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June 15, 2021

Biz Roundup: Rowan County unemployment rate up to 5.7% in April

SALISBURY — Rowan County’s unemployment rate increased from 4.7% in March to 5.7% in April, according to data released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce last week.

The data is preliminary and was not seasonally adjusted, meaning that seasonal hiring patterns have not been removed from the data. Overall, the number of workers employed statewide decreased in April by 4,935 to 4,757,583, while those unemployed decreased by 11,269 to 217,379. 

The county’s 5.7% April unemployment rate is still significantly lower than its unemployment rate last April, which ballooned to 15% during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Rowan County’s rising unemployment rate countered the trend seen throughout most of the state. Unemployment rates decreased in 91 counties and remained unchanged in two, while only increasing in seven counties. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.5% while Orange County had the lowest at 3%. All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases.

Rowan County’s April unemployment rate landed it within the top-20 counties in the state with the highest unemployment rates. Of Rowan County’s 65,765 person labor force, 3,723 were unemployed in April.

Rowan County prepares to host job fair featuring many area employers

SALISBURY — Several local companies will be represented at West End Plaza on June 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for the Rowan County Job Fair.

Admission to the event is free and registration is available online at rowanedc.com.

Daimler, Chewy, Team Automotive Group, Snow Joe and Gildan are a sampling of the area employers who will have representatives at the fair. These employers are offering sign-on bonus opportunities, weekend and rotating shift positions, child care assistance, tuition assistance and some may even make onsite job offers.

Free transportation to and from the event will be provided by Salisbury Transit. A $200 Amazon gift card scavenger hunt will be held during the job fair as well.

For those who can’t attend the fair in person, a virtual version of the event will be available as well. More information can be found online at rowanedc.com.

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce accepting applications for Leadership Rowan class

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce is currently taking applications for its 2021-22 Leadership Rowan class. 

For 29 years, the Leadership Rowan program has equipped some of the community’s most influential leaders with knowledge about local issues while also helping them network.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. on June 18.

“I am excited to announce that we are currently accepting applications for our next Leadership Rowan Class,” Nick Means, chairman of the chamber’s steering committee, said in a news release. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our Rowan County area residents to learn in depth information about our county and to have a look behind the curtain, if you will.  We are extremely proud of the history and success of Leadership Rowan with over 700 graduates of the program.”

Leadership Rowan is described by the chamber as a transformational experience for both the participants and the organizations they serve. Diversity and inclusion are the focus areas during the SIMSOC exercise at the opening retreat. Then, class members commit one day a month to exploring the community and discovering what makes it distinctive, including government, education, business, human needs and the arts. Throughout the nine-month program, participants go on exclusive tours and have hands-on experiences, all with area leaders who take on our community’s biggest challenges every day.

With summer contests, Cheerwine looks to reward customers for getting “cheery”

SALISBURY — Cheerwine is hosting contests throughout the summer to reward customers for enjoying its cherry soda.

From now until August 8, entrants in the “Uniquely Southern Summer Contest” will be eligible to win Cheerwine, company merchandise and summer essentials. Contestants can enter by simply posting a photo or video on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #CheerwineSummer. Photos must include Cheerwine to be eligible.

“Our fans love sharing their Cheerwine experience on social media, and this contest is the perfect way to not only highlight them, but reward them for spreading cheer,” Joy Ritchie Harper, vice-president of marketing for Cheerwine, said in a news release. “We’re thankful for all our partners who are joining us to delight people and promote fun all summer long.” 

A panel of judges will select the best entries based on visual appeal, uniqueness and how well the post depicts how contestants are creating joy and optimism around them. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, and all entries will be eligible to win weekly prizes and the grand prize throughout the duration of the contest. 

In addition to posting on social media, customers have two additional ways to enter. First, they can purchase Cheerwine products throughout the summer and upload an image of their purchase receipts for five additional entries. Second, they can look for special bonus codes from Cheerwine, promotional partners and affiliates to enter on the contest website. 

Every week, Cheerwine and its prize partners will award three prizes, one for each entry method. Bojangles, Food Lion, QuikTrip and Yeti will also be offering prizes, including a cooler and gift cards. All entrants are also eligible to win the contest grand prize, which is a collection of all the weekly prizes. For a full list of contest rules and details, visit https://cheerwine.com/contest/

The soda company is also debuting its new collection of recipe videos featuring food and cocktail recipes starting with its Cheerwine Donuts. 

“With June upon us, that means summer parties and backyard barbecues – the ideal opportunity to bring a Cheerwine-infused drink or dish,” Harper said. “For years, home cooks to celebrated chefs have incorporated Cheerwine into recipes because our unique cherry taste is the perfect complement for a variety of flavor pairings and combinations.” 

The videos, which will be posted across Cheerwine’s social media accounts, will include everything from Cheerwine glazed oven baked ribs to a Cheerwine old fashioned.

“For people who enjoy showing off their culinary creations on social media, these new videos and accompanying recipes will offer the perfect inspiration to post about #CheerwineSummer,” Harper said.

The full list of recipe videos will include five new food recipes and eight cocktail recipes.

Kannapolis now accepting applications for several city advisory boards 

KANNAPOLIS — The city of Kannapolis is seeking members to serve on various municipal boards.

There are currently available seats on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Community Improvement Commission.

To serve on a commission, an interested individual must complete an application and be appointed to the board or commission by the Kannapolis City Council. Most of these boards and commissions participate in the city’s policy decisions by making recommendations to the Kannapolis City Council.

Board terms are staggered three-year terms and generally end June 30 of each year. However, applications are accepted on a continual basis and kept on file for consideration in the event a vacancy occurs. Applicants must be 18 years old and a resident of the city of Kannapolis, with the exception of the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) seats on the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment. 

Meetings are typically held once a month, in the evening, but each commission varies. Those interested in finding out more about each commission or who want to apply can fill out an application at https://www.kannapolisnc.gov/Government-Departments/Boards-Commissions).

Applications are due June 16.

For more information, contact the city clerk at bbell@kannapolisnc.gov or 704-920-4303.

Fiberon expands manufacturing operation in New London with $20 million investment

Last week Fiberon announced plans to upgrade and expand its manufacturing operations and facility in New London with a new investment of more than $20 million over three years.

“We are grateful that Fiberon has chosen to reinvest and expand the manufacturing operation at their New London facility,” New London Mayor Tate Daniels said in a news release. “The town is pleased to support their continued growth in New London and look forward to their continued success now and in the years to come.”

Fiberon, a manufacturer of composite and PVC decking and railing products, opened its New London facility in 1997 and has continued to be a major employer in Stanly County. 

In December, Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland announced a funding commitment of $110,000 in the form of a Rural Building Reuse grant to assist with building upgrades to Fiberon’s existing facility. Stanly County will receive the $110,000 grant and the grant funds will be distributed to Fiberon upon completion of the project.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to upgrade our facility and further streamline manufacturing for our Fiberon products,” Mike Huskey, Fiberon vice president of operations and supply chain, said in a news release. “We will continue to grow operations in Stanly County and look forward to maintaining our position as one of the ‘Companies of Choice’ for Albemarle and New London.”

The Stanly County Economic Development Commission and Stanly County Board of Commissioners worked with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina to help Fiberon finalize its expansion plans.

“The Stanly County Board of Commissioners is pleased to provide support to an existing company that has not only invested millions in our community but has also been a major employer creating hundreds of jobs for our citizens,” Matthew Swain, Chairman of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, said in a news release. “We are extremely excited about Fiberon’s success, expansion plans and decision to grow its manufacturing capacity in our community.  This is another example of a company finding success in Stanly County due to our business-friendly environment, lower cost of doing business and proximity to Charlotte.”

Two Lake Norman Medical Center specialist earn certification in Parkinson’s treatment

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center has announced that two of its rehabilitation specialists have completed their certifications in LSVT BIG for training individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions to function more normally.

Laurice Morton and Robyn Ostwalt both completed their certifications in Leo Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT BIG), which is designed for large volume movement and trains the body for improved movement patterns. Movements are often smaller and slower for people living with Parkin’s disease or other neurological disorders, which causes troubles with activities of daily living.

LSVT BIG has been studied over the past 25 years. Research using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale and other motor function tests validate improvement when other treatments examined in the study did not show improvement.

The treatment protocol helps people recalibrate how they perceive their movements. It has been proven beneficial regardless of the stage or severity of Parkinson’s disease.

The LSVT BIG treatment is delivered one-on-one and is individualized to the goals of the patient. This treatment requires a LSVT BIG certified clinician. The sessions are based on effective strategies for learning and neuroplasticity.

Faster walking, bigger steps and better balance often result with the LSVT BIG treatment. Patients often improve in their activities of daily living, such as dressing and transitioning from sitting to standing. The goal of treatment is to open doors to living a more active and independent life.

To learn more about this treatment or the rehabilitation services offered by Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, call 704-660-4470, or visit LNRMC.com.

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