Gerresheimer Glass Morganton Plant was recently given the “Best Plant” award by the corporation, naming it the top performing plant out of 45 facilities worldwide.

The plant opened in Morganton in 1990 as Kimble Glass and later became part of Gerresheimer Glass, headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany. Gerresheimer is globally recognized as a manufacturer of high-quality specialty products made of glass and plastic for the global pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Today, the Morganton plant employs 147 people who make up four crews and produce tubular glass for the healthcare industry. Over 500 million glass vials are produced annually at the Morganton facility.

On September 12 at the Morganton City Council meeting, Gerresheimer Glass became the first grant award within the City of Morganton for an Energy Efficiency Project Agreement. The company has been awarded two grants for projects submitted to the Energy Efficiency Grant Program through ElectriCities. Gerresheimer plans to upgrade their lighting, replacing high watt bulbs with lower wattage and upgrading some of their older HVAC units that are not energy efficient. The total grant to be awarded to Gerresheimer is $67,800 and the project upgrades are expected to save nearly 800,000 kW of energy annually.

Employees are honored by the “Best Plant” award and BDI congratulates them on their achievement!

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Did you know that 80% of available jobs are never advertised? The Department of Labor also reports that over 50% of employees find their jobs through networking.

To provide networking and employment leads, Burke County’s ESC, BDI and the First Baptist Church of Morganton have teamed to offer the second round of Job Club on Tuesday nights from Oct. 11 through Nov. 1. The meetings will be from 7-8pm at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall and the cost is free. Each meeting features a guest speaker and topics include: Interviewing Skills, ‘I wish I had said that’; Getting Technical, ‘Links and Leads Online’; Perfect Fit, ‘Meeting the Employer’s Needs’; and Getting Noticed, ‘The Hidden Job Market’.

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

The N.C. Department of Commerce’s Business Link North Carolina (BLNC) recently launched its updated website.

The site is designed to direct North Carolina businesses and service providers to the resources needed to start, grow and expand businesses. It also directs clients to a cost-free consultation with a BLNC business counselor. This service of the state is to ensure businesses have the most up-to-date information to help their business succeed. Visit BLNC at www.blnc.gov for more information and your free consultation!

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Thanks to a $132,000 grant from the NC Rural Center’s Building Reuse and Restoration Grant Program Michelle’s Bakery will soon relocate their business to a 12,000 square foot existing building along I-40 in Rutherford College.

Best Friends Vending, Inc., doing business as Michelle’s Bakery, plans to expand their operations in North Carolina. Michelle’s Bakery plans to relocate their current operations to a 12,000 square foot existing building along I-40 in Rutherford College.

The company plans to hire an additional eleven new employees for the manufacturing, packaging and supply of its products. The project was made possible in part by a $132,000 grant from the NC Rural Center’s Building Reuse and Restoration Grant Program in addition to a local government match from the Town of Rutherford College.

“The Town of Rutherford College encourages individual entrepreneurship,” said Kenneth Geathers, Town Manager of Rutherford College. “Our community is conducive to new and growing companies, and the council is proud to support this business.”

Best Friends Vending, Inc. has been in business in North Carolina for twelve years and is owned and led by Ms. Tammy Cannon. Eleven years ago Best Friends Vending, Inc. bought a small company named Michelle’s Bakery and chose to keep the product name for market recognition. The company manufactures, packages, and supplies bakery products to distributors, vending companies and grocery stores. New and increased sales accounts are driving the company’s growth and increased sales.

“We are very excited about the potential this new facility gives us to expand our current operations,” states owner Tammy Cannon. “We are also very thankful for the partnership with Burke Development Inc., who we have been working with for the past year on this project. Furthermore, we would like to extend our gratitude to the Town of Rutherford College which has welcomed us into this community with open arms.”

Building renovations should begin soon. Once the company is operating out of the new facility they will begin hiring additional associates. The local Employment Security Commission office will be the point of contact for new job opportunities.

“We were glad to assist Best Friends Vending, Inc. with this project,” said BDI President Scott Darnell. “I think the Bakery will be a wonderful addition to Rutherford College and am happy to see that it will be a source of new jobs for the community. We look forward to helping more companies like this in the future.”

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Join us, and the Burke County Chamber of Commerce, in recognizing the contributions local business make to our business community at the 2011 Cornerstone Awards.

The Cornerstone Awards luncheon will be held Oct. 13 from 11:30am to 1:00pm at First Baptist Church of Morganton. Tickets are $25 for Chamber members and$35 for non-members. To purchase a ticket contact the Chamber at (828) 437-3021 or email djolly@burkecounty.org.

The awards were created to celebrate the achievement, leadership and impact of Burke businesses and leaders. A five member panel will select the winners, which will receive an award and recognition in the News Herald. Award categories are: the Foundation Award, Business of the Year (three size categories); the Impact Award, Community Minded Business of the Year; the Diversity Award, Minority Owned Business of the Year; and The Inspiration Award, for Business Person of the Year.

Nominated companies include Time Savor Storage, Karin Cook State Farm, PSALMS Urgent Care, MESH Design Group, Toner Machining Technologies, Caterpillar, Viscotec Automotive, Ice River Springs, More Lace, Lake James Cellars, Cyclewright, Blue Ridge HealthCare, Fatz CafĂ©, Case Farms, Jake’s Hamburgers, Quality Inn and Carolina Digestive Care Center.

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Burke Development wrapped up their 2010-2011 fiscal year on June 30 and presented an Annual Report to the BDI Board. Here are some of the highlights.

Our biggest highlights for the 2010-11 year were the five job creation announcements made including Carolina Artisan Group, Lyon Manufacturing, Gieger/Herman Miller, Ice River Springs and Ekornes ? which totaled over 350 new jobs for Burke County!

All of us at BDI worked hard this year to create more partnerships within the community. Through these relationships we were able to launch several beneficial programs. “Celebrate Burke Business”, which recognizes local business and industry by providing a catered lunch, was launched this year and was a huge hit that wouldn’t have been possible without the partnerships within the community.

We also put a lot of effort this year into expanding our marketing efforts, not only for BDI, but for Burke Business Park. A new website, www.BurkeBusinessPark.com, was launched to help promote the park to both local and regional developers and brokers.

“Looking back over the past fiscal year with BDI and Burke County, I could not be more pleased with our endeavors and accomplishments. We are a long way from where we started in the early Spring of 2010. We have established a new brand for the organization, updated all of our marketing materials, redesigned our website, moved into new offices, hired additional staff, and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the projects we’ve worked and existing industries we’ve reached out to over the past year.”
– Scott Darnell, BDI President

We continue to meet with existing businesses in the community and hold presentations for local community groups in order to share our vision and explain the process of economic development. Are you interested in becoming a BDI Partner? We would love to hear from you! Please contact Misti at misti@burkedevinc.com.

“Not to use a trite statement, but we really ‘hit the ground running’ and our journey is just beginning. We continue to embark on new endeavors, uncover new leads and new opportunities for business and industry growth, with each passing week. It was my first official year at BDI and it has been fast paced, but that’s the preferred pace! We look forward to more great results in 2011-2012.”
– Scott Darnell

We appreciate your support and look forward to serving you during the upcoming year!

Click here to see the full report presented to the BDI Board

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Ekornes Furniture Manufacturers

BDI announced last week that furniture manufacturer Ekornes ASA plans to open their first US manufacturing operation in Burke County. Fifty-eight jobs will be created when operations begin in a 100,000 square foot facility in Morganton.

Ekornes ASA, Scandinavia’s largest furniture manufacturer, plans to open their first US manufacturing operation in Burke County, North Carolina. The company will begin operations in a 100,000 square foot facility in Morganton, creating 58 jobs. Salaries will vary by job function, but the projected average annual wage is $30,464 plus benefits. The company plans to invest $1.3 million.

“Many people have been working on this project for many months and it is a positive testament to all involved to reach this point of formally welcoming Ekornes ASA to Burke County,” said Burke County Commission Chairman Wayne Abele. “Furniture manufacturing has a renowned and established history in Burke County and we will continue to support this industry as one of our target sectors for job creation in Burke County. We are elated that a company of this caliber has chosen Burke County and has entrusted their world class operations to our community. It’s a win-win to welcome another strong corporate entity to Burke County, a region comprised of many skilled and experienced workers in the furniture industry.”

“The City of Morganton is pleased that Ekornes has chosen our community as their first US location. We realize that each and every project is extremely competitive in today’s environment and that we are competing with thousands of other communities every time a project looks at our community. Thus, we are very honored to have Ekornes choose Morganton and we are looking forward to working with them for many years to come,” adds Mayor Mel Cohen.

Ekornes ASA, headquartered in Ikornnes, Norway, has 1600 employees worldwide, most of who work at the 6 factories in Norway. It owns such brand names as Ekornes?, Stressless? and Svane? that are manufactured in Norway and marketed and sold all over the world. According to the Ekornes website, Stressless? is one of the world’s most famous furniture brands.

Mr. ?yvind T?rlen, CEO of Ekornes ASA, states “Ekornes is happy to be calling Burke County its new home in the United States.”

“We are excited to welcome another successful, high end furniture company to our community,” said Mike Watts, Board Chair of Burke Development, Inc.

Burke Development Inc., would like to extend a special thanks for the assistance of Representative Mitch Gillespie, Senator Warren Daniel, and Representative Hugh Blackwell for their support and efforts to make this project a success.

Burke Development Inc. partners that helped make this announcement possible include: North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Burke County Commissioners, City of Morganton, Western Piedmont Community College, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Committee of 100, Electricities, Red Rock Developments, and NC Employment Security Commission.

For more information about Ekornes, visit www.ekornes.com.

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

On May 26, BDI along with Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC), Employment Security Commission (ESC), WorkSource West/VR and Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board teamed up to host an extraordinary event, “Employment: Key Strategies for Getting Hired.” This event was designed to provide job-seekers with tools, resources, and information to assist in obtaining meaningful full time employment in Burke County. “Employers are starting to hire and focused on hiring the best applicants that can contribute and add value to their bottom-line,” states Will Caldwell of Burke County’s ESC. “This event gave those participating job-seekers a competitive advantage over others in the job market.”

Scott Darnell President of BDI stated that, “interestingly less that 1% of the 4,541 unemployed in Burke County attended this event, however, 25% of those attending came from neighboring counties, so we know our marketing efforts were successful. Still as we move forward with events like these, we will continue to focus on encouraging those unemployed or underemployed to take advantage of these great opportunities.”

To view presentations from the event visit www.burkedevinc.com.

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Company Expands in Morganton

Ice River SpringsBURKE COUNTY – Community leaders and local elected officials came together at Ice River Springs for “Celebrate Burke Business.” The event, sponsored by Burke Development Inc, Burke Chamber, Domino’s, and Pepsi, is an opportunity to say “Thank You” and recognize local business leaders and all of their associates for their economic impact on Burke County. A pizza lunch, complete with dessert and drinks was catered in for all four shifts at Ice River Springs.

Ice River Springs, a water bottling plant headquartered in Canada, opened their first US operations in Morganton in 2006. The company has continued to experience steady growth in the marketplace and they are currently expanding their operations in Morganton. City and County officials recently approved a local Economic Development Incentive Grant for this expansion project. The project includes an additional 100,000 square foot warehouse and the hiring of 12 new employees. “We are excited and encouraged by this announcement,” said Burke Development Inc. President, Scott Darnell. “It is wonderful to see our local companies reinvesting in the community, resulting in new jobs for our citizens.”

Ice River Springs is fully committed to be the leading environmental beverage company in North America. “With closed loop recycling now in operation, we are the first beverage company in North America to produce a 100% recycled bottle from self-manufactured resin” states Jamie Gott, CEO of Ice River Springs. The company’s corporate pledge to environmentally friendly processing and recycling is seen clearly through their continuous research and development efforts, as well as their current operations which all indicate a pro-active response and concern for the communities in which they operate. Jenny Hudson, Plant Logistics at Ice River Springs Morganton adds, “Ice River Springs has built a ‘can do’ reputation with our customers that has propelled us forward in the bottled water industry.? We have experienced growth for the past two years and the addition of our new high-speed bottle line in Morganton will help meet demands of that growth.? It is our goal to continue to provide opportunities in Morganton and to build our leadership in this industry.”

For more information about Ice River Springs,
visit www.iceriversprings.com.

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Company Expands in Hildebran

BURKE COUNTY – Geiger International, a manufacturer of premium wood case goods, seating, and occasional furniture for commercial and residential interiors, plans to expand their operation in North Carolina. The company will locate in a 93,000 square foot facility in Hildebran, creating 64 jobs. The projected annual average for all employees is $33,754 plus benefits and the average annual wage for all manufacturing associates is $30,981. The company will be investing $3.5 million over the next 3 years.

“We are excited and encouraged by this announcement,” said Burke County Commission Chairman Wayne Abele. “Many well renowned furniture manufacturers call Burke County home and we continue to support this industry as one of our primary target sectors for job creation in Burke County. It is wonderful to see this strategy result in new jobs for our citizens who have tremendous skills and many years of experience in the furniture industry.”

“The Town of Hildebran is very pleased that this company is coming to town and we look forward to working with them,” adds Town of Hildebran Mayor Karen Robinson.

Geiger International is a subsidiary of Herman Miller, Inc., a globally recognized leader and innovator in furnishings for the office, home, healing, and learning environments. The company’s products are distributed in more than 140 countries and often sold through the architectural and design community. Geiger’s current operation in Catawba County has 24 full-time employees. This project will incorporate this operation in an updated and larger facility in Hildebran.

Geiger’s President, Steve Gane stated, “By establishing new and expanded operations in Hildebran we will create greater operational efficiencies and reduce our costs, enabling us to better serve our customers as we continue to grow our business and create new opportunity for employees.”

“Burke Development, Inc. is excited to welcome another quality company to our community. Herman Miller makes frequent appearances within Fortune magazine’s annual “America’s Most Admired Companies “and “Best Companies to Work For” lists,” which is the type of company we look forward to adding to our corporate community”, said Mike Watts, Board Chair of Burke Development, Inc.

Burke Development Inc., would like to extend a special thanks for the assistance of Representative Mitch Gillespie, Senator Warren Daniel, and Representative Hugh Blackwell for their support and efforts to make this project a success.

Burke Development Inc. partners that helped make this announcement possible include: North Carolina Department of Commerce, Burke County Commissioners, Town of Hildebran, Golden Leaf, Western Piedmont Community College, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, NC Rural Center, Committee of 100, Duke Energy, and NC Employment Security Commission.

For more information about Geiger International, go to www.geigerintl.com.

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Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 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, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Contacts:

Herman Miller / Geiger
Mark Schurman
Director, Corporate Communications
mark_schurman@hermanmiller.com
616-654-5498 OFFICE
616-403-0960 MOBILE

Burke Development Inc.
Scott Darnell
President
scott@burkedevinc.com
828-439-4359 OFFICE
828-764-3295 MOBILE