For Immediate Release

 VanNoppen Marketing Retained as Creative Partner for Workforce Initiative

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (June 21, 2017) – VanNoppen Marketing, LLC has been retained by Burke Development, Inc. as the creative partner for Phase II of a countywide workforce initiative in Burke County. The initial focus of this effort will be the creation of a new website and content to raise the awareness concerning career opportunities that are available in the community and the training needed to qualify for these positions.

VanNoppen was selected because of their familiarity with the community, their proven ability to create collaborative Web- and Internet-marketing campaigns and their ability to work closely with the many partners involved in the project. The primary partners include several local employers: Leviton, Valdese Weavers, Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge, Continental Corporation, E. J. Victor and Kellex along with Western Piedmont Community College, Burke County Schools, Burke Development, Inc., Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board and others.

The work on Phase II will begin with the creation of a new website, the development of a social media campaign, and video content about ten of the county’s largest employers focusing on their unique qualities and on jobs that are available within these industries.

This will start to respond to the issues that were uncovered in Phase I of the project, which indicated that there are many jobs going unfilled at the current time and citizens are unaware of the opportunities that exist. This is occurring in spite of Western Piedmont Community College increasing the number of training programs and offerings in the community. The plan calls for a long-term focus on this issue, for a period of five years or more, with the initial target being middle and high school students and their parents.

About VanNoppen Marketing:

VanNoppen Marketing, LLC (VNM) was founded in Morganton NC in 2001 as a marketing partner and consultant to businesses seeking to elevate marketing-, brand awareness-, and public relations-related endeavors. In the course of 15 successful years VNM has evolved from a single operator into an established, award-winning, full-service strategic marketing practice offering a deep spectrum of services to businesses, governments and professionals across the United States. These services include, but are not limited to: Branding; Graphic Design; robust Internet-based Marketing (website design and development, social media management; eBlasts; news syndication); Public Relations; Media Relations; Advertising; Strategic Marketing Development; Community Integration, and more.

About BDI:

Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. Learn more about BDI: www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Contact:

Alan Wood

828-764-9372

For Immediate Release

Burke County Receives $300,000 EPA Grant

Funding Will Help with Assessment and Cleanup of Brownfields

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (June 5, 2017) – Burke County received a $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist with the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites. The funds will focus on the urban corridor including Morganton, Glen Alpine, Drexel, Valdese, Rutherford College and Hildebran.

“This was a collaborative effort to bring federal dollars into Burke County to start down the path to revive local industrial sites for future use and employment of our citizens,” said Bryan Steen, Burke County Manager. “The grant was a long process that took a lot of hours of staff time and coordination with other groups. I’m glad the application was successful and funded.”

The EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities to assess, clean up and reuse contaminated properties. The funds can be used to determine the extent of site contamination, remove environmental uncertainties and clean up contaminated properties where needed.

According to the EPA, studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2%. Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) and many of the County’s municipalities assisted with the grant application. They have identified several sites where the funds could be used, including former furniture plants.

“These funds will help us redevelop vacant and unused properties, which is a key piece of BDI’s plan of work,” said President and CEO Alan Wood. “This is another important step toward having more marketable industrial sites in our community, which is vital if we’re going to retain existing companies that want to grow or attract new businesses to our community.”

Cardno, a professional infrastructure and environmental services company, and Electricities, a membership organization including public power communities, also assisted BDI and Burke County with the grant application.

About Burke Development, Inc.

Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

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Contact:

Alan Wood

828.764.1818

For Immediate Release
BDI President & CEO Alan Wood Awarded Recertification in Economic Development Designation 
BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (May 19, 2017) – Alan Wood, President and CEO of Burke Development Inc. (BDI), has been awarded recertification by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Mr. Wood first achieved the Certified Economic Developer designation in 2009. CEcD recertification, required every three years, was awarded to Alan Wood, who met demanding requirements for continuing education and service to the profession. With 15 years of economic development experience, Mr. Wood has a history of success in assisting with the growth and development of new and existing industries within the communities that he has served. In his current position with BDI, he and his staff have received several national and regional awards as well as announcing projects that have accounted for $78,000,000 in new investment and over 600 new jobs.
The designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) is a highly recognized national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skill in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to professional growth. Mr. Wood first earned certification by passing a rigorous three-part, two-day examination; testing his knowledge, proficiency and judgement in key areas of economic development.
As highly skilled economic development practitioners, Alan Wood and over 1,000 other Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create and retain high-quality jobs, establish economic vibrancy and improve quality of life for the people they serve.
About IEDC
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,500 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s member’s are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions.  For more information about IEDC visit www.iedconline.org
About Burke Development, Inc.
Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.
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Contact:

Alan Wood

828.764.9372

BDI Receives Grant to Support Workforce Development Initiative
For Immediate Release
Burke County, N.C. (May 5, 2017)- Burke Development Inc. (BDI) has been awarded a grant from the newly created “Maximize Carolina” program. The $75,000 grant (with 15% of the amount being provided by matching funds from project partners) will assist in kicking off Phase II of the “Burke County Workforce Marketing” initiative.
Phase I of the project, was completed in November of 2016, establishing that there is a lack of understanding on what opportunities are available in the county and that locating the information when available is extremely difficult. This data was developed through a series of surveys and interviews with local citizens.
Phase II supported by the Maximize Carolina Grant will begin to address the gaps in information on jobs available in the marketplace now and growth areas anticipated in the future. It will tie these opportunities to the training required to successfully attain these positions (much of the training being available through Western Piedmont Community College) and provide information on possible assistance with funding the required training.
The campaign is being spear-headed and funded by partners from across the county, region and state, including: local business and industry, Western Piedmont Community College, Burke County Public Schools, Burke County Chamber of Commerce, Western Piedmont Workforce Development, BDI and others. Work will begin immediately to create the content for a robust website and a multi-media marketing plan aimed at providing needed information to primarily middle-school students and their parents. Plans are to expand the reach of the program as more resources become available.
Alan Wood, President and CEO of BDI had the following to say concerning the grant and the campaign “We appreciate the assistance provided by the NC Department of Commerce to our efforts. With the rapid changes taking place in technology in the workplace, it is increasingly important for all students to continue their education beyond high school. With all our partners engaged in these efforts, we believe we can close the information gap that exist and assist more of our students in finding a career that is right for them.”
The Maximize Carolina Sector grants are designed to “address skills gaps in robust and emerging industry sectors” according to the NC Commerce website. These grants can be used to address challenges such as applicants lacking specific skills, lack of sector brand awareness and work-based learning opportunities.
About Burke Development, Inc.
Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDIworks with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.
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Contact:
Alan Wood

For Immediate Release

 BDI Publishes Workforce Campaign Report

 Research Gauges Perceptions of Students, Parents and Millennials Toward Job Opportunities

 

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (December 16, 2016) – Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) has published a report from the first phase of its workforce marketing campaign, which evaluates the perceptions citizens have of the job opportunities available in Burke County. Research was gathered from 10 focus groups, as well as interviews and surveys with over 260 students, parents, employers and millennials.

The full, 15-page report, an overview presentation and survey results can be accessed on BDI’s website at www.burkedevinc.com/workforcemarketingcampaign. The information details the current attitudes of students, parents and millennials toward Burke County jobs, specifically manufacturing and healthcare related positions. It also evaluates the communications channels that are most effective in reaching these audiences and the key messages that will best change their attitudes.

BDI embarked on the campaign, in partnership with Western Piedmont Community College and Burke County Public Schools, because many existing companies are struggling to find and retain employees. This is especially true in manufacturing.

According to NCWorks Burke Career Center Manager Chuck Brown, during the second week of December the office had approximately 300 vacancies in Burke County and over one-third of those were for manufacturing occupations. This is despite the fact that manufacturing companies typically offer higher than average wages and employee benefits.

BDI President Alan Wood expressed the need for the campaign, “We want to expose young people and their parents to the jobs available and also demonstrate the path a student should take to pursue a career in these fields. There are well-paying jobs that offer opportunities for advancement right here in Burke County.”

Dr. Michael Helmick, President of Western Piedmont Community College, agreed, “It is important to note that while those jobs are unfilled the education and training to prepare for those jobs is available at Western Piedmont Community College. The cost is incredibly low and sometimes even free. I hope with the advent of this new awareness campaign we can provide information that will change attitudes about education and employment in our area.”

With the research phase complete BDI will move forward with implementing the campaign, which will require participation from community organizations, private sector employers, foundations and public sector supporters. Next steps include the finalization of a comprehensive communications plan, creation of branding and development of an annual budget for the campaign, which is a long-term, five-year strategy.

 

About Burke Development, Inc.

Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit economic development organization supported by private and public funding that supports and promotes the development of jobs, investment and wealth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

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 Contact:

Alan Wood

828.764.1818

Leviton Completes Renovation

 

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Leviton has completed renovations to the Morganton facility in North Carolina. Improvements have been made to the cafeteria, administration area, and exterior of the building. Upgrades include open market food service, larger flexible training areas, and enhanced security. For energy efficiency; new glass, siding, and LED lighting has been installed. The exterior is finished with new walkways, landscaping, and logo.leviton_04-1

Functionally, all service and support departments are now in one central location for optimum communication, efficiency, and teamwork. A recreation room is planned for employees along with a new ECS (Employee Communication System) for distributing information real-time including news and weather.

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In manufacturing, Leviton has invested in capital equipment and tooling including electric injection molding presses, and automation. Investments are being made as well in human capital through employee training and development at all levels.

 

Leviton’s Morganton facility has been in continuous operation since 1966, and produces products for the Residential and Commercial/Industrial Business Units.

 

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It is exciting to see this article about the western NC School of Science and Mathematics in this week’s News Herald. The school will bring bright, talented students to the area and will also bring over 100 PhD level faculty to the community. What a wonderful asset to add to our growing County!

 

For Immediate Release

 Burke Development, Inc. Wins SEDC Communications Award

Welcome to Burke County Video Recognized

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (August 3, 2016) – The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) gave an Award of Excellence to Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) for the organization’s Welcome to Burke County video. The SEDC Communication Awards recognize excellence in message, marketing and outreach.

http://https://youtu.be/Qg5SUZeJlkA

The video, completed by BDI in 2015, highlights the local business climate and explains why Burke County is a great place to do business. It features beautiful scenes from throughout the County, downtown areas and several local manufacturing companies. The economic development organization has used the video in presentations and also for marketing purposes.

“We are honored to receive this award and be recognized for our work on the video,” said BDI President and CEO Alan Wood. “We wanted to showcase the diversity of our manufacturing base and explain what makes Burke County great. We find it to be a very effective tool as we market Burke County both nationally and internationally.”

The SEDC is the oldest and largest regional economic development organization in North Carolina with a network of more than 1000 economic development professionals operating in 17 states. Awards were announced and displayed this week at the 2016 SEDC Annual Conference in Kansas City, MO. Judges for the awards are economic development consultants, practitioners and design professionals from across the southern U.S. Burke Development won in the Audiovisual, Small Division category.

Several growing manufacturers are featured in the video including Catawba Valley Brewery, Valdese Weavers, Geiger Furniture and Toner Machining Technologies. Other community organizations, such as Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Burke County Public Schools and Western Piedmont Community College are also highlighted in the video.

About Burke Development, Inc.

Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

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Contact:

Alan Wood

828.764.1818

Reimagining BroughtonBurke County has a tremendous opportunity for growth with the redevelopment of the historic Broughton campus. Local leaders and elected officials have spent several years laying the groundwork for a successful reuse of the campus.

The Development Finance Institute, based within the UNC School of Government, has been instrumental during these early planning stages. Visit their site to read more about the project and see their recently released report, which [Re]imagines the Broughton Campus.