ingenuity of Oxford, Revlon of Oxford, and Superior Tooling of Wake Forest.

Students talk with, seated from left, Revlon representatives Bonnie Garrett and Wendy Grissom at Manufacturing Day in the VGCC Civic Center. (VGCC photo)

VGCC technical programs were represented, including Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology, Automotive Systems Technology, Electrical Systems Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology and Welding Technology. A representative from the Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board was on hand, as well.

Attendees also learned about the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP), which partners with colleges like VGCC and employers to prepare a skilled workforce. An alternative to the traditional four-year college degree, the program takes a student from high school through a two-year community college program like Mechatronics Engineering Technology, with the guarantee of a job at the completion of the program.

Sandy Whitfield from Altec talks with students at Manufacturing Day in the VGCC Civic Center. (VGCC photo)

Reflecting on the event, Revlon representative Bonnie Garrett said that “it was nice to get to introduce high school students to our company and to careers in manufacturing that they don’t often think about. We rarely get an opportunity like this.”

Joel Bailey of Edwards said it was his company’s first time participating in a VGCC Manufacturing Day event. He noted that Edwards, a full-service industrial general contractor with a specialty fabrication shop, has many job openings and was particularly interested in recruiting graduates of VGCC’s Welding, Electrical Systems and HVAC programs.

Steve Tsotsoros from Dill Air Controls shows some of the products manufactured by his company to students attending Manufacturing Day in the VGCC Civic Center. (VGCC photo)

The TechHire grant program at VGCC organized Manufacturing Day, with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training Alliance (AMSTA), a partnership of VGCC and local K-12 school systems. The North Carolina TechHire program supports advanced manufacturing and information technology training. VGCC is one of four partnering community colleges in the North Carolina TechHire Alliance, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information on TechHire, contact Tiffani Polk at or (252) 738-3291.


(Vance Granville is a paying advertising client of WIZS.)

Joel Bailey from Edwards Inc. (center) talks with VGCC Welding student Cedric Rodebaugh of Franklinton at Manufacturing Day in the VGCC Civic Center. (VGCC photo)

6th Annual Small Business Summit – October 24th

The summit is designed to help you make the holidays pay off for your business.

“I am pleased to announce that the Small Business Center at Vance-Granville Community College will host its 6th Annual Small Business Summit next Tuesday, October 24 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Lake Gaston Lions Club. This year’s theme is Making the Holidays Pay Off,” said Tanya Weary, director of the Small Business Center at Vance-Granville Community College.

Registration includes a free lunch and discussions on the following topics:

  • Shop Local – Buy Local – Invest Local to Gain More Business for You and Your Area
  • Holiday Event Planning for the Small Business Owner
  • Take Photos Like a Pro to Get More Business with Your Social Media
  • Get Social! Grow Your Business!

To register and for more information including a map, click here,

Weary told WIZS News in her email, “Event brought to you in partnership with VGCC’s SBC, CenturyLink, Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission, and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.”

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

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


VGCC presents free business seminars on Instagram, Snapchat

— courtesy VGCC

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center is offering a pair of free seminars focused on helping businesses use two growing social media platforms.

“Using Instagram to Gain & Retain More Business” is scheduled for Thursday, September 21, from 1-4 p.m., in room W4103 on VGCC’s Warren County Campus in Warrenton.

Then, “Snapchat for Small Business Owners” follows later that same day from 6-9 p.m. at the same location.

Leading both seminars will be Martin Brossman of Raleigh, a success coach, speaker, trainer and author. In the first seminar, Brossman will teach participants how to effectively use Instagram to stay “top of mind” with current customers and attract new customers. The second seminar focuses on Snapchat, which is capturing the attention of millennials with its disappearing photos and messages, filters and lenses, and private messaging. “Businesses have an opportunity to reach millennials not only with their engaging stories but by encouraging your customers to include your business in their special moment,” Brossman said.

The Warren Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street in Warrenton.

The deadline to register for both seminars is Sept. 15. Registration can be completed at any VGCC campus or by following the instructions at

For more information, contact Tanya Weary at or (252) 738-3240.


Step 1 in Preserving & Protecting Our Historic Communities

by Craig Hahn

The Warren County Historic Preservation Commission held a public informational meeting 27 July to introduce their initiative to have permanent, historic signs placed in Warren County communities. This County program is designed to help preserve & enhance the history of our local communities and Warren County.

The following communities will be part of Phase 1 of this program: Arcola/Bethlehem, Inez, Ridgeway, Russell Union, Soul City & Warren Plains. At last night’s meeting representatives from Soul City, Russell Union and Ridgeway were in attendance and plan to move forward on signs for their communities.

Citizens interested in being a part of the historic community signage program are needed to form committees to research their communities’ history, select a roadside site where motorists can pull over to read the sign and to raise funds for the purchase of the signs (similar in appearance to the silver-toned State historic markers). These signs will be two-sided. The cost is about $1,200 to $1,700 each (depending on the final design choice. Currently Warren County does have some funding available to assist each community noted above to “kick-start” their respective fundraising efforts in the amount of about $400.

To get involved, Community members interested in participating or getting more information may contact Ken Krulik at 252-257-7027, 252-257-3037, or

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 or (252) 738-3342.


New Bakery Coming to Historic Downtown Warrenton

by Craig Hahn

You can start licking your lips in anticipation of great cakes and more when they open. I was fortunate enough to buy a cupcake from them during Spring Fest and I have to say it was like eating chocolate air…absolutely delicious!

The Chamber of Commerce of Warren County & The Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce will be at 108 South Main Street on 31 May…Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. for Bakery Pride’s Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting. Join us to celebrate and enjoy some of their outstanding baking!