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Archive for March, 2012

Industrial Executives Forum: April 19, 2012

Henderson County Industrial Representatives and Members of the Partnership are invited to attend the 2012 Industrial Executives Forum scheduled for Thursday, April 19th at Blue Ridge Community College’s Technology, Education and Development Center from 8:30-11:30 am. The forum is offered at no cost to industry and members thanks to sponsorship support provided by Find Great People International and PSNC Energy.

This year’s forum is a reflection of the planning committee’s focus on the availability of a skilled workforce.  The forum will open with a comprehensive assessment of Henderson County’s labor supply, availability trends, and wages compared to regional and national data, provided by Tom Tveidt of Syneva Economics.

Following the wage and labor benchmarking data, Terry Collins, Director of Human Resources for GE Lighting Solutions, and Bill Medlin, CEO of Legacy Paddlesports, will provide case studies relative to their efforts to identify and hire new production and engineering talent in Henderson County.  Hearing lessons learned from a company with a 55+ year history and one in the process of relocating will shed light on the community’s current workforce and wage status as well as providing some best practices and ideas for other employers.

The presentation segment of the forum will conclude with an introduction to Apprenticeship 2000, provided by Pam Howze, Training Manager for Siemens Corporation in Charlotte, NC.  Apprenticeship 2000 is an employer-driven consortium that includes manufacturers, high schools and the NC Community College System.  The program has operated for 16 years, successfully identifying qualified high school students and providing a four-year technical training apprenticeship program.

Small group sessions will close the event, providing an opportunity for participants to deliver feedback and direction on how HCPED and allies might improve the availability of qualified workers.  Throughout the forum, participants will answer questions by presenters via hand-held device to provide real-time data in aggregate form on a variety of topics.  This feature will make the Forum highly interactive and allow our organization to best understand employer needs.  Please call 828.692.6373 or email josh@hcped.org to reserve your space at the Forum.

SMARTRAC and UPM Join Forces, Create 22 New Positions

Fletcher, NC – UPM RFID, part of UPM’s Engineered Materials business group, has announced the sale of its RFID business to SMARTRAC N.V. SMARTRAC is a leading developer of high-quality RFID inlays for electronic passports and contactless credit cards, as well as RFID transponders. While the transaction is still subject to certain customary conditions, including regulatory approvals, it is expected the sale will result in the creation of 22 new, manufacturing positions at the Fletcher facility to keep pace with increased product demands.

UPM has been developing and investing in its RFID inlay business for a number of years. The business unit has evolved from a small venture to a sizeable business and is now recognized as the market leader in its field. According to Jussi Vanhanen, President, Engineered Materials, UPM, “combining the RFID business unit with SMARTRAC, a company with the industry’s widest RFID business portfolio, will give it new leverage to continue to develop successfully. UPM continues to believe in the future and development of the RFID business, and is very pleased to get the opportunity to become an indirect shareholder in SMARTRAC, the undisputed leader in the RFID business.”  SMARTRAC is a leading developer, manufacturer, and supplier of RFID components for a broad range of applications in all current frequency standards.  According to Christian Fischer, CEO of SMARTRAC, “the transaction with UPM RFID will furnish SMARTRAC with favorable additional manufacturing capacities in strategically important markets.”

Fletcher Mayor Bill Moore said, “We are extremely excited to welcome SMARTRAC to the Town of Fletcher. Our community has long been recognized as a world-class destination for advanced manufacturing and we trust SMARTRAC will enjoy being a part of this area. We look forward to building a relationship with our new corporate citizen.”

Increased product demand resulting from this ownership change will add at least 22 high-tech manufacturing positions to the facility in Fletcher, North Carolina says Mike Keen, Operations Manager. To fill these positions, UPM RFID, Inc. is seeking employees who have a technical education, excellent team skills and who are capable of programming and operating high-tech computerized manufacturing equipment in a fast-paced 24/7 operation.  Successful applicants will be required to meet certain requirements of the ACT® Work Keys® job skill assessment which can be completed at no cost at the JobLink Career Center located at the Blue Ridge Community College campus in Flat Rock, NC.  Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit an employment application through CareerBuilder.com (search for UPM RFID).  The 22 new positions will offer competitive wages and benefits to successful applicants.

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Inc. is a 501(c)6 organization that works to: retain and attract quality jobs; solicit new business compatible with the assets and values of Henderson County; promote Henderson County’s business image; assist expansion of existing companies; and enhance Henderson County’s overall quality of life.  For more information on the Partnership visit www.strategiclocation.com.  For more information about SMARTRAC, please visit www.smartrac-group.com.