Open For Business!

Open For Business!

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

State Legislators Brief Chamber Members

State Legislators Brief Chamber Members

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.

Legislative Breakfast Slated for Friday, April 24

Legislative Breakfast Slated for Friday, April 24

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.
“Healthcare, Wellness and Industry: National Trends, Local Impact”

“Healthcare, Wellness and Industry: National Trends, Local Impact”

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.

Burke Manufacturers Executive Council Visits Siemens  Companies; Learn About Apprenticeship Program

Burke Manufacturers Executive Council Visits Siemens Companies; Learn About Apprenticeship Program

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.

Special Offer for Chamber Members Only CPI Security and Burke Chamber Partner

Special Offer for Chamber Members Only CPI Security and Burke Chamber Partner

The Burke Chamber has partnered with NC-based CPI Security to provide a customized security system for the Chamber offices. To introduce its services to Burke County, CPI is also making a special offer exclusively to Burke County Chamber business members. 
“We are delighted to welcome CPI as one our newest members and, for the first time, to have an extra level of security in place for our Chamber headquarters,” said Chamber President & CEO Jerry Davis.
CPI’s Chris Revis said the company, in operation for 20 years, is one of the only providers to design, install, monitor and service its own state of the art technology security systems for business and residential clients. “CPI has a dedicated Quality Assurance team, round the clock monitoring and 24 hour customer care. All of our installation and service technicians are full-time CPI Security employees, professionally trained and Installation Quality Certified,” he said. CPI’s inTouch platform keeps businesses and home owners connected to their property with real-time information, including remote interactive services like system alerts, video monitoring, temperature, lighting control, fire alerts and door control.
To celebrate joining the Chamber, CPI Security has two special incentives for members who purchase a system by February 28 and have it installed by March 15, 2015. 
First, CPI will install its Residential Realtime Response security system with full cellphone backup (no land line needed) for $99 and issue a $99 credit, making the installation and the following equipment package free (or apply your $99 coupon toward your BUSINESS security package):
–  Realtime speaker/mic
–  InTouch app (view/save video and arm/disarm through your smart phone)
–  LED keypad
–  7 door OR window contacts
– 1 motion detector
– 1 fire communicator
– 2 wireless interior cameras (720pHD, requires Internet access)
Second, CPI will apply a $100 credit toward monthly monitoring. 
Call Chris at (828) 803-7690 or email him at to schedule a security analysis walk through of your facility or if you have questions. Also, look for news about a special CPI event to be held at the Chamber offices on February 27.
Morganton Ranked Among NC’s Safest Cities

Morganton Ranked Among NC’s Safest Cities

The Movoto Real Estate Blog has ranked Morganton 18 on its list of the safest cities in North Carolina, based on the newest FBI Uniform Crime Report. For the second years in a row, the Village of Pinehurst topped the rankings. Rankings were determined by dividing crimes into four categories: murders, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes. Movoto then calculated the number of crimes per person (per capita) in each of the 68 places in North Carolina with populations of 10,000 people or more. From there, it ranked each place with a score from 1 to 68 according in the above criteria, with scores closer to one being safer. Next, Movoto weighted these rankings so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each made up 30 percent of the overall score, while the total number of crimes made up just 10 percent. And finally, these weighted rankings were averaged into an overall Big Deal Score, where the lowest score went to our safest place. 

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