Psalms Urgent Care/Solid psalmsRock Family Medicine have moved from their College Street location behind Burke Pharmacy to new, more visible offices at 304 South Green downtown Morganton. Along with staff and guests, owner Barbara Deaton, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP, BC celebrate the move with a ribbon cutting on May 21. She opened the center in April 2010 as a result of her concerns over limited to access to routine healthcare services in Burke County during weekends. Today, the urgent care center still accepts walk-in patients. Appointments are required for Solid Rock Family Practice



Eight months ago, well-wishers gathered at the Stone Creek Equestrian Center to break ground on constructing a new covered riding arena. On May 18, staff and guests celebrated its completion with a morning ribbon-cutting. Besides recreational riding, the equestrian center is home to Ther-Equine, a non-profit program that brings healing therapy to people with physical, emotional or mental challenges through the use of horses in a unique and exciting approach to therapy. The new arena  is equipped with ramps so that riders can mount the horses or be assisted as needed. Fences and gates provide additional safety measures. In addtion to Therapeutic Riding led by certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors, Ther-Equine offers a “Stable Life,”

a holistic recovery model for those with mental, emotional, trauma, and substance use issues. Another program, “Hippotherapy,” is a physical, occupational, or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes the movement of the horse as part of an integrated treatment program. For more information on these programs,  volunteering, donating or to make an appointment for evaluation with Ther-Equine, call Wendy Bradshaw at 828-443-0272, email or visit     Ther-Quine can also be found on Facebook.

To the raising of the Stars and Stripes and the strains of the national anthem, more than 100 people gathered Wednesday morning for the opening of

Store Manager Gene Taylor and Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen formally open the new Walmart Neighborhood Market.
the new Walmart Neighborhood Market at 1001 North Green street. Store manager Gene Taylor and Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen made it official, cutting the ribbon and opening the doors for early shoppers, local dignitaries and Walmart associates who arrived early for the 7 am ceremony and first day of business. The 41,000 square foot building features not only traditional grocery store items but also an in-store pharmacy with a drive-through. The Walmart Neighborhood Market will be open 24/7 and provide about 100 full- and part-time jobs. Taylor cited himself in talking about growth opportunities the company provides for its associates, recounting how he started as an hourly worker, eventually advancing to manage a store.
Celebrate business in Burke County by attending these upcoming special events:

Ther-Equine Ribbon Cutting at 2864 DAV Ave. in Morganton on May 18, 11am

Catawba Valley Behavioral Health Ribbon Cutting in Morganton at 350 East Parker Rd, May 21, 3 pm

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market Ribbon Cutting at 1001 N. Green St. in Morganton, June 3, 7 am

Trent Turner, Edward Jones Investors, Ribbon Cutting, 507-B Burkemont Ave., in Morganton, June 3, 10 am

Duke Energy was the sponsor and Grace Ridge Retirement Community served as the host for the Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Breakfast in

Rep. Hugh Blackwell makes a point during the Q&A session at the Legislative Breakfast on April 25, as Sen. Daniel (left) and Reps. Hager and Dobson listen.

April. All four area legislators again responded to the Chamber’s invitation to participate in the event that traditionally attracts a full house. This year about 100 Chamber members and guests heard from State Senator Warren Daniel, Burke County Representatives Hugh Blackwell and Mike Hager, and McDowell County Representative Josh Dobson. Before taking questions, each of the lawmakers updated the audience on key issues in the General Assembly, including legislation that each have introduced, supported or opposed.

Area lawmakers and key issues facing the NC General Assembly will be in the spotlight on Friday, April 24, at the Burke Chamber’s Annual Legislative Breakfast, The event is being sponsored by Duke Energy and hosted by Grace Ridge Retirement Community. Tickets are $20 and may be reserved by calling the Chamber at 437-3021. You may also reserve your tickets on-line. The event will be held in the Ervin Community Room at Grace Ridge. A hot breakfast buffet will open at 730 am, with the program starting at 8 am sharp.

“This is one of the most popular events on the Chamber’s calendar, so I encourage everyone to obtain their tickets early. We’re expecting a full house, and seating will be limited,” said Chamber CEO Jerry Davis.
As the newsletter went to press, Representative Hugh Blackwell and Senator Warren Daniel from Burke County had confirmed as speakers, along with Representative Josh Dobson from McDowell County. Representative Mike Hager had not confirmed at press time.
Each of these elected leaders will share their perspectives on major legislation in the current session of the General Assembly. There will also be time for questions from the audience.

danNo one needs to remind you of the issues surrounding healthcare coverage, the ever rising cost and the headaches it has created for industry. Legislation was passed that was supposed to correct this problem. The question now becomes… Is it working?

Dan Birach, President of Carolinas HealthCare System HEALTHWORKS division, will address the market trends of healthcare and wellness and the impact on industry at the next Burke Chamber “Business for Breakfast” on Friday, March 27, in the Ervin Community Room at Grace Ridge Retirement Community.

An area of recent focus has been on wellness in the workplace and its potential to influence the cost of healthcare. What constitutes a successful wellness program and is your organization heading in the right direction? Dan will share the very latest in innovative ideas and provide actionable interventions any business can easily implement.

There will be some great door prizes, courtesy of Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge. Grace Ridge will host a special breakfast buffet starting at 7:30 am to give everyone plenty of time to network before the program starts at 8 am.  A full house is expected for this informative program, so make your reservations early by calling Dorothea at the Chamber (437-3021). You can also reserve on line by clicking here.

The Burke Manufacturers Executive Council (BMEC) recently visited the Siemens manufacturing facility in Charlotte to learn about its apprenticeship program. Several companies from the group are working to implement a similar program in Burke County in partnership with Western Piedmont Community College, Burke County Public Schools and Burke Development, Inc. After an in-depth tour of the plant, where Siemens produces generators

Siemens produces generators and turbines at its Charlotte plant.

and turbines, BMEC members enjoyed an informative presentation from Roger Collins, who manages Siemens’ apprenticeship program.

“We are pleased to see the impact the college and our local community is making on our industry’s need for diverse recruitment,” said Valdese Weavers Training Manager Scott Buchanan. “Technology is evolving every day and it is great to see the value placed on adapting to these changes. The trip to Siemens only solidified the amount of success our community can look forward to as we embark on development of an apprenticeship program,” he added.

“I think it is a concrete step towards resolution of a current workforce need,” said Bryan Steen, County Manager and Chairman of Burke Development, Inc. (BDI).

“This shows our manufacturers, and those that might be looking to locate here, that we are progressive and we strive to get results that are beneficial to our local industries – as well as the citizens of Burke County who are employed by them,” explained Steen.

Western Piedmont Community College convened a meeting with local employers following the trip to discuss the next steps in developing an apprenticeship program in Burke County. As part of the program, each apprenticeship is registered with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the US Department of Labor.

Components of the program include on-the-job learning from one to five years (approximately 2,000 hours per year based on occupation) and job-related education (144 hours each training year). Students are paired with a mentor for the on-the-job learning component.

Upon completion of the proposed program each apprentice would have earned an AAS degree from Western Piedmont Community College and journeyworker credentials that are nationally recognized. Typically the student is paid as a full time employee with a progressive wage scale based on attainment of skill levels and the partnering company covers the cost of their tuition and books.

“While there are many others out there in the marketplace, we can look to Siemens as a model,” said Michael Daniels, Western Piedmont Community College Dean of Science, Engineering and Mathematics.

“With buy-in from our manufacturing partners, we can then customize the program to fit their needs and the needs of our community,” Daniels added.