Made in Henderson County Connects Schools & Diamond Brand

November 13, 2013

On Wednesday, November 6, 2013 the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development (HCPED) and Diamond Brand Manufacturing continued the Made in Henderson County campaign by hosting Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers and guidance counselors from Hendersonville Middle School, Hendersonville High School and Balfour Education Center. The group participated in a luncheon with Diamond Brand’s executive leadership team while also touring the company’s 85,000 square foot manufacturing facility headquartered at the Fletcher Business Park.

Diamond Brand’s workforce includes over 50 employees engaged in professions that span production, purchasing, finance, marketing and research and development functions. Diamond Brand was established in 1881 and specializes in custom contract sewn products that include military, outdoor and water sports gear.  “Our ability to design, develop and manufacture products to the highest quality standards relies on our company’s ability to attract and retain quality employees. The connection with the public school system is an invaluable one. Their work today as educators helps shape our future workforce for years to come,” said Will Gay, Chief Executive Officer for Diamond Brand.

The event allowed teachers to better understand the types of professions supported by manufacturing employers, thereby shaping career planning discussions and student involvement in internships and job shadowing.  Students interested in pursuing careers like those supported by Diamond Brand are encouraged to consider pathways to employment that include CTE classes, participation in Balfour’s Mechatronics Academy, applied technology training at Blue Ridge Community College and/or four-year degree programs focused on engineering, accounting, math, science and business management.

“As educators it is important to ensure students are prepared to be successful in postsecondary education opportunities as well as the modern-day workforce. This collaboration is an excellent example of how schools can partner with private businesses to enhance public instruction,” said Dr. Helen Owen, Career & Technical Education Director with Henderson County Public Schools.

Henderson County, NC is home to 135 manufacturing operations that support a workforce of over 5,250 employees. With a total annual payroll of more than $259 million, and average wages exceeding $49,000/year, professions in the manufacturing sector continue to be an attractive value proposition for students as well as existing job seekers.

HCPED 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.