Page 1

ReCOGnition

Newsletter of the High Country Council of Governments Vol. 34 / Issue 2 / October 2014

4

40 th Annual Banquet HCCOG recognized elected officials, local government employees, area residents, and Executive Board members for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the area. It was a great night celebrating 4 decades of service, dedication, consensus, relationships, and cooperation with each other.

Also in this issue . . .

3

9

13

Meet Mickey Duvall Get to know the new HCCOG Executive Director

Meet Nicole Hiegl Get to know the new Aging Services Coordinator for AAA

Take a Break from the Interstate Economic Development through Tourism

15

20

26

Healthy Aging Learn more about resources to support healthy aging

E911 Addressing Standards and procedures for addressing in Wilkesboro

Workforce Success Stories WIA and Get REAL programs changed lives for the better


2014–2015 Executive Board

High Country COG Staff 828-265-5434 828-265-5439

Chairman: Gary D. Blevins Vice-Chair: Brenda Lyerly Secretary: Johnny Riddle Treasurer: Valerie Jaynes Minority Representative Paul L. Robinson, Jr. Alleghany County Larry Cox, Chair Chris Jones, Councilman, Sparta Ashe County Dale Baldwin, Mayor, West Jefferson Mark Johnston, Alderman, Jefferson Judy Porter Poe, Vice-Chair Brenda Reeves, Alderwoman, Lansing Avery County Valerie Jaynes, Mayor, Newland Gunther JĂśchl, Mayor Pro Tem, Sugar Mountain Brenda Lyerly, Mayor, Banner Elk Rick Miller, Councilman, Beech Mountain Kenny Poteat, Chair Tudor Vance, Mayor, Crossnore Joel Whitley, Alderman, Elk Park Mitchell County Phillip Hise, Mayor, Spruce Pine Bill Slagle, Chair Charles Vines, Mayor, Bakersville Watauga County Andy Ball, Mayor, Boone Larry Fontaine, Mayor, Seven Devils J.B. Lawrence, Mayor, Blowing Rock Nathan Miller, Chair Wilkes County Gary D. Blevins, Chair Victor Varela, Mayor, Ronda Jimmy Hayes, Mayor Pro Tem,Wilkesboro Robert L. Johnson, Mayor, North Wilkesboro Yancey County Theresa Coletta, Mayor, Burnsville Johnny Riddle, Chair

Administration

Planning & Development

Fred Sides Information Systems Specialist fsides@regiond.org / x.110

David Graham Transportation Planner dgraham@regiond.org / x.135

Tanna Greathouse Clerk to the Board tgreathouse@regiond.org / x.101

Jessica Brannock GIS Planner jbrannock@regiond.org / x.134

Kathy Combs Receptionist kcombs@regiond.org / x.100

Kelly Coffey Senior Planner kcoffey@regiond.org / x.114

Area Agency on Aging

Michelle Ball Community Development Planner mball@regiond.org / x.115

Mickey Duvall Executive Director mduvall@regiond.org / x.125

Julie Wiggins Director jwiggins@regiond.org / x.126 Brenda Reece Family Caregiver Support Specialist breece@regiond.org / x.128

(P) (F)

Phillip Trew Director ptrew@regiond.org / x.121

Workforce Development

Adrian Tait Director adrian.tait@highcountrywdb.com x.130

Nicole Hiegl Aging Services Coordinator nhiegl@regiond.org / x.113

Don Sherrill Operations Director don.sherrill@highcountrywdb.com x.120

Diane Tilson Aging Program Assistant dtilson@regiond.org / x.141

Misty Bishop-Price Systems Manager misty.bishopprice@highcountrywdb.com x.119

Laura Jane Ward Regional Ombudsman ljward@regiond.org / x.126

Rebecca Bloomquist Special Projects Coordinator rebecca.bloomquist@highcountrywdb.com x.136

Finance

Beth Norris Finance Officer bnorris@regiond.org / x.109 Melanie Johnstone Accounting Technician II mjohnstone@regiond.org / x.103

www.regiond.org


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 3

Tell us about yourself and your background.

Get To Know Mickey Duvall

I was born and raised in Franklin, NC. I have held a NC Real Estate Broker’s License since 1980 (focus in commercial development) and am a certified real estate pre/post licensing instructor for the NC Real Estate Commission. I was hired by Macon County as their first Planning Director in 1991. I also served as Macon County Commission Vice-Chairman from 1996-2000. I was a college professor of Political Science/Public Administration from 1992-2005; Associate Director of the Western Carolina University Public Policy Institute from 2000-2005; Senior Economic and Community Development Director for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from 2005-2010; County Manager of Graham County and Pender County from 2010 to mid 2014. On June 9 I was hired as Executive Director for the High Country Council of Governments. I am an ordained Baptist Minister, focusing on evangelistic ministry. My wife Katie and I have four children: Tanner, Mikey, Wyatt, and Abigail Duvall. We currently reside in the Valle Crucis area near Boone, NC.

Talk about your vision for the COG and the role it will play for the region.

Dr. Mickey Duvall, HCCOG Executive Director

The COG should promote grassroots regional solutions for all Region D local governments by growing the local economies, controlling the duplication and cost of government services in the region, and improving the overall quality of life for the citizens living in the North Carolina High Country.

What are your greatest accomplishments so far?

1. Promoting the HCCOG Weekly Bulletin (which provides local governments with a wealth of the most current information including grant funding and training). 2. Organizing the HCCOG Strategic Planning Process. Initiating a “Grant Project Worksheet” which enables Region D member counties and municipalities to better match project needs to grant funding opportunities. 3. Hosting quarterly Grant Informational Workshops which bring member counties to the table with regional representatives of federal and state granting agencies. 4. Transforming the HCCOG into a Training Center for member counties and municipalities. 5. Hosting specialized seminars focusing on critical needs within Region D local governments.

What do you look forward to the most in the years to come —especially as the COG reaches a greater potential?

I look forward to working with our great staff in serving the 7 counties and 19 towns making up HCCOG (Region D) in the years to come. Also, I look forward to putting into place new ideas and initiatives which will enable HCCOG to become more self-reliant and continue to meet the needs of member counties and towns. The High Country Council of Governments is owned and supported by the 7 counties and 19 towns making up Region D. HCCOG exists solely to serve the needs of those member counties and municipalities and I’m excited to be a part of that!

www.regiond.org/HCCOG-WEEKLY-BULLETIN.html


4 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

40th Annual Banquet On August 29, 2014, High Country Council of Governments (Region D) held its annual awards banquet to recognize outstanding achievements and contributions by elected officials, local government employees, area residents, and Executive Board members. Award winners were selected by elected and appointed officials from the seven-county region. Blowing Rock Mayor and Executive Board Member, J. B. Lawrence presented a 40th Anniversary Toast to kickoff the evening. As a member of the board for 21 years, Mayor Lawrence said it has been a privilege and honor to work with some of the finest men and women in Northwest North Carolina. He said, “Let us continue to work together under the direction of our new Executive Director, Mickey Duvall, to raise our region to new heights and be the benchmark by which all the other COGs are judged.”

As one of the region’s longest-standing managers, Young faced a tough challenge handling the town’s budget after the sales tax distribution method changed. He has also received the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the governor for his extraordinary service and leadership. Charles and Norma Duncan, residents and natives of Mitchell County, were honored by fellow committee members as this year’s Outstanding North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature / Advisory Committee On Aging Members for the High Country region.

HCCOG Executive Director, Dr. Mickey Duvall, recognized members of the NC Legislature in attendance: Representative Michele Presnell and husband Keith, and Senator Ralph Hise and wife Linn. Executive Board Vice-Chairwoman Brenda Lyerly, and mayor of Banner Elk, presented a 40-year history of the HCCOG, and its more notable Executive Board members.

Charles & Norma Duncan, Outstanding STHL Members Photo Credit: Anna Oakes, Watauga Democrat

The Duncans have a long history of service, are active in their church, and support the area’s youth sports teams. These recipients became involved with the regional Senior Tar Heel Legislature a few years ago to advocate support for services such as congregate meals, homedelivered meals, and in-home aide.

Town of Boone manager Greg Young was recognized by the region’s managers and administrators as this year’s Outstanding Local Government Manager in the High Country region. The award acknowledges the contributions a manager has made to local government through his/her professionalism, leadership, and The NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature consists of two accomplishments as manager or chief administrator. representatives from each county who advocate for the needs of older adults to the North Carolina General Assembly. The High Country delegation also serves as the Advisory Committee on Aging for the region.

Greg Young, Outstanding Manager with Chairman Gary D. Blevins Photo Credit: Anna Oakes, Watauga Democrat

Avery County Commissioner Glenn Johnson was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Rural Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) Member by his fellow board members. This award recognizes an individual’s contribution to the region as a whole and their knowledge of the region’s transportation needs. Johnson has served on the RTAC for 5 years with superb attendance. He’s a very active and engaging member


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 5

of the committee and represents it well. As a member of his county’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan Steering Committee, he has provided, and continues to provide, valuable input from a local perspective.

Her leadership was instrumental in initiating the High Country Youth Summit event and provided energy and enthusiasm during all stages of planning and promotion. Executive Board Chairman and Wilkes County Commissioner, Gary D. Blevins, presented the next two awards, and applauded all local government officials, local committee members, and citizen volunteers for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

Glenn Johnson, Outstanding RTAC Board Member Photo Credit: Anna Oakes, Watauga Democrat

Avery County Commissioner Kenny Poteat was recognized by elected officials as the Outstanding Local Government Elected Official in the High Country region. The award honors outstanding leadership and service to the community and region by a town or county elected official.

Avery County resident Sallie Woodring received the Outstanding Workforce Development Board Member award from her peers on the board. The High Country Workforce Development Board is a volunteer group of business and community leaders charged with developing regional workforce policy. Members support and encourage the local economy by working together to build a stronger workforce.

Kenny Poteat, Outstanding Local Elected Official Photo Credit: Anna Oakes, Watauga Democrat

Sallie Woodring, Outstanding WDB Member Photo Credit: Anna Oakes, Watauga Democrat

Woodring has been a board member since January 2009, and served in the past when the workforce boards were called private industry councils. She currently chairs the Youth Council and serves on the executive committee, service provider proposals review committee, and last year chaired the High Country Youth Summit planning committee.

Poteat has served as an Avery County Commissioner for 20 years, with 14 of those years as Chairman. While he was in office, iPads and MacBooks were given to every student in his county. Poteat’s history of service includes: High Country Council of Governments’ Executive Board for 20 years; Mayland Community College Board of Trustees; Juvenile Crime Prevention Council; Workforce Development Board Consortium, and many more. As a planner and organizer, he has demonstrated exemplary skills in conducting meetings and provided a stabilizing influence to reach fair and equitable conclusions to all issues that came before the board. The High Country Council of Governments Executive Board chose North Wilkesboro Mayor Robert L. (continued on next page)


6 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

40th Annual Banquet (cont.) Johnson as their Outstanding Executive Board Member. This award honors service and effort in promoting cooperation among local governments in the region and the state.

Robert L. Johnson, Outstanding Executive Board Member Photo Credit: Anna Oakes, Watauga Democrat

Johnson has served on the Executive Board for 9 years, with 2 years as Chairman. He has served as mayor of his town for almost 5 years and served as a commissioner for many years before that. The North Wilkesboro mayor is described as being “a dedicated public servant . . . he is Mayor every day, attends every meeting, ribbon cutting, and open house.� HCCOG would like to congratulate all award recipients and thank them for their dedicated service to High Country citizens.

HCCOG 40th Annual Banquet Reception

Celebrating 40 Years of . . . Service Dedication Consensus Relationships & Cooperation


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 7

Regional Highlights

Celebrating Our Successes and Achievements

Weekly Information Bulletin Launched Online HCCOG has launched a new feature on its website to inform members and citizens of member services, important meetings, federal, state and regional grant opportunities, announcements and events, and classes and training. All individuals associated with our member governments are encouraged to submit items for publishing online to Tanna Greathouse at tgreathouse@regiond.org. The Weekly Bulletin is published every Friday.

Introducing ESRI’s ArcGIS Online ArcGIS Online is a collaborative, cloud-based platform that provides a way to use, create, and share maps, apps and data within and between organizations. Using ESRI’s secure cloud, and a maintained ESRI Desktop license, the COG can assist its member localities with publishing web applications out to the public or securely within Town departments. ArcGIS Online is a web-based, innovative tool that requires little programming to develop. It serves as a means to share information publicly with citizens and collaborate privately within various governmental departments. Web applications are compatible with multiple devices including smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. ArcGIS web maps can be created to share tourism-related information such as historical attractions, parks, river accesses, public art, galleries, etc. The web app can be designed as a walking tour with photographs of attractions tied to each location. Also, a web map application can be developed to share parcels, zoning, political boundaries, infrastructure (water, sewer stormwater), current capital improvement projects, voting locations, floodplain, etc. to the public and/or between departments.


8 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Training Session for Prescription Drug Abuse On Friday, September 19, 2014 the Wilkes Multidisciplinary Team, in partnership with the Wilkes Family YMCA and the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department hosted a training session on Prescription Drug and Methamphetamine Abuse. The Wilkes Multidisciplinary Team was created through the High Country Area Agency on Aging and includes several members of the local human services, health care, and law enforcement fields. Speakers for the event were Sheriff Chris Shew and Chief Deputy Doug Cotton. Sheriff Shew spoke to the growing issues and trends in prescription drug abuse in Wilkes County. Discussion was held among those attending and the representatives from the Sheriff’s office about increased accountability in recent years from physicians, pharmacies, and federal regulatory agencies. Following the session with Sheriff Shew, Chief Deputy Doug Cotton spoke on the history of methamphetamine, recent trends in the making of crystal methamphetamine, how to identify a lab, and the overall impacts of the drug in rural areas, such as Wilkes County. Both speakers expressed to those in attendance the importance of identification and reporting any potential activity to law enforcement. The training had over twenty attendees from a wide variety of backgrounds and was held at the Wilkes Family YMCA. Laura Jane Ward, Regional Ombudsman for the High Country Area Agency on Aging (AAA) along with Julie Wiggins, Director of the High Country AAA were organizers for the event. For more information on elder abuse or to join the Wilkes Multidisciplinary Team, please contact: Laura Jane Ward, Regional Ombudsman at: (828) 265-5434 ext. 126.

Chief Deputy Doug Cotton discussed the history of methamphetamine and the specific dangers the drug presents to the local community.

Sheriff Chris Shew spoke to attendees at the event about the ongoing problem of prescription drug abuse and trends in prescription drug abuse in Wilkes County.

Karen L. Evans To Serve on NCACC Board of Directors Karen L. Evans, Alleghany County Clerk, was unanimously approved by the Executive Committee to serve on the Board of Directors for the NC Association of County Clerks. The NCACC was formed to provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and techniques used in the performance of the Clerks’ duties, obtain information on the operation of counties across the state, and learn new trends. Ms. Evans is the first clerk from Alleghany to serve on the Association. Congratulations Karen!

Left-to-right: Susie Gambill, Alleghany’s Clerk of Superior Court; Karen L. Evans, Alleghany’s Clerk to the Board/Assistant to the County Manager.


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 9

New Aging Services Coordinator The High Country Area Agency on Aging is pleased to announce their new Aging Services Coordinator. Nicole Hiegl assumed her role on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. She has a degree from Appalachian State University and experience that has helped her make a seamless transition into her new role. The Aging Services Coordinator manages a variety of projects and serves as a point person for the region’s contracted providers for aging services. The Aging Services Coordinator works to ensure that a high quality of service is delivered by the service providers and works to support programs that benefit the region’s older adult population. Nicole will fulfill these duties by serving as the lead monitor of services and, Nicole Hiegl, new Aging Services Coordinator among many other things, as the program manager for the evidence-based health promotion program. Nicole brings with her a variety of skills that will benefit the quality and effectiveness of aging services throughout the High Country. Please feel free to contact Nicole via phone or email: 828-265-5434 x113 or nhiegl@regiond.org.

Construction Underway on Yancey County Senior Center Many Yancey County residents are looking forward to January 2015, which is the anticipated completion date for the county’s new senior center located on Burnsville’s medical campus. The building will be very valuable to the county and its older adults, providing a safer, more modern, and more spacious environment for service delivery. The senior center in Yancey County is operated by the non-profit 501(c)(3) Yancey County Committee on Aging, Inc. The center provides many services that benefit the county’s older adults including transportation, congregate and home delivered meals, in-home aide services, activities such as arts and crafts, exercise, insurance and Medicare counseling, Site Progress at the Yancey County Senior Center retirement planning, legal assistance, and nutrition counseling. The center will also be exploring the many ways it can benefit the Yancey County community as a whole. The center is currently welcoming tax-deductible monetary and in-kind donations to support the construction and appeal of the new building. The center will truly be an asset to the entire community. For more information on how to support the new senior center in Yancey County, please contact Julie Wiggins (828265-5434 x122, jwiggins@regiond.org) or Vivian Hollifield (828-682-6011, vhollifield.yansrctr@frontier.com).

www.yanceyseniorcenter.org


10 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Governor Applauds Workforce Development for Skills Gap Report Governor Pat McCrory applauded a new report issued by the Commission on Workforce Development that shows North Carolina can narrow the skills gap by increasing direct collaboration between critical industries and the state’s job training programs. The report was issued at the joint Education Cabinet and Commission on Workforce Development meeting held Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at the McKimmon Center on the North Carolina State University campus. The Commission surveyed employers to find out why businesses found it difficult to fill certain positions. Then the Commission compiled results of the employer survey and developed recommendations on how to better train workers in the skill sets required by businesses. The survey collected feedback from nearly 800 public- and privatesector employers. The study included a special focus on the state’s manufacturers, a group frequently mentioned as having hiring challenges. The survey was conducted by the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division, which worked with the business service representatives from the state’s Workforce Development Boards.

2014 Employer Needs Survey (PDF) highcountrywdb.com/resources/surveys

Skills Gap Task Force Recommendations highcountrywdb.com

Newland Names New Town Manager Joleta Wise was named Newland’s new Town Manager in May after the departure of longtime manager Brenda Pittman. Ms. Wise will also take on the duties of chief administrator of finances for all departments including Public Works, the Newland Police Department, and the DMV License Agency. Joleta is the daughter of Jane Wise and the late Jerry Wise, both of Newland. She graduated from Avery County High School and received a BSBA in Accounting from Appalachian State University. After graduating from ASU, Joleta took a position at Avery County as Finance Officer. She then moved to Baltimore, MD and upstate New York where she continued to work in Comptroller and Finance Officer positions for for-profit companies. Joleta was pleased to say “I am fortunate to be able to work and Joleta Wise, Newland Town Manager represent my hometown of Newland. The employees are wonderful and very efficient at their duties so it has made it easier for me to adjust.”


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 11

Burnsville Town Square is NC’s Greatest Public Place (From the Yancey Times Journal) A great public space brings people together. It’s a place where people play, sit and talk, eat, or just relax. And all of those things were going on at the Town Square when Ben Hitchings, president of the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association, came to Burnsville to present the Great Places in North Carolina Award to Mayor Theresa Coletta and Planning Committee Chairman Dean Gates during the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair. Burnsville Town Square beat out much larger communities from the coast to the mountains in online voting to win the honor. Hitchings said that Great Public Places also are the result of important community partnerships and efforts, often from years of hard work between planners, residents, businesses, community leaders, local groups, and others.

Left-to-right: NC Chapter President of the American Planning Association Ben Hitchings; Burnsville Mayor Theresa Coletta; Planning Committee Chairman Dean Gates Photo Credit: Yancey Times Journal

The results are phenomenal and enhance the lives of residents, draw businesses, and bring visitors, he said.

New Career Centers in Watauga & Wilkes Counties Wilkes Centers Move In Together The new Wilkes Career Center (soon to be Wilkes NCWorks Career Center once certified) is now located in the existing DWS office in Wilkesboro. Constructed last year, the building provides plenty of space for the region’s largest workforce center staff. Construction started up again this week as a new classroom was added to the main office area which will feature a mobile computer lab enabling job seekers to attend HRD classes and do group assessments. This new center is a partnership of the HCWDB, the NC Division of Workforce Solutions, Wilkes Community College, Northwest Regional Housing Authority, and others. Wilkes NCWorks Career Center Ribbon Cutting

Watauga Center Moves to a New Location The new Watauga Career Center (soon to be Watauga NCWorks Career Center once certified) will be located in a newly-renovated location at the Appalachian Enterprise Center (AEC). The design was the result of a special project with Appalachian State University’s Interior Design Program. This new Center is a partnership with the HCWDB, the NC Division of Workforce Solutions, Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, Clay Wilson & Associates, and others. The new workforce center can now realize a synergy that was not feasible before now thanks to its convenient location to the AEC (a small business incubator), the Small Business and Technology Development Center, and the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.

Watauga Career Center


12 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Saying Farewell to Rick Herndon In the summer of 1974, Rick Herndon came to the newly formed High Country Council of Governments as an intern. One year later he was hired as a Regional Planner. In the 39 years since, Rick has had a storied career that included Planning & Development Director and ten years as Executive Director. When people speak of Rick, they are quick to mention his calm demeanor and dedication to the High Country area. Staff members have enjoyed his support and mentoring over the years, while Executive Board members applaud his leadership with hundreds of projects and grants the COG has administered. If you ask Rick what he’s most proud of during his time here at the COG, he immediately talks about teamwork. “You look at these accomplishments as a team effort, not individual accomplishments, because it takes so much to get anything done. You can’t do it by yourself,” said Rick. While many great projects have been completed over the years, one of the most standout accomplishments for Rick was buying the building where COG offices are currently located. Rick stated that a lot of time and effort was spent between Executive Board members, Building Committee members, and staff to make that dream a reality. Rick proudly stated that “by purchasing the building, we were able to control and stabilize our costs and eliminate fluctuating rents.”

Rick Herndon, retired HCCOG Executive Director

the work that we do we should be getting increases in funding for services we provide considering monitoring requirements and responsibilities with making sure funding is spent properly. There have been some tough economic times and like other groups we’ve had our funding cuts. “I think through the years we’ve done well in spite of it. We’ve tried to be more efficient in operations but cuts are the hardest thing to deal with.”

Rick feels Dr. Mickey Duvall, incoming Executive Director, “has a great vision moving forward and has great projects on the table “It takes all of us – I think he’s right on target with working together to these. He’s a good person and he’s achieve the goals we’ve great working with people. I think he’ll do well working with staff achieved – no one local governments and I look individual can do it alone. and forward to seeing all the COG’s It’s been a team effort in achievements in the future.”

Since the COG’s charter in 1974, the organization itself has changed tremendously. “Back in 1975 there weren’t many managers in the region. We’ve seen this come about where the towns and counties have gone to a manager form of government every and that’s very important. The other big change is technology. When I started everything was done on a typewriter – you can imagine doing a land-use plan on one of those! A lot of white-out was used,” Rick said smiling., “The thing that hasn’t changed is the people. They’re just as good now as they were in 1975 and I think that’s been key – having great people to work with all these years.” Dealing with funding cuts has been the most difficult challenge and one task that Rick will not miss. “With

case.”

“I’ve really enjoyed my job through the years because there’s no two days that are the same. You’re dealing with different folks daily, different projects . . . you get to see projects from the early stage of discussion to actually putting a grant together, and seeing the project on the ground and people benefitting. This is what we’re here for – to help folks with our local governments and the region. I’ve enjoyed working with the people and those are things that you take forward with you.


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 13

Take a Break from the Interstate

Alleghany County Promotes Economic Development through Tourism along US Hwy 21 When I-77 first opened in the early 1980’s, D.W. and Barbara Miles developed the idea and trademark for “Take a Break from the Interstate.” Early in 2011, Mr. Miles began to review the plans for this idea and sought out opportunities to launch the project. A majority of the project’s support came from the Miles J.O.B. Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity designed to provide opportunities for deserving and qualified individuals in Alleghany County. The project aims to promote the US 21 corridor between North Carolina and Virginia, creating revenue for the small communities along the highway and in turn, job opportunities for residents there. Since 2012, “Take a Break” (TAB) has seen very successful marketing efforts dedicated to encouraging travelers to visit the Virginia towns of Wytheville and Independence; and the North Carolina towns of Sparta, Roaring Gap, Elkin, Jonesville, and the Wilkes County area. The project has successfully increased tourism spending for a significant boost in local economies with enthusiastic support from all the towns, their corresponding chambers and tourism agents, as well as the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area who helped fund the project. On July 25-27, 2014, the TAB program held its first Annual 70-mile Road Market Sale along the US Hwy 21 corridor, with Sparta, NC as the halfway point. Vendors reported sales were the largest they had been in years, and bumper-to-bumper traffic proved the event was popular with visitors. The Road Market Sale will be an annual event on the last weekend of July.

TakeABreakFromTheInterstate.com The mission of the Miles J.O.B. Fund is to assist deserving and qualified entrepreneurs to develop self-sustaining businesses creating jobs in Alleghany County. This fund assists in start-up money for various skills and trades, with loans, matching funds, or a collateralized loan. These revolving loans are repaid and the cash assets go back into the fund to help other qualified people.


14 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Falls Prevention Week

Governor Pat McCrory declared September 22-27 as Falls Prevention Week Governor Pat McCrory issued a proclamation naming September 22–27, 2014 Falls Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow”. Each year one out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) experience a fall, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it. Of those who fall, 20% to 30% suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently, and increases their risk of early death. Older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes. In 2011, emergency departments treated 2.4 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults; more than 689,000 of these patients had to be hospitalized. Arthritis Class in Wilkes

The good news is that older adults can stay independent and reduce their chance of falling. Regular exercise with a goal to increase leg strength and improve balance is enormously effective. Senior Centers and other locations throughout the High Country offer Evidence Based Health Promotions that encourage exercise and offer healthy living classes to teach older adults to effectively cope with chronic health issues. Both prescription and over the counter medications can cause side effects that cause dizziness or drowsiness. Doctors and pharmacists can review medications for possible interactions. Vision issues can also lead to unsteadiness and balance problems. Regular eye exams and updated glasses help maximize vision. Making homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars in the bathroom, adding a railing to both sides of a stairway, additional and improved lighting are all upgrades that can be made to reduce the risk of falling. In 2010 the High Country Area Agency on Aging brought together a group of people made up of representatives from each of the counties in our region to form the High Country Falls Prevention Coalition. This group meets regularly to support members’ efforts to form local Falls Prevention Task Forces that make falls prevention an ongoing priority, not just a yearly event. Due to efforts throughout North Carolina, falls prevention is now included as one of the NC Division of Public Health’s top three unintentional injury priorities in its Injury and Violence Prevention Strategic Plan 2009-2014, in the NC Institute of Medicine’s prevention report, as part of the injury recommendations for the state’s Healthy People 2020 initiative, and in the State Aging Services Plan.

Read Governor McCrory’s Proclamation on Falls Prevention Awareness Week www.governor.state.nc.us


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 15

Healthy Aging in the High Country It is no secret that older Americans are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases, challenging health conditions, and have an alarmingly high rate of suffering a serious injury as a result of a fall. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than onethird of adults aged 65 or older fall each year. Twenty-one percent of the population aged 60 and older—10.3 million people—have diabetes. Seven of every 10 Americans who die each year, or more than 1.7 million people, die of a chronic disease. These statistics are alarming at best and provide each of us with a daunting task—to create a healthy community and personal lifestyle. The High Country is blessed with numerous resources and opportunities to support healthy aging and the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is working to be at the center of these efforts with our aging adults. The High Country AAA receives funding support under Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Services (Title III D) from the Administration on Aging (AoA) to support the dissemination of evidence-based health promotion programs and practices. The mission of these programs is to empower older adults to take control of their health. In these programs, seniors learn to maintain a healthy lifestyle through increased self-efficacy and self-management behaviors. These classes are provided to older adults in their own community such as senior centers, churches, health clubs, and in peer-learning environments which support socialization and reinforcement of healthy choices and behavior. Though many health promotion programs, practices, or interventions are often successful, the High Country AAA specifically works with the Tier 3 Evidence-based health promotion programs that have met the highest standards of success and measurable outcomes by the CDC and AoA. These programs have gone through rigorous research and development by the creators to ensure a positive outcome for participants. Evidence-based programs and practices are important tools for anyone looking to create positive change in their community. The High Country AAA and our community partners are using Evidence-based health promotion programs to teach chronic disease self-management through the Living Healthy program, support balance and falls prevention through a Matter of Balance, and use various Arthritis Foundation programs such as Walk with Ease and Tai Chi to support physical activity in daily lives. Our goals are to continue to spread these high quality and effective programs throughout the High Country and will be looking to add additional programs to support mental and emotional health. To schedule a class, find a class in your community or to simply connect with someone about healthy aging, contact Nicole Hiegl, Aging Services Coordinator at nhiegl@regiond.org ~ (828) 265-5434 ext. 113.

For information on the AoA Tier 3 Evidence-based health promotion programs visit the National Council on Aging website www.ncoa.org


16 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Fundraising Events

High Country Caregiver Foundation held several events to raise money

Peter Pedroni Memorial Golf Tournament August 21, 2014 Tournament golfers enjoying a round at Boone Golf Club.

Total Monies Raised . . .

Celebrating Caregiving and Caring People Linville Ridge Luncheon September 11, 2014 L-R: Rick and Liz Pedroni were recognized for their considerable contributions for the past 3 years to advance the HCCF mission; Carmen Lacey was recognized for her role in establishing a pivotal relationship between APPEL and the HCCF; and Dr. Carol Schaffer was recognized for her 6 years of service on the board and astute ability to procure donations for events.

. . . Funded 52

$500 Vouchers for

Caregivers in the High Country Area

Ashe Trivia Challenge August 22, 2014 1st Place Winners – Medi Home Health and Hospice

Wilkes Trivia Challenge September 18, 2014 1st Place Winners – PruittHealth Hospice


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 17

Caregiver Appreciation Events

High Country Caregiver Foundation honored caregivers in the area

RAPP (Relatives as Parents Program) Pool Party July 22, 2014 Fun in the sun

RAPP Fun Factory Outing August 26, 2014 Taking a break from all the action

High Country Caregiver Foundation was founded in 2006 by community leaders who specialized in senior services. The board of directors—professionals in health care, education, community, development, long-term care, and advocacy, along with a diverse group of volunteers—have united to generate respite care and supportive services for family and kinship caregivers in the High Country.

www.hccgf.org

Ashe Caregiver Appreciation Barbecue & Resource Fair June 5, 2014 Ashe Caregivers enjoy lunch and fellowship at Riverview Community Center

Avery Caregiver Appreciation Dinner and Resource Fair June 27, 2014 Avery Caregivers learn about resources and enjoy dinner


18 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

AAA Receives MIPPA Grant In December of 2013 the High Country Area Agency on Aging received a Medicare Improvements for Patients and Provider Act (MIPPA) Grant that has been used to identify and assist with enrollment of Medicare beneficiaries in North Carolina who are eligible for Low Income Subsidies (LIS) and the Medicare Savings Program (MSP). Utilizing maps showing population distribution of age 60+ and zipcodes, made possible through the HCCOG Planning Department, we were able to identify the most likely areas for possible outreach activities. Rural sites in Ashe and Wilkes County were chosen and information packets were distributed to nearly 100 individuals. A database made up of possible distribution sites was also developed. Over 375 packets containing information about income and asset limits, how to apply, Medicare preventive services, and also a sheet outlining the Evidence Based Health Promotions exercise and healthy living classes available in our region, were sent to hospital discharge planners, medical offices, elder housing offices, homeless shelters, food pantries, thrift stores, fire and EMS departments, mental health facilities, regional church associations and other likely locations frequented by those who might qualify for low income subsidies. In addition, ½ page ads ran in 11 regional newspapers. Placement was timed to coincide with the distribution of local retail sales promotions to ensure maximum readership. SHIIP (Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program) Coordinators, who are available in all 7 of the counties in our region, are already reporting an increase in inquiries since the ads were run. Since 2009, MIPPA grantees have submitted more than 785,000 LIS and MSP applications for over $2 billion in value of benefits. In December 2013, Congress passed a budget agreement that included $12.5 million in additional funding for low-income benefits outreach and enrollment activities. In late March, Congress passed the Medicare “doc fix” or Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which included additional funding for MIPPA in both FY14 and FY15.

MIPPA Information Packet Materials


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 19

Housing Rehabilitation Programs Now Available for Qualified Applicants

Single Family Rehabilitation (SFR) Program

High Country Council of Governments has been awarded a total of $510,000 from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) under the 2014 cycle of the Single Family Rehabilitation Program (SFR) to assist homeowners in Alleghany, Avery, and Yancey Counties. The primary goal of the SFR Program provides funding to assist with the rehabilitation of moderately deteriorated homes that are owned and occupied by lower-income households with a special needs occupant. Assistance to the homeowner is in the form of a no-interest, no-payment secured loan which is forgiven over time at the rate of $3,000 per year. The amount of the loan varies for each house and can range anywhere from $5,000 to $45,000 depending on the condition of the home. The home must be economically feasible to rehabilitate. Be advised that some homes may be too deteriorated to be included in the program. The SFR Program must meet specific energy standards set forth by the State. These are standards designed to save energy and money on monthly utility bills. Homeowners must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the Single Family Rehabilitation Program: • The property must be located in Alleghany, Avery, or Yancey County. • The applicant must own and occupy the property full-time. • The home must have an elderly occupant; disabled occupant; or a home with identified lead hazards and child under 6 in the home. • Total gross household income must be below 80% of the County’s median income (for example a 2-person household in Alleghany County must earn less than $31,600 per year to be eligible). • Manufactured and on-frame Modular homes are not eligible for the program.

To Download Applications for Assistance please visit www.regiond.org/HOUSING-REHAB.html or contact Michelle Ball at 828-265-5434, ext. 115 or mball@regiond.org Urgent Repair Program (URP)

High Country Council of Governments has been awarded $200,000 from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) under the 2014 cycle of the Urgent Repair Program (URP). The program provides assistance to homeowners in Allegany, Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties in the form of a forgiven loan, averaging $6,000 per home, to assist very-low and low-income households with special needs in addressing housing conditions which pose imminent threats to their life and safety. The program can also assist with accessibility modifications necessary to prevent displacement of frail, elderly, and disabled homeowners. Homeowners must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the Urgent Repair Program: • The property must be located in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery or Watauga County. • The applicant must own and occupy the property full time • The household must have an elderly occupant; disabled occupant; be a single-parent home; have 5 or more occupants; or a child under 6 with elevated lead blood levels. • The gross household income must be below 50% of the County’s median income (for example a 2-person household in Avery County must earn less than $20,050 per year to be eligible).


20 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Town of Wilkesboro E911 Addressing Addressing is very important and imperative to local government in order to dispatch emergency services, describe locations, process tax billing and provide municipal services. Address information is not always assigned, recorded, maintained, and shared in a standard format within and between local governments. Inadequacies in addressing can inhibit services provided by local governments, the U.S. Postal Service and can be detrimental to citizen welfare. The Town of Wilkesboro called upon the High Country COG GIS to assist with updating and establishing procedures for assigning and maintaining the Town’s E911 addressing data in a consistent, standard methodology. The E911 Addressing Project consisted of five major components: 1. Review existing structure points and street centerlines in order to identify confusing/similar road names, inadequate address ranges and addresses. The COG developed a Summary Report to serve as a decisionmaking tool for the Town to identify the percentage of roads with deficient address ranges (non-standardized ranges), number of vacant parcels that could need addressing in the future, and all confusing/similar road names for emergency response. 2. Assign Value-Added Attributes to the existing address structure points and street centerlines including x,y coordinates and a unique identification number. The COG also evaluated and attributed the address range scheme currently present for each road segment, i.e. distance-based 5.28 feet, multiple of two, etc. 3. Build a comprehensive, master GIS geodatabase for all E911 addressing data and update the geodatabase with all new address points assigned, new street names assigned, and newly constructed street centerlines. 4. Develop an Address and Street Centerline Transaction Table in the master geodatabase, whereby the Town will maintain and track the history of any given address point or street centerline. For example, after a readdressing the Town can look back at the originally-assigned address or street name. 5. Compose an Addressing Standards and Procedures Manual. The Manual was adopted by the Wilkesboro Town Council on September 8, 2014. The purpose of the document is to set standards and methodologies for addressing, by providing guidelines by which E911 addresses and street names are assigned and maintained by the Town of Wilkesboro. The guidelines ensure that the Town will assign and maintain addressing data in a uniform, standard format within town limits. The Manual outlines methods to correct inaccurate addresses and street names when necessary, ensure road name identification signs are formatted properly, establish a procedure for sharing address information with the County—­including emergency response agencies, U.S. Postal Service, property and business owners, and residents. The COG continues, under an annual contract with the Town of Wilkesboro, to update and maintain the Town’s E911 Master Geodatabase on a quarterly basis. Map to Right: Present address ranges were identified for each street in the Town of Wilkesboro. The COG worked with the Town to compose a Manual for establishing standards and procedures for addressing within town limits and maintaining the town’s digital GIS addressing database.


( !

2007

( !

2003

( !

2005

2000

( !

1933

( !

( !

1858

700 Feet

N CO

1931

Y ST ( !! (

( !

0

(! (! (! (! !! ( (

1919 1919 1919 1921 1919

1919

( !

835

( !

1844

1842

( !

( !

( !

( !

1909

( !

( !

1909

1909

( !

1905

1838

1903

( !

1822

( !

( !

1907

1811

1900

(! ! (! (! (! ! ( (! (1803 !! ( (! ( 1821 1815

1819 1817

( !

( !

( !

1901

( !

( !

1832

1899

1801

( !

428

455

( !

1802 ( 1800 ! ( 1804 ( 1806 ! (! !

401

( !

W US HWY 421

( !

1834 1834

447

( !

493

( ( ! ! 1836

( ( ( ! !! ( (! ! (1826 !

1828 1818 1824

ADDISON AVE

( !

1840

1830

W US HWY 421

( !

1846

121

( ! ! ( ( 126 ! ( ! ( ! 121 ( ! ( ! ( 121 ! 121 ( !

159

159 159 168

( ! ( ( ! ( ! ( ! ( ! (! ! ( ! ( ! ( ( ! ! ( 159 ( 168 ! ( ! (! ! ( !

168

212 212 212

( ! ! ( ( ! ( ! ( ! ( ! ( ! ( !

159

( !

889

(! ! !! ( ( ( ( 212 ! ( !

( !

197 197 197 197

( ! ! ( 1917

( !

( !

1001

1850 1848

( !

( !

1852

1923 1923

( !

GO

( !

933

D IL L R

(! ! (

( !

0 175 350

ETJ Boundary

Town Boundary

Vacant Parcels, 04/2013

N/A

UNDEFINED/MISC

MULTIPLE OF TWO

DISTANCE-BASED

DISTANCE-BASED 5.28'

By Address Range Scheme

DANCY RD

RD

Structure Address Points

( !

Wilkesboro Road Centerlines

Structure Points that Need an Address

GATEWAY AVE

( !

( !

( !

264

236

( !

1512

K L ! 1701 W IN (

( !

1510

W INKLER MILL R

1716

!! ( (! (! ( ! (! 1702 (! ( ( ! ( ! ( ! (! ! (! ! (! (1712 (

284

1717 1717 1724 1710 1717

1728

(! ! (

304

ST ER

K E N NE D

1700 1700

! ( ( ! ( ! ( ! ( ! (1700 ! ( ! ( ! ( !

1700 1700

1710

D !! ( ( R

R D RD

1605

( !

1609

1710

1607

( !

R

( !

1606

US HWY 421 BUSINESS R AM P U S HW Y 42 1B A Y P MP

( !

1740

YA

PARKW OO D

( !

CK NE W BRI

1600

1508

( !

( !

1503

1512 1510 1502

( !

1602

( ( ! (! (! ( ! ! (! (! 1506

( !

Town of Wilkesboro E911 Addressing GIS Project

MAL L S

W

M LE R K N I

XT

D

DE

ER

Q

I RT CU

G RID SB

ReCOGnition Newsletter | 21


22 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program The High Country RPO Priority Needs list is a listing of priority transportation projects (highway, bicycle and pedestrian, aviation, and transit modes) as identified by the High Country RPO for consideration in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The 2016-2025 High Country RPO Priority Needs List was developed through a transportation project solicitation process of the seven High Country counties and the Town of Boone. Each High Country county is encouraged to coordinate with their respective municipalities to identify transportation projects to be submitted for consideration. Each county is allowed to submit a specified number of projects for consideration which is based on North Carolina Department of Transportation(NCDOT) primary road mileage data, county area (square miles), and population data. For the 2016-2025 High Country RPO Priority Needs List, a total of 30 projects from the seven High Country counties and the Town of Boone were solicited. The number of projects submitted per county and the Town of Boone are as follows: Alleghany - 3 | Ashe - 5 | Avery - 3 | Mitchell - 3 | Watauga - 4 | Wilkes - 7 | Yancey - 4 | Town of Boone - 1 The priority transportation projects submitted as a result of the solicitation process are entered into the High Country RPO priority project scoring and ranking system. Each highway priority project is scored through the following criteria: volume to capacity ratio, crash data, facility upgrade (improvement of currently deficient roadway), comprehensive transportation plan or thoroughfare plan consistency, project status, connectivity, access to community facilities, truck traffic, and local priority status. Bicycle and pedestrian projects are scored through the following criteria: access, connectivity, safety, plan consistency, local priority. Aviation projects are scored through the following criteria: NCDOT’s Division of Aviation’s raw score (100 point scale) and local priority. Public Transit projects are scored through the following criteria: NCDOT’s Division of Public Transit’s raw score (100 point scale) and local priority. When the projects are scored, the 30 projects are then ranked with the highest scoring projects near the top of the priority needs list and the lowest scoring projects near the bottom of the priority needs list. NCDOT allocated the High Country RPO 1400 points for regionally significant projects and 1400 points for division significant projects. The priority needs list guides the assignment of points allocated from NCDOT. In accordance with the High Country scoring and ranking methodology, the top 14 regional projects received 100 points and the top division projects received 100 points. After all projects were scored and ranked the top 5 transportation projects in the High Country region are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

US 221 (R-2915 C) in Ashe County from South Fork of New River to NC 194 NC 105 (R-2566B) in Watauga County from Clarks Creek Road to 105 Bypass US 421 (U-5312) in Wilkes County from US 421 Business to NC 16 US 321/421 (R-2615B) in Watauga County from US 321/421 junction to 105 Bypass US 221 (R-2915 E) in Ashe County from NC 163 to NC 88

On June 18, 2014 the High Country Rural Transportation Coordinating Committee (RTCC) and the Rural Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) officially approved the 2016-2025 STIP High Country Priority Needs List for submission to NCDOT for consideration in the STIP. All projects on the Priority Needs List that were assigned regional or division points have been submitted to NCDOT by the High Country RPO for consideration in the STIP. NCDOT finalized transportation project scores for all modes of transportation projects across the state during the month of September. NCDOT will develop the draft STIP in October and November. The draft STIP will be available for public comment from December 2014 through May 2015. The final STIP is scheduled to be adopted by July 1, 2015.


19

£ ¤

£ ¤

19W

197

V U

V U

197

261

19E

V U

£ ¤

226

V U

V U

226

226

V U

«

194

V U

194

421

221

( !

321

194

£ ¤ U V

88

V U

181

V U

( !

181

194

184

88

! (! ( ! (

16

16

V U 88

113

421

£ ¤

221

163

16

268

16

18

18

U V V V U U

16

V U

18

18

V U

221

93

21

( !

115

V U

21

18

U ¤ V £ U V V U £ ¤ !( £ V ¤ U

U U V V V U £ U ¤ V VU

V U

194

V U

Priority Needs List 2014 Projects ! ( Projects without Points Allocated ! ( Projects with Points Allocated Priority Needs List 2014 Projects Projects without Points Allocated Projects with Points Allocated Major Highways Muncipalities County Boundaries

105

U !( VV U U V £ ¤ V U U V £ ¤ V ! (U 194

321

£ ¤

2014 High Country RPO STIP Priority Projects

421

£ ¤

268

V U

ReCOGnition Newsletter | 23

To view the 2016-2025 STIP High Country Priority Needs List and associated point allocation in its entirety visit www.regiond.org/Final-Priority-Needs-List.pdf


24 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Transportation Construction Projects Update US 321 - Watauga County

US 321 in Watauga County, further identified as State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) number R-2237C from south of Blackberry Road (SR 1500) to US 221 in the Town of Blowing Rock, is a 4.034-mile road-widening construction project that began on January 17, 2012. The work involved in the project includes grading, drainage, paving, signalization, and retaining wall improvements. The contractor for the project is Maymead, Inc. According to NCDOT sources the contract amount for the project is $66,438,147.43. The project is scheduled to be completed on July 3, 2016.

US 19E - Yancey County

US 19E in Yancey County, further identified as STIP number R-2519A from Jacks Creek Road (SR 1336) to Old US 19 (SR 1186), is a 15.5-mile (including the R-2519B section) road-widening project that began on July 5, 2011. The work involved in the project includes grading, drainage, paving, signalization, retaining walls, and culverts. The contractor for the project is Young & McQueen Grading Company, Inc. According to NCDOT sources the contract amount for the project is $41,527,279.98. The R-2519A section project is scheduled for completion on February 26, 2016. R-2519B will include the same project elements, and is scheduled to be opened for bids November 18, 2014.

US Hwy 21 Modernization, Alleghany County

NC 18 - Wilkes County

NC 18 in Wilkes County, further identified as STIP number R-3405 from Mountain View Road (SR 1002) to Yellow Banks Road (SR 1717), is a 3.333-mile road-widening project that began on March 4, 2013. The work involved in the project includes grading, drainage, paving, and retaining walls. The contractor for the project is Carl Rose & Sons, Inc. According to NCDOT sources the contract amount for the project is $8,567,871.64. The project is scheduled to be completed on March 13, 2016.

US 21 - Alleghany

US 21 in Alleghany County, further identified as STIP number R-3101 from Oklahoma Road (SR 1100) to Pine Swamp Road (SR 1121), is a 9.684-mile roadway-upgrade project that began on May 5, 2014. The work involves grading, drainage, paving, and structure improvements. The contractor for the project is James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Company, Inc. According to NCDOT sources the contract amount for the project is $17,746,033.40. The project is scheduled to be completed on March 30, 2018.

Regional Bridge Projects

In addition to the road-widening projects noted above, approximately 69 bridge replacement, preservation, and rehabilitation projects are slated to begin or are currently under construction within the High Country region.


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 25

NC Job-Driven National Emergency Grant North Carolina has received the Job Driven National Emergency Grant (JD NEG) from the United States Department of Labor. The High Country Workforce Development Board (WDB) is one of only six workforce boards across the state that will be participating. The JD NEG is a coordinated partnership approach with two significant and compatible service components designed to assist dislocated workers and employers to better access North Carolina’s workforce development system: 1. Back-to-Work Initiative providing classroom technical skills job training at 12 participating community colleges (including Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute and Mayland Community College in the High Country region) 2. On-the-Job Training (OJT) work-based learning. The alignment of enhanced partnerships of workforce system partners, including community colleges and local NCWorks Career Centers, with employers and jobseekers is an expectation of this grant. Workforce Development Boards and local community colleges must partner on recruitment and referral.

Target Group: • • • •

Long-term (WIA-eligible) unemployed for 27 weeks or more Dislocated workers likely to exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits Veterans that meet the dislocated worker definition will be given priority Concurrently, the grant will assist employers to fill positions within demand occupations.

Grant Specifics: • • • • • •

Grant period: July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2016 Minimum Number to serve through OJT in the High Country: 32 Maximum OJT Training Period: Six calendar months Targeted average OJT wage level: $14.90 Maximum wage amount for calculation of reimbursement: $20.39 Reimbursement based on sliding scale: 90%, 75%, 50% Maximums based on number of employees at each business (Same as other funding sources)

Allowable Paths to Employment:

1. On-the-Job Training only; 2. Technical Skills job training through the Back to Work Initiative only; or 3. On-the-Job Training combined with technical skills job training through the Back to Work Initiative (Not necessarily in this order).

Targeted Training Areas:

• Growth Industries including manufacturing; biopharma; IT/Software; transportation/logistics; • LEAD “Hot Jobs” List; and • Local community colleges and WDBs actively engaged in determining occupations for training.

Expected Statewide Outcomes: • • • • • •

Minimum 240 OJT participants total for grant (96 minimum for Northwest Region, 32 for High Country). NC OJT Policy must be followed. Minimum 780 community college participants completing training total for grant. Performance: $15,500 – average six month earnings; 91% employment retention rate. Classroom training graduates may enter employment with or without OJT. Goal is for all participants to enter employment. If further classroom training is desired, it is encouraged to be concurrent with work.


26 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Success Story: Melinda Fox Melinda Fox enrolled in WIA in October 2009 after losing her job as a part-time cashier/manager. She had always held lower-wage jobs that were not enough to support her family. As a married mother of three children, she wanted to obtain the skills necessary to gain employment that would provide for her children. Her youngest child, who was preschool age at the time, had always had severe skin problems which doctors could not diagnose. While Melinda was participating in the program, her child was diagnosed with a rare skin condition of which only cases overseas had ever been found. The closest place for treatment was in Denver. Melinda had to arrange with teachers to be able to do her course work while she spent weeks in Denver for her daughter’s treatment. Upon returning home, she was required to cleanse every single item in her home to prevent infection. Her daughter had to be wrapped in fresh bandages several times per day for months. Through all this, Melinda kept her eye on her goal and never let go of that dream. Melinda completed phlebotomy training in January 2010. She enrolled at Mayland Community College (MCC) in the LPN program and completed it in July 2012. She Melinda checking a patient’s blood pressure then started her AAS degree in nursing through the advanced placement program at MCC. She completed her RN degree in May 2014. Melinda immediately went to work fulltime at Johnson City Medical Center in the Neuro/PCU step down unit on the night shift making $22.00 per hour. She is now considering options for earning her BS degree. She has security now in the fact that she will always have the skills necessary to support her family.

Melinda Fox had always held lower-wage jobs that weren’t enough to support her family. Now she will always have the skills necessary to support them. Melinda hugs her mom at a pinning ceremony


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 27

Success Story: Jessica Teague Jessica Teague entered the Get REAL program as a high school drop out with no intentions of pursuing a four-year higher education degree and uncertain of her career path. Gaining employment skills through work experiences, Jessica has gone from a sporadic work history earning minimum wage to working full-time in a legal firm. In addition she has become a peer leader in the Get REAL program. She has sought out the support of mentors on work experience sites to assist her with developing her skills and knowledge. Then she shared that information with program participants in the form of conducting a life skills Jessica hard at work workshop. This past spring Jessica volunteered to serve on a planning committee for the Wilkes Real World youth event that took place in April and successfully assisted the committee with winning a local grant for this project. Jessica demontrates an internal motivation to succeed by working hard and gaining formal and informal knowledge. Her enthusiasm as an agile learner spills over to influence the Get REAL program participants, her co-workers, and fellow students. Jessica has said, “Without the Get REAL program, I would still be undecided of what I wanted to do with my life.” As a result of her work experiences through the Get REAL program, Jessica was exposed to careers in physical therapy, manufacturing, and the legal profession. Her willingness to try different work environments and her desire to learn have allowed her to gain a valuable network of professional contacts. In her own words, Jessica said, “Because of the work experiences, I have learned about work etiquette, professionalism, dress code, interview skills, and thank you letters. My last work experience as the HR Clerk at Brock & Scott led me to a full-time position as the receptionist. I have gained many more skills over the years from various workshops through the Get REAL program.” Jessica’s growth in confidence and organizational skills as a working professional, student, and program participant are evident at each interaction with her career coach. Since becoming a Get REAL participant, Jessica has completed her High School Diploma, earned a Silver Career Readiness Certificate, and graduated from Wilkes Community College with an associate’s degree. She will be continuing her education at Applachian State University in the Fall 2014 semester working toward her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management and is employed full-time at Brock & Scott as the receptionist.

For more information on the Get REAL Program please contact Misty Bishop-Price at 828-265-5434 ext. 119 or mbishop-price@regiond.org


28 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

New Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act High Country WDB Applauds New Legislation The High Country Workforce Development Board (HCWDB) applauds the recent signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) by President Obama. This new federal legislation, a bipartisan effort, reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act and was approved by the U.S. Senate on June 25, approved by the U.S. House on July 9, and signed by the President on July 22, 2014. “We are thankful to receive such broad support for our efforts to connect job seekers with local employers. This new legislation will streamline our services and allow us to help our community get back to work more quickly,” said Adrian Tait, director of the High Country Workforce Development Board. The HCWDB’s workforce centers assisted more than 10,000 customers across its seven-county region (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey) with job search, resume’ and interview prep, financial aid, and training and education workshops during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The centers also assisted more than two hundred businesses in the region with job listings, recruitment, referrals, and trainings. WIOA is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system in more than 15 years and will take effect July 1, 2015. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Highlights include the following: • • • • • • • •

Aligns federal investments to support job seekers and employers at the state level; Strengthens the governing bodies that establish state, regional, and local workforce investment priorities; Helps employers find workers with the necessary skills; Aligns goals and increases accountability and information for job seekers and the public; Fosters regional collaboration to meet the needs of regional economies; Targets workforce services to better serve job seekers; Improves services to individuals with disabilities; and Supports access to services at workforce centers.

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is just one of many positive things happening in workforce development right now. The law will help us continue to design innovative ways to help employers find the right people and help more people gain the skills and knowledge needed in today’s economy,” Tait said. U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (N.C. Fifth District) served on the bi-partisan House Education and Workforce Committee and was the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training – both of which were instrumental in the work done on the WIOA.


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 29

Strengthening the local economy by connecting local talent to local jobS. The success of your business requires skilled talent. It also drives the local economy. We’ll connect you to the right people for your business to grow and succeed.

Make the connection with NCWorks today! powered by

highcountrywdb.com

ncworks.org


30 | ReCOGnition Newsletter

Join the Fun!

November 8, 2014 6:00 pm Chapman Center, Linville Guest Host Marc Maready VP-Sales & Marketing, Ridgecare *Trivia begins at 7:00 p.m.

*$20.00 per player

*5–10 players per team

*$10.00 mulligans

*Four challenging rounds

*Exciting raffle items

Prizes awarded after each round! Reception: 6:00-7:00 p.m. ~ An Italian Dinner provided by Casa Rustica Sponsored by

.

.

.

.

. .

Contact: Brenda Reece High Country Caregiver Foundation PO Box 3356 Boone, NC 28607 828 265 5434


ReCOGnition Newsletter | 31

You are cordially invited to the

Watauga Caregiver Appreciation Luncheon Presented by

The High Country Caregiver Foundation

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

11:30 am Casa Rustica

Enjoy a relaxing lunch, get information on available services, receive goodies and door prizes, and enjoy some time to yourself!

Seating is Limited Call By October 28th, to Reserve Your Seat

265-5434, ext. 128

High Country Caregiver Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible. “Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Section at (919) 807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.�


Meeting Schedule

High Country Council of Governments Executive Board Meeting :: 7:00 pm 3rd Monday of the Month. No meetings Jan. or Sept.

Mickey Duvall, mduvall@regiond.org, x.126 Tanna Greathouse, tgreathouse@regiond.org, x.101

Area Agency on Aging Regional Advisory Council on Aging Meets on a Quarterly Basis

Julie Wiggins, jwiggins@regiond.org, x.122

AAA Provider Meeting Meets on a Quarterly Basis

Julie Wiggins, jwiggins@regiond.org, x.122

AAA Quarterly Training :: 1:00 – 4:00 pm Training Dates Advertised

Julie Wiggins, jwiggins@regiond.org, x.122 Laura Jane Ward, ljward@regiond.org, x. 126 Brenda Reece, breece@regiond.org, x. 128

Workforce Development Workforce Development Board :: 3:00 pm 2nd Thursday, Quarterly (Sept., Dec., Mar., Jun.)

Adrian Tait, adrian.tait@highcountrywdb.com, x.130

Planning and Development RPO Rural Transportation Advisory Committee :: 2:00 pm 3rd Wednesday, Quarterly (Feb., May, Aug., Dec.)

Phil Trew, ptrew@regiond.org, x.121 David Graham, dgraham@regiond.org, x.135

RPO Rural Transportation Coordinating Committee :: 10:00 am 3rd Wednesday, Quarterly (Feb., May, Aug., Nov.)

Phil Trew, ptrew@regiond.org, x.121 David Graham, dgraham@regiond.org, x.135

Region D Development Corporation Meets Annually (usually in August) and as needed

Phil Trew, ptrew@regiond.org, x. 121

ReCOGnition Newsletter October 2014  

Published by the High Country Council of Governments

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you