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Industrial Executives Forum – May 18th

posted on May 10, 2017

On Thursday, May 18th you will have the opportunity to hear innovative ideas around the themes of product and workforce from 9 different speakers in a fast-paced setting.  The 2017 Industrial Executives Forum is focused on sharing great ideas that can either be replicated or repurposed in your business.  You’ll hear best practices and ideas worth sharing from diverse speakers from inside and outside of our community.  We’ll start the Forum with networking because we know connections made at these events lead to great things.

Your engagement with the Forum ensures that our community, and our local economy continues to grow stronger, better connected and more secure.  RSVP nowto melissa@hcped.org, and please extend the invitation to others in your organization that would benefit from attending.

The Forum will take place at Blue Ridge Community College’s Bo Thomas Auditorium starting at 8:00 am and concluding at 10:30am.

8:00 to 9:00 am                Networking Breakfast
9:00 to 9:20 am                Didi Caldwell, Global Location Strategies
9:20 to 9:35 am                 John Delaloye, Diamond Brand Gear, Product Innovation
Margie Bukowski, WeaverCooke-Kirkland, Technology in Construction
Blue Ridge Metals, Hiring Plan
9:35 to 9:55 am                 Brent Graves, Cane Creek Cycling Components
9:55 to 10:10 am               Kelly Hollifield, Dampp-Chaser, Company Culture
Stephanie Emerson, Johnson Price Sprinkle, Corporate Wellness
Chris Hykin, SMARTRAC, Employee Engagement
10:10 to 10:30 am            Tamara Snow, Continental

Our Forum is possible for HCPED Members and Henderson County Manufactures at no cost because of our Patron Sponsors: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Continental, Cooper Construction Co., Duke Energy, Ferncliff Park, First Citizens Bank, Friday Staffing, Lassonde Pappas, Morrow Insurance Agency, Morris Broadband, Pardee Hospital, PSNC Energy, SMARTRAC, & The Van Winkle Law Firm. Additional support provided by AT&T and Carolina Specialties Construction.

 


Made in Henderson County Job Fair

posted on May 4, 2017

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development and Henderson County Public Schools co-hosted the first ever Made in Henderson County Job Fair focused on connecting high school seniors with local employment opportunities.

23 Henderson County manufacturers attended the fair to market 79 open positions that students with little work experience or applicable skillset would be eligible for immediately upon graduation. 110 high school seniors participated by completing a standard application to share their skills and interests with prospective employers in advance. Employers profiled their open positions so that students could connect with the opportunities that interested them most.

The job fair emerged from a growing partnership between the school system and HCPED which has, through Made in Henderson County employer tours and events, showcased manufacturing careers to middle and high school students since 2012. The job fair is a unique workforce development solution in that it has the potential to positively impact current employer needs by connecting them directly with local students who are career-ready .

“Manufacturing has changed a lot. Today’s career opportunities are high-tech and challenging. Many of these positions are paying premium wages, reimbursing for education and offering great benefits,” stated Will Buie, Chair of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development Board of Directors. “We hope this job fair not only showcased manufacturing careers but placed many students in wonderful positions.”

“This was an excellent opportunity for our students who are prepared to enter the workforce after graduation,” shared Dr. Wendy Frye, Director of High Schools and Career Technical Education. “The job fair provided instant access to potential employers, and opportunities for students to network with professionals in their field of interest.”

Made in Henderson County is a coordinated effort established to enhance the connection between manufacturing businesses and Henderson County Public Schools, while telling the story of manufacturing, the products that are made here, and the people who make them. The effort to enhance connectivity between manufacturing businesses and the school system is focused on raising the visibility of manufacturing as a viable career path to ensure that Henderson County students have diverse employment opportunities in the community, and manufacturing businesses have access to skilled, local talent. Visit www.madeinhendersoncounty.com for more information.


5 Reasons to Attend the Industrial Executives Forum on May 18th!

posted on May 3, 2017

We are looking forward to an incredible morning at the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development’s Industrial Executives Forum taking place on May 18th at the Bo Thomas Auditorium on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College. We want to make sure you are there. Here are five reasons to RSVP today: 

  1. Networking: Join us for breakfast prior to the event to network with business and industry leaders in Henderson County. Arrive at 8:00 for the most networking time.
  2. Diverse Speakers: We have three great speakers from three very different backgrounds discussing innovation and change. There is something there for everyone.
  3. Short Sessions: No speaker will have the floor for more than 20 minutes. Quick, to the point information with real world application.
  4. Hear from your peers: SPARK! Sessions will give you the chance to hear from community leaders with great ideas.
  5. New venue: For the first time, this event will be hosted at the Bo Thomas Auditorium. This bigger space allows for more people from your organization to join us! Feel free to share this information with others in your office.

 Don’t wait to RSVP, email  Melissa@hcped.org to RSVP for your organization today! Networking will begin at 8:00 AM, with the event kicking off at 9:00 AM. The program will conclude by 10:30 AM.

Our Forum is possible for HCPED Members and Henderson County Manufactures at no cost because of our Patron Sponsors: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Continental, Cooper Construction Co., Duke Energy, Ferncliff Park, First Citizens Bank, Friday Staffing, Lassonde Pappas, Morrow Insurance Agency, Morris Broadband, Pardee Hospital, PSNC Energy, SMARTRAC, & The Van Winkle Law Firm. Additional support provided by AT&T and Carolina Specialties Construction.

We look forward to seeing you on May 18th!


Industrial Executives Forum on May 18th!

posted on April 25, 2017

The Industrial Executives Forum will take place at the Bo Thomas Auditorium on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College.  Please RSVP to melissa@hcped.org no later than Thursday, May 11th.

Tamara Snow, Director of Interior Systems and Technology with Continental, will be wrapping up our Industrial Executives Forum. Continental has been on the edge of innovation and adaptation as the automobile has changed drastically over the years. With autonomous driving on the verge, Tamara will detail how Continental adapts to be an industry leader.

Tamara began her career in 1992 as a Product Engineer with Intelligent Controls. She has been with Continental for more than 20 years, serving in a variety of roles. In her current role, she is responsible for supporting the Interior Innovation Roadmap development and execution. She currently resides in Rochester Hills, Michigan with her family.

8:00 to 8:50 am               Networking Breakfast
8:55 to 9:00 am                Welcome
9:00 to 9:20 am                Didi Caldwell, Global Location Strategies
9:20 to 9:35 am                SPARK! Session
9:35 to 9:55 am                Brent Graves, Cane Creek Cycling Components
9:55 to 10: 10 am             SPARK! Session
10:10 to 10:30 am            Tamara Snow, Continental

Our Forum is possible for HCPED Members and Henderson County Manufactures at no cost because of our Patron Sponsors: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Continental, Cooper Construction Co., Duke Energy, Ferncliff Park, First Citizens Bank, Friday Staffing, Lassonde Pappas, Morrow Insurance Agency, Morris Broadband, Pardee Hospital, PSNC Energy, SMARTRAC, & The Van Winkle Law Firm. Additional support provided by AT&T and Carolina Specialties Construction.


Time to RSVP! HCPED Forum on May 18th!

posted on April 17, 2017

As we focus on innovation and adaption at this year’s Industrial Executives Forum, it is important to understand geopolitics and the impacts to our local industry. Didi Caldwell, founding Principal with Global Location Strategies, will lay the foundation for our event as she dives into the influence of technology, demographics and policy on our local economy.

Didi has over 17 years of site selection experience and understands the pressures and demands businesses face to grow. Based out of Greenville, SC, Didi has led consulting projects in North and South America, Canada, Europe and Asia in industries including energy, automotive, pulp and paper, chemicals, mining, textiles, logistics, consumer products and biotech.

The Industrial Executives Forum will take place at the Bo Thomas Auditorium on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College. Please find the event agenda below; stay tuned as we continue to reveal the event speakers. RSVP to melissa@hcped.org no later than Thursday, May 11th.

8:00 to 8:50 am                Networking Breakfast
8:55 to 9:00 am                Welcome
9:00 to 9:20 am                Didi Caldwell, Global Location Strategies
9:20 to 9:35 am                SPARK! Session
9:35 to 9:55 am                Brent Graves, Cane Creek Cycling Components
9:55 to 10: 10 am             SPARK! Session
10:10 to 10:30 am            Speaker 3- To Be Announced!

There is still time to register to share your great idea at our SPARK! sessions! A SPARK! Session provides attendees with a platform to share how they are adapting to change or overcoming challenges. For five minutes, you can have the floor to encourage your peers and help generate great ideas. These sessions are lightning round style; no slides or PowerPoints, just great discussion from one company to another. And when the buzzer sounds, your time is up. We know great things happen when our community connects and share ideas; so we are opening the floor up to six HCPED members and/or participating industries to share their SPARK! Interested in participating in a SPARK! or have questions to determine if your presentation is a fit, email brittany@hcped.org for more information. Registration for SPARK! closes on April 21st.

Our Forum is possible for HCPED Members and Henderson County Manufactures at no cost because of our Patron Sponsors: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Continental, Cooper Construction Co., Duke Energy, Ferncliff Park, First Citizens Bank, Friday Staffing, Lassonde Pappas, Morrow Insurance Agency, Morris Broadband, Pardee Hospital, PSNC Energy, SMARTRAC, & The Van Winkle Law Firm. Additional support provided by AT&T and Carolina Specialties Construction.


HCPED Industrial Executives Forum

posted on April 5, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Brent Graves, President and CEO of Cane Creek Cycling Components, will be just one of our esteemed speakers for this year’s Industrial Executives Forum held on May 18th.

Brent is no stranger to innovation. He has been in the bicycle industry since 1991 and has worked for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. However, the majority of his career has been focused on product development. In 2001, Brent designed a part that received a US Patent, and it is on thousands of bikes to date. In 2016, Brent joined the team at Cane Creek Cycling Components. Like most folks at Cane Creek, he is an avid cyclist who rides 5-6 times a week, a sport he has enjoyed since age 12. The industry has allowed him the opportunity to live in six different cities and two different countries over the past 15 years. He, his wife and five dogs are proud to now call Western North Carolina home. When Brent is not at work, he enjoys anything with wheels that goes fast and has been pleasantly surprised by the local wineries. Brent will share how Cane Creek has adapted from the 1970s Dia-Compe USA to the company they are today in an ever-evolving industry.

The Industrial Executives Forum will take place at the Bo Thomas Auditorium on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College. Please find the event agenda below; stay tuned as we continue to reveal the event speakers. RSVP to melissa@hcped.org no later than Thursday, May 11th.

8:00 to 8:50 am Networking Breakfast
8:55 to 9:00 am Welcome
9:00 to 9:20 am Speaker 1- To Be Announced!
9:20 to 9:35 am SPARK! Session
9:35 to 9:55 am Brent Graves, Cane Creek Cycling Components
9:55 to 10: 10 am SPARK! Session
10:10 to 10:30 am Speaker 3- To Be Announced!

In addition to our formal speakers, we are inviting attendees to participate in SPARK! Sessions. A SPARK! Session provides companies with a platform to share how they are adapting to change or overcoming challenges. For five minutes, you can have the floor to encourage your peers and help generate great ideas. These sessions are lightning round style; no slides or PowerPoints, just great discussion from one company to another. And when the buzzer sounds, your time is up. We know great things happen when our community connects and share ideas; so we are opening the floor up to six HCPED members and/or participating industries to share their SPARK! Interested in participating in a SPARK! or have questions to determine if your presentation is a fit, email brittany@hcped.org for more information. Registration for SPARK! closes on April 21st.

Our Forum is possible for HCPED Members and Henderson County Manufactures at no cost because of our Patron Sponsors: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Continental, Cooper Construction Co., Duke Energy, Ferncliff Park, First Citizens Bank, Friday Staffing, Lassonde Pappas, Morrow Insurance Agency, Morris Broadband, Pardee Hospital, PSNC Energy, SMARTRAC, & The Van Winkle Law Firm. Additional support provided by AT&T and Carolina Specialties Construction.


Norafin Selects Second Home in Henderson County

posted on November 10, 2016

Norafin Industries (Germany) GmbH announced their plans to build their first North American manufacturing facility in Henderson County, NC. Norafin (Americas) Inc. will construct a 75,000 sf building in the Town of Mills River, invest $18,100,000 and create 46 new jobs. The establishment of a North American manufacturing facility will allow Norafin to better serve existing clients, penetrate new markets, and provide a solid platform for continued future growth. The company has maintained a sales presence in Asheville over the past decade.

Norafin was established in 1980 in East Germany, making Mildenau, Germany their headquarters since 1997. Norafin is a leading manufacturer of specialty spunlace nonwovens used in many technical applications. One such application is heat and flame resistance barriers used in protective apparel for firefighters. “When you see the guys going out and attacking the fire, those suits often contain 2-3 layers of Norafin product,” stated André Lang, President of Norafin. Other applications serving industrial, medical, and filtration markets require different, but equally as demanding, performance criteria.

The company began their search for a North American location in March 2016. They explored sites throughout western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. Following a rezoning to industrial, Norafin focused their interest on a 14-acre parcel on School House Road, just north of the intersection with Banner Farm Road. “We learned that this site reminds them of their home in the Saxony region of Germany – the mountains, the valley and the community,” shared Henderson County Commission Chairman Tommy Thompson.

The company plans to start site work in early 2017, which will be followed by vertical construction. By late 2017, the company will begin hiring, with production expected to begin by mid-2018.

“We are grateful, as always, to have our community and state supporting quality jobs in Henderson County. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina went above and beyond to help quantify our cost advantage, which pairs well with our unparalleled quality of life,” shared Will Buie, Chair of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development.

 

To learn more about Norafin, please visit www.norafin.com. For more information about the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development and its role protecting and building a strong local economy visit www.strategiclocation.com.

 

 

 


Smart Products Relocates to Henderson County, NC

posted on July 14, 2016

Smart Products, Inc. announced plans today to relocate their manufacturing business from the west coast, and create 26 new jobs in Henderson County, NC.  The company is constructing a 30,000 sf building in Mills River that will house their manufacturing, research and design, and executive offices, resulting in a $3.2 million investment.

The company uses injection molding technology and the highest quality assembly processes to produce check valves and pumps that are used in a variety of industry sectors including automotive, food and beverage, and medical.  “Our company is committed to quality. Henderson County and the Town of Mills River have showcased the resources we need to continue producing our product and stay competitive in the industry,” stated company CEO Mark Jernigan.

 “We are pleased that Smart Products has chosen to join our community, and recognizes our workforce concentration and strength in polymers, in addition to a welcoming business environment,” stated Chairman Tommy Thompson of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners.  The project’s location was encouraged through support from Henderson County, the Town of Mills River, and customized training from the NC Community College System, administered by Blue Ridge Community College.  Melissa Smith of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina managed the project in cooperation with HCPED.

Newly created positions will include engineering, assembly, shipping, quality and administrative responsibilities.  Hiring for the initial positions will commence in late summer 2016, with employment inquiries handled through Carolina HR Partners.  Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Stephen Murphy at 828-654-6990 x701 or steve@carolinahrpartners.com.

To learn more about Smart Products, please visit www.smartproducts.com. For more information about the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development and its role in protecting and building a strong local economy, visit www.strategiclocation.com.


Sierra Nevada Earns LEED Platinum

posted on June 20, 2016

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status—the highest level awarded—for its Mills River, North Carolina, brewing facility. This is a prestigious award for Sierra Nevada, long known for its commitment to environmental sustainability and forward-thinking practices.

From the start of construction in 2012, Sierra Nevada’s Mills River brewery was designed to meet minimum Silver LEED status. LEED is a globally recognized rating system for the design and construction of environmentally responsible buildings. The ratings consider a large subset of construction factors including efficiency, water performance, site management, and indoor environmental quality (e.g. low-emitting paints, lighting control and thermal settings.) Throughout construction, Sierra Nevada closely adhered to LEED guidelines, and the North Carolina site is among the best-in-class for breweries. Sierra Nevada took the certification farther than any other brewery has and not only included several buildings on the campus but also the brewing process equipment in their energy calculations.”

The LEED review board looked at several features unique to the Mills River brewery:

sierra-nevada-nc

Energy Creation and Performance—The Mills River brewery has nearly 2,200 photovoltaic solar panels spread over the warehouse roof and on nine tree-like canopies in the main parking area. Additionally, the brewery uses Capstone Microturbine technology to convert methane biogas captured from their on-site wastewater treatment plant into electricity. Between the solar array and the microturbines, in Mills River Sierra Nevada produces an average of 1 megawatt of AC power on site, enough to power dozens of average American homes.

Water Use, Recovery, and Treatment—A brewery-wide initiative to conserve water has reduced water consumption to only 3.5 barrels of water to make one barrel of beer, a near historic low in the brewing business. Additionally, the Mills River brewery has made storm water runoff, reuse and recovery a priority. The entire brewery site was designed to collect rain water runoff and either repurpose it for use as irrigation and other non-potable water needs or to store and manage runoff through an elaborate system of cisterns, underground storage, sunken gardens and bioswales, all of which lead to a system of plunge pools to further clear sediment before the water reenters the French Broad River system. The front parking areas at the brewery also consist of permeable pavers, which allow rain water to absorb into the ground rather than cascading off and carrying sediment into the French Broad River.

Resource Recovery—The brewery works toward eliminating waste materials through extensive and ambitious recycling and composting programs. Throughout construction, the brewery was able to divert 81% of total waste away from landfills.

Building Efficiency and Indoor Environmental Quality—The construction of the building itself was carefully considered for both efficiency and to counter the energy and noise demands of the brewing environment. Panel-built concrete walls and insulation and energy efficient windows and doors help keep temperatures stable, natural light at a high level, and noise to a minimum.

sierra-nc-solar

“We’re very honored and humbled by this certification,” said Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman. “We’ve tried to be good stewards of the environment since our earliest days as brewers, and building a second brewery gave us the chance to start with sustainability in mind. Every day, we look at all that we do and we try to find something to improve—no matter how small. Little-by-little they add up to something that we can be very proud of.”

“As we established roots on the East Coast, it was important for us to live up to our commitment to responsible growth, so early on we decided that we would pursue LEED certification for our new brewery” said Sierra Nevada Sustainability Manager Cheri Chastain. “Our design and construction innovations helped with LEED certification, but most of them were things we would have done anyway simply because they were the right things to do. Earning this LEED Platinum certification reinforces those decisions and validates the time our team put into this project, but the real reward is a more sustainable brewery for generations to come.”

The main construction on the Mills River brewery is complete, but the site is not yet done. In the coming months and years, the brewery plans to create outdoor hiking and biking trails, open French Broad River access and unveil an indoor music and events space for visitors to enjoy.

Source: BrewBound


Gaia Herbs Expanding, Hiring

posted on June 8, 2016

Gone are the days when natural foods were relegated to small co-ops and grocery stores. Today, three out of four grocery stores contain organic food, and that sector consistently shows double-digit growth, according to the USDA.

Gaia Herbs, a Brevard- and Mills River-based supplement manufacturer, is growing, too. Wednesday the company announced an expansion that will bring about $5 million in capital investment and dozens of new jobs. It’s already hiring for 25 of those positions.

King said the expansion could be complete within six months, although that figure is an estimate.

“Over the last four years, our company has grown double digits, so it’s been a much-needed expansion to meet demand for our product,” said Todd King, vice president of marketing. “I think the whole natural products industry has grown, but we’ve outpaced the natural products industry.”

King is being modest. The increase in employees actually constitutes triple-digit growth.

In 2012, Gaia Herbs employed 91 people. Today, it boasts 240 jobs and counting. That’s an increase of about 164 percent.

The company stocks its products nationwide in specialty grocers like Earthfare and Whole Foods, and it does a fast trade through online retailers, King said. A professional division stocks health practitioners’ offices.

“We’re by far the No. 1 herbal brand in the United States with a significant – I think we have a 10 point market share lead over our closest competitor,” King said.

The company is headquartered at a 350-acre farm and manufacturing site in Brevard, where the expansion will take place. It has a 60,000-square-foot greenhouse in Mills River. Its creative services are based out of that location, as well.

“We located there to attract more of the arts and creative mentality from Asheville,” King said. “We’re close to Sierra Nevada, and we’re close to I-26. In Brevard, it’s more the farm and manufacturing, and our creative hub is closer to Asheville.”

King said about 30 percent of the herbs the company uses are grown in the Mills River greenhouse or the Brevard farm.

The company will continue to grow as it meets demand for the supplements it makes and creates new products. King said “functional foods” are the next frontier for the business. Functional foods include products like smoothie add-ins and golden milk mix, a turmeric beverage, King said.

The expansion and the equipment that comes with it should allow Gaia Herbs to grow over the next five years, King said.

“There’s going to be consistent solid growth for Transylvania County and the surrounding area for employees based on our current growth trend,” he said

Source: Emily Patrick,  Citizen Times