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Archive for April, 2016

2016 Industrial Executives Forum: What is an Unconference?

The 2016 Industrial Executives Forum will take place on Thursday, May 12th at Highland Lake Inn’s Grand Ole Hall and is free to all HCPED members and Henderson County manufacturers. Event registration will begin at 7:30am with the program beginning at 8:00am and concluding at 12noon. RSVP at rsvp@hcped.org by May 5th.

What’s the basic idea? Just like any Industrial Executives Forum, we will gather industry, business and local leaders – everyone involved in economic development in Henderson County into one place. While we are proud of our history of success as an organization, we fully expect our work to get harder going forward with challenges with sites and buildings, workforce, infrastructure and diversifying employment sectors. The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development wants to identify new ideas about where we go from here.  As always, this will be a great opportunity to connect and network with your peers and neighbors in the process. We will not solve all challenges. But we will gain an understanding of what the challenges are, and we may see work groups and strategies forming around the most important challenges. Groups like the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council have used the unconference process to find and cultivate new ideas in a collaborative setting.

Why “unconference”? This is an unconference, which means that there is no specific schedule of speakers. You are the speakers, you are the contributors. Unconferences are designed to be participator-led, interactive and collaborative. So the more you bring in, the more you (and others) are likely to take away. The day is about learning from and collaborating with other leaders from industry, business and the local community to explore new avenues to support economic development in Henderson County.

That means the detailed agenda is dynamically generated at the start of the conference, by the participants themselves.  Groups form and self-organize around specific topics based on your interest, and your desire to solve emerging problems to help sustain our economy and quality of  life. The only rule is the Law of 2 Feet: If you aren’t learning or contributing where you stand now, use your 2 feet and go somewhere where you can learn or contribute.

Does this really work? Yes, if well facilitated. Unconference and Open Space are well established concepts. There will be two professional facilitators making sure the event is beneficial for everyone involved. How do we capture ideas? Each session has a host (a person who offers to run the session). We will provide a way to document areas of concern, and potential collaborations as well as new ideas for consideration from each group. At the end of the day we will gather everyone and ask each session host to summarize the key outcomes from their session, including key actions.

Agenda: 7:30-8:00 Registration 8:00-8:35 Welcome 8:35-9:00 Explanation of open space, gather ideas and post schedule 9:00-9:45 Open Space Session 1 10:00- 10:45 Open Space Session 2 10:45-11:30 Open Space Session 3 11:30-12:00 Closing circle. Any ideas or collaborations? What are the major outcomes from the day?

Theme of the day: What will best serve Henderson County’s economic development future? What will support sustainable job creation, business opportunity and quality of life for our county?  How can business, government and civic society best collaborate to solve emerging and standing challenges.

To RSVP for the 2016 Industrial Executives Forum, please e-mail rsvp@hcped.org.

This program series is brought to attendees at no cost thanks to support from HCPED Patron Members: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Continental, Cooper Construction Company, Duke Energy, Ferncliff Park, First Citizens Bank, Friday Staffing Services, GE Lighting Solutions, IMOCO, Lassonde Pappas, Morrow Insurance, PSNC Energy, SMARTRAC and the Van Winkle Law Firm, and supporting sponsors AT&T and Carolina Specialties Construction.

Demmel AG to Open 1st US Manufacturing Operation in Henderson County, NC

Hendersonville, NC – Demmel Inc., the US subsidiary of Demmel AG, a German-based leader in industrial design and identity technology, announced today that they will locate and build their US manufacturing presence in East Flat Rock, NC.  The company will initially locate in a leased building in the Appleland Business Park, while planning and constructing a new facility on 6.5 acres at the former Fairgrounds site.  Demmel Inc. will ultimately produce automotive sillplates and emblems, using metal stamping, printing and injection molding processes. 

The 130-year-old Bavarian company was asked by their customers, South Carolina-based BMW and California based-Tesla Motors, to supply their products locally from a North American location.  50 new jobs will be created over 5 years, and $4 million will be invested in the new building and equipment.  Positions will include assembly technicians, manufacturing engineers, material handlers and others, with hiring slated to begin in summer of 2016.

“We are happy to continue to serve key customers in the North American market with a new strategic location in Henderson County, North Carolina,” said Tobias Holderried, Managing Director of Demmel AG. “Our new home affords access to a qualified and productive workforce, a strong existing presence of automotive component manufacturers in plastics and metals, and easy access to our customers.  Henderson County has great similarities to our home in the mountains of Bavaria, where we have built long-lasting relationships over many generations.”

“We are pleased to welcome Demmel Inc. as the newest corporate citizen to Henderson County,” said Tommy Thompson, Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners. “Demmel’s products showcase their command of manufacturing in an artistic way, and we will take great pride as these globally-recognized components are made in Henderson County.  We all look forward to Demmel’s positive impact on our economy and community.”

“Henderson County has a heritage in metals and plastics production in the automotive sector, as well as a strong history of attracting German and other European companies,” said Adam Shealy, Chair of the HCPED Board of Directors. “We look forward to seeing their success in our community, and we welcome Demmel Inc. to western North Carolina.”

Successful recruitment projects are born from collaboration, and this project would not have been possible without the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Henderson County, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the North Carolina Community College System and Blue Ridge Community College. To learn more about Demmel AG, visit www.demmel.de. 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.