Mountain Area Workforce Development Board is honored to receive a NADO 2019 Impact Award for “Mountain Area Careers.” Mountain Area Careers shares our region’s career pathways and connects talent to local jobs.
“Congratulations to the 2019 NADO Impact Awards recipients! The Impact Awards program honors NADO members for their creative approaches to advancing regional community and economic development and improved quality of life. These projects have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of services and program delivery provided by regional development organizations across the country.”
Buncombe County ranked #47 (top 14%) out of the 350 largest counties in the nation for wage growth from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018. Wages increased 5.2% during this time period in Buncombe County. The national average was 3.2%. Buncombe ranked #4 in the state for wage growth behind Wake, Cumberland and Durham Counties.
During this time period Buncombe ranked #86 (top 25%) out of the 350 largest counties in the nation for job growth. Jobs grew by 1.9% in Buncombe from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018 compared to the national average of 1.5%. Buncombe ranked #6 in job growth during this time period behind Cabarrus, Durham, New Hanover, Pitt and Mecklenburg Counties. Buncombe County is the only county in our region in the top 350 most populous counties in the nation.
NCWorks Commission approved the Energy Career Pathway for our region at their meeting in Charlotte on August 7.
This career pathway covers 21 counties, the region from the Asheville metro to the Charlotte metro served by Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board, Region C Workforce Development Board, Gaston Workforce Development Board, Centralina Workforce Development Board and Charlotte Works.
The energy industry employs 62,400 people in the region in 14 key occupations, the job growth in this sector is expected to be at 8.1% between 2018 – 2023 creating a demand for 5,000 jobs.
As of June 2019, 7,500 more jobs in our region and 10,073 more people working compared to June 2018. Total regional employment 222,524.
For June 2019, our region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate at in NC at 3.6%, Buncombe County has the lowest rate of any county in NC at 3.4% Henderson County is the #2 lowest rate in the state at 3.8%. Madison County is at 4.2% and Transylvania County is at 4.3%. All four counties in our region are below the state unemployment rate for May 2019 of 4.4%.
For 52 consecutive months Buncombe County has maintained the lowest unemployment rate of any NC county and for 52 consecutive months the Mountain Area Workforce region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties) as well as the Asheville metro have maintained the lowest unemployment rate of any NC region.
There are 8,345 unemployed individuals in our region as of June 2019 compared to 7,205 unemployed individuals as of June 2018. The unemployment rate in June 2018 was 3.3%.
The Asheville metro (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate of any NC metro at 3.6%. Since June 2018 our region has 7,500 more jobs (3.6% increase) in the metro and 10,073 more people are working.
In the past year since June 2018, the following sectors added jobs: Manufacturing (1,500 jobs), Trade Transportation & Utilities (1,600 jobs), Mining, Logging & Construction (800 jobs), Other Services (200 jobs), Education & Health Services (3,000 jobs), and Professional & Business Services (800 jobs) and Financial Activities (200 jobs). Information was unchanged compared to one year ago. Leisure & Hospitality (-800 jobs) lost jobs compared to one year ago.
All sectors except Leisure & Hospitality and Information showed positive job growth in the past year. Manufacturing continues to be a consistent leader in our year-over-year job growth. Mining, Logging & Construction sector saw the largest growth rate in the past year at 8.1% followed by Education & Health Services at 7.9% and Manufacturing at 6.9%.
The Asheville metro has seen the highest percentage growth in employment in the past year of all NC metros.
NC Governor Roy Cooper announced that more than 1,700 Finish Line Grants have helped community college students complete their training and prepare to enter the workforce.
“We launched Finish Line Grants after hearing countless stories of community college students working hard to better their lives but getting thrown off course by a financial emergency,” said Governor Cooper. “Finish Line Grants are helping hundreds of students get good-paying jobs by making sure a hospital bill or car repair doesn’t stop them in their tracks. North Carolina employers need talented workers, and Finish Line Grants are one way we’re making sure they can find them.”
Since last summer, Finish Line Grants have been launched at all of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges. Each of North Carolina’s 23 workforce development boards partnered with community colleges to make Finish Line Grants available for students in their communities. Students must be 50% of the way through their degree or credential training program to be eligible to receive a grant.
“The leadership, dedication and innovation of professionals at our local workforce development boards, the Commerce department and NCWorks Career Centers—working in partnership with our outstanding community colleges—have made the Finish Line Grants program a success,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland. “By helping community college students stay on track to completing the credentials they need for rewarding careers, Finish Line Grants are helping us to maintain and grow our skilled workforce, which has never been more essential to economic development than it is today.”
“The Finish Line Grants are moving qualified workers into high-demand jobs, but more importantly, these grants are helping our students achieve their goals,” said Peter Hans, president of the N.C. Community College System. “We are grateful for this innovative program and we’re excited about removing more barriers to success. When students in need get a little bit of help, they can reach their full potential. We are already seeing evidence of that.”
After a medical emergency nearly sidelined his plans to graduate, Alamance Community College student Todd Spivey received a Finish Line Grant. Without the grant, Spivey was considering putting his schoolwork on hold to work more hours to pay off his hospital bill. Instead, Spivey will graduate this month from the Computer-Integrated Machining program at Alamance Community College and is already employed as a machine operator at Frost Converting Systems in Burlington.
“I was faced with a situation which almost denied me the sought-after graduation I had worked nearly three years for,” said Spivey. “Receiving a Finish Line Grant and the help of the Regional Partnership Workforce Development Board changed my career, my life and my family’s life for the better.”
This May, Stanly Community College students Taylor Ferree and Sammie King graduated and entered high-demand careers, thanks in part to receiving Finish Line Grants from the Centralina Workforce Development Board.
“It was a very easy process. I’m really grateful for everything,” said Ferree, who graduated with a degree in Respiratory Therapy and now works at Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast. King graduated from the Collision Repair, Painting and Refinishing program at Stanly Community College and now works in vehicle repairs.
Minnie Jones is among the Wake Tech Community College students who have benefited from the Finish Line Grants program. The 61-year-old student earns a limited income, and when her car needed repairs, she was worried she would have to drop out. Jones applied for a Finish Line Grant and received $1,000 in emergency funds through the Capital Area Workforce Development Board. “The money definitely came in handy,” Jones said. “Without the funds I would have missed classes and would not have been able to graduate.” Jones graduated in May with a degree in Human Services Technology.
Finish Line Grants have also gotten a boost from the Awake58 Fellows program. Awake58 Fellows are community college students—some of whom are Finish Line Grant recipients—who encourage their eligible peers to apply for Finish Line Grants and inform community college faculty and staff, workforce board partners, and others of the Finish Line Grants opportunity to ensure that as many students as possible can benefit from it. Awake58 fellows have produced radio segments, hosted lunch and learn information sessions, and conducted other communication campaigns to get the word out about Finish Line Grants.
Governor Cooper’s most recent budget proposal includes funding to expand the Finish Line Grants program to colleges and universities across the state.
“We know many students in our four-year colleges face tough financial situations that threaten their ability to graduate. Finish Line Grants should be available to all students who need them—and my hope is this legislature seriously considers that need,” said Governor Cooper.
Finish Line Grants are part of Governor Cooper’s NC Job Ready initiative, built on three core principles: skills and education attainment, employer leadership, and local innovation. In addition to Finish Line Grants, NC Job Ready is helping North Carolinians get ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow by supporting sector partnership initiatives in the healthcare, advanced manufacturing and biopharma industries, funding grants for local workforce development projects, and increasing work-based learning opportunities through initiatives such as the Navigator, the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), and the Girls Go CyberStart initiative to prepare high school girls for cybersecurity careers.
Students interested in applying for a Finish Line Grant can contact their college’s designated staff person listed here. To learn more about Finish Line Grants, click here.
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More good news for GE Aviation in Asheville means record hiring numbers!
“Record-setting Air Show Means Good News for GE Aviation Asheville”
July 1, 2019
“GE Aviation and its joint venture CFM International announced a record-setting $55 billion in orders and commitments at Paris Air Show, including LEAP engine orders impacting work performed in Asheville. https://www.geaviation.com/press-release/other-news-information/ge-aviation-sets-55-billion-order-record-paris-air-show• Two Asheville manufacturing plants—the Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) operation and rotating engine parts—are expanding for a new jet engine product line, the GE9X, unveiled at the recent Paris Air Show
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – GE Aviation employees in Asheville will support the record-setting business orders and commitments reached at the recent Paris Air Show.GE Aviation and CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, announced the companies reached approximately $55 billion in jet engines, services, avionics and digital offerings at list price.The LEAP engine orders placed at the show contain parts made at GE Aviation’s two Asheville facilities, which are growing to support customer demand. The LEAP engine is the highest-selling commercial jet engine ever, now exceeding 18,750 orders to date after the show, powering Airbus, Boeing and COMAC narrowbody aircraft.“We’re seeing record hiring numbers,” said Ryan Huth, Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) plant manager for GE in Asheville. “We have a specially-designed training course for all our employees in partnership with A-B Tech and are recruiting skilled workers locally. If you’re looking for a good-paying job in advanced manufacturing, the aviation industry is the place to be.”Open positions include CMC technicians and manufacturing specialists, as well as skilled machinists and welders.
The Asheville CMC plant opened five years ago as the first American manufacturing facility to pursue high-rate CMC production. Operations began to produce high pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP engine made of the advanced material. When the LEAP engine entered service in 2016, it was the first commercial jet engine with CMC materials located in the engine’s hot section.At the Paris Air Show, GE Aviation also unveiled its newest and largest commercial jet engine, the GE9X, which will power the Boeing 777X widebody aircraft. More than 700 GE9X engines are on order. The engine is in development and is planned to enter service in 2020. The GE9X could also contain parts made in Asheville.“We were proud to represent Asheville at the Paris Air Show and see the engines many of our community’s manufacturing employees will support on a daily basis,” said Clark Duncan, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development.”GE Aviation’s success is fantastic news. They are a powerful ally to economic development. People in Asheville may not recognize that this level of innovation is concentrated within our city limits. But the global aviation industry knows about us. GE Aviation commitments happening here have put Asheville’s advanced manufacturing on the map,” Duncan said.Not only will GE9X sport the industry’s largest front fan, it will incorporate more CMCs than any commercial engine in history. CMC materials are a revolutionary technology for jet engines. They’re as tough as metals but one-third the weight, and they can withstand temperatures 20 percent higher than most advanced alloys. These improvements amount to more power, lower fuel burn and cost savings for customers.
Asheville’s CMC operation expects to add more production lines to produce shrouds, nozzles and combustor liners for GE9X.The rotating parts operation, which joined GE Aviation in 2007, also already makes LEAP engine parts and is planning to manufacture stage one and two retainers for the GE9X.“GE9X is the next cornerstone,” said Tyler Reed, rotating parts plant manager. “It will add a new chapter to our manufacturing legacy in Asheville. This site has been around for nearly 70 years and GE9X will ensure that it remains at the forefront of production for the next 70 years.”GE Aviation employs more than 1,800 people in North Carolina, working at sites in Asheville, Durham, West Jefferson and Wilmington. An April 2017 study found that GE’s presence in North Carolina supports nearly 18,000 jobs and is equivalent to $7.2 billion in economic output.
HOW TO APPLY: Search job openings at GE Aviation Asheville by jobs.gecareers.com and search “Asheville.”
About GE AviationGE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboshaft engines, avionics, electrical power systems and digital solutions for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE has a global service network to support these offerings and is part of the world’s Digital Industrial Company with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. For more information, visit us at http://www.ge.com/aviation. Follow GE Aviation on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GEAviation and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/GEAviation. ###For more information, contact:Allie NashAlexandra.email@example.com(910) 309-3761
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As of May 2019, 7,100 more jobs in our region and 9,007 more people working compared to May 2018. Total regional employment 221,551.
For May 2019, our region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate at in NC at 3.3% , Buncombe County has the lowest rate of any county in NC at 3.1% Henderson County is tied for #2 lowest rate in the state at 3.5% tied with four other counties (Davie, Granville, Haywood, and Wake). Madison County is at 3.8% and Transylvania County is at 4.0% . All four counties in our region are beow the state unemployment rate for May 2019 of 4.0%.
For 51 consecutive months Buncombe County has maintained the lowest unemployment rate of any NC county and for 51 consecutive months the Mountain Area Workforce region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties) as well as the Asheville metro have maintained the lowest unemployment rate of any NC region.
There are 7,503 unemployed individuals in our region as of May 2019 compared to 7,619 unemployed individuals as of May 2018.
The Asheville metro (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate of any NC metro at 3.3%. Since May 2018 our region has 7,100 more jobs (3.6% increase) in the metro and 9,007 more people are working.
In the past year since May 2018, the following sectors added jobs: Mining, Logging and Construction (800 jobs), Manufacturing (1,500 jobs), Trade Transportation & Utilities (1,000 jobs), Other Services (300 jobs), Education & Health Services (2,700 jobs), and Professional & Business Services (600 jobs). Financial Activities, Information and Leisure & Hospitality were unchanged compared to one year ago.
All sectors showed positive job growth in the past year. Manufacturing continues to be a consistent leader in our year-over-year job growth. Mining, Logging & Construction sector saw the largest growth rate in the past year at 8.3% followed by Education & Health Services at 7.1% and Manufacturing at 6.9%.
The Asheville metro has seen the highest percentage growth in employment in the past year of all NC metros.
Durham/Chapel Hill 0.3%
New Bern 0.2%
Greensboro/High Point 0.1%
You are invited to attend the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board meeting on Tuesday, May 28 at 3:00 pm at the offices of Land of Sky Regional Council. There will be a meet and greet prior to the meeting at 2:30 pm.
At this board meeting there will be presentations at the meeting from Goodwill of Northwest NC, NC Department of Commerce and four public school systems in our region.
Workforce Development Plan Update for Program Year 2019 will be available for public comment beginning on Thursday May 9, 2019. Public comment will be received for the next thirty (30) days until June 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm.
All public comments shall be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Nathan Ramsey, Director, Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, Land of Sky Regional Council, 339 New Leicester Highway, Suite 140, Asheville, NC 28806.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires each Workforce Development Board (WDB) to develop and submit, in partnership with the local chief elected official, to the state a comprehensive four-year plan, which was submitted in May, 2016. Annually, each WDB will provide updates to the four-year plan. The WIOA Program Year (PY) 2019 Plan Update will provide current information and be effective July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020. The Comprehensive Four-Year Plan (PY 2016) will be maintained and updated as appropriate.
Construction Career Day was on March 27, 2018 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the WNC Agricultural Center’s McGough Arena, Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC 28732.
Construction Career Day was sponsored by the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board in partnership with the Asheville Area Home Builders and Carolinas AGC (Associated General Contractors). The free event will connect 30+ local employers offering construction career opportunities with job seekers.
The morning session from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm was open to high school students and closed to the general public. Over 700 high school students attended. Participating public school systems include Asheville City, Buncombe, Jackson, Madison, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, and Transylvania County Schools. From 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm the event will be open to college students, the general public as a career fair and construction demonstration day. Participating colleges include AB Tech, Blue Ridge Community College and Western Carolina University. e