September 23, 2019
Contact: Scott Dadson, Executive Director
828-287-2281, ext. 250
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Housing in the Isothermal Region
The Isothermal Regional Commission is putting together a Housing Summit, scheduled for November 6th (date subject to change), here in Rutherfordton, to help identify issues around Housing in the Region. Our Region includes the Counties of Polk, Rutherford, McDowell, and Cleveland and the towns within same. Many of our local member governments have identified housing as a major issue in their jurisdiction. Here at the Commission, we administer the Housing Choice Voucher program for all of the Counties in our region and are a Housing Authority under the Housing and Urban Development program.
While many of us deal in the area of affordability, access to housing, tax credits for low income housing, senior housing and the like, the issue of housing is a broad question when discussing this with our membership. Issues such as workforce housing, tract housing, middle housing, and the age of current housing stock also surface as part of the conversation.
We would like to get this conversation started and defined at the regional level and we would like your help in this matter. Affordable housing is defined as housing affordable for a household with income of up to eighty percent (80%) of area median income (AMI), and moderate income housing is defined as housing affordable for a household with income that is greater than eighty percent (80%), but not more than one hundred twenty percent (120%) AMI.
Using Senate Bill 316 as a guide, we are interested in gathering information about our local government’s role in Housing in the Isothermal Region. We are looking to map the different types of initiatives in our region and learn what others are doing as well.
We have developed a survey on this issue and would invite you to participate in this specific survey, designed for our local governments for response. While this survey is designed for our participating Local Governments in the Isothermal Region, we will be also doing surveys for the other groups in our Region, who have a stake in the Affordable Housing arena, in order to gain better insight into the work that is being done in our region to address this important issue.
Eight Locations Across NC - including Lenoir on October 29
On behalf of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government will host eight regional sessions to collect input from stakeholders across the state that will inform North Carolina’s Strategic Economic Development Plan. A session is available in each of the state’s prosperity zones. Please click here to see a complete list of regional sessions and register for the one you choose to attend.
For more information about this project and what you can expect at the regional sessions, please watch this brief video.
The regional sessions will be critical to creating the state’s new strategic economic development plan, which will guide policymakers and practitioners in their work to generate more economic prosperity to the state. We want to hear from you about what works in your region and what additional supports from the state could maximize opportunities. We expect rich discussions with a gathering of diverse stakeholders.
Lunch will be provided. Registration is free, but please register for the regional session you select. Capacity is limited. Once we reach capacity, we will maintain a waiting list and release spaces as they become available. If for any reason you need to change sessions or cannot attend, please email Toogie Hampton at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can accommodate those on the waiting list.
Please share this invitation with other individuals who may be interested in participating. We look forward to seeing you this fall in your region.
North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland will offer keynote remarks at an upcoming business conference focusing on rural North Carolina next month.
The statewide Energizing Rural North Carolina conference will be held October 8-9 in Sanford.
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina is presenting the conference in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, N.C. Rural Center, the North Carolina Economic Development Association, the Golden LEAF Foundation, and the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University.
Registration is open to those who want to join a diverse group of local economic developers and civic leaders attending from across the state. They are gathering at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center to explore how rural communities can retain, attract and develop workforce talent. Some of the topics addressed will include worker education, housing, and health.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 Land of Sky Regional Council Asheville, NC
9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. (on-site check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.)
The cost of hiring and training new employees impacts local government budgets and services, and the wrong hire or promotion can lower the morale and productivity of an entire workgroup or organization. This course is designed to help you make the right hire the first time around. You will learn how to navigate the various legal issues around recruitment and selection and the keys to designing a defensible selection process that measures the key competencies required for the job. The course will teach you how to write interview questions to elicit more valid information and examine the emotional intelligence factors most linked to on-the-job success and how to evaluate these.
Participants are encouraged to bring a job description for a position applicable to their work and organization for use in the class.
In this class participants will learn:
How to apply the EEOC’s Uniform Selection Guidelines to ensure legal and defensible hiring practices.
How to design a selection process to measure the competencies required for the job.
Common hiring mistakes and how to overcome these to make good hiring decisions.
How to write effective interview questions to elicit more valid information.
Emotional intelligence factors that impact on-the-job performance and how to evaluate these during the selection process.
The importance of reference checks, and how to navigate the roadblocks.
The session will include small group work to practice designing selection processes and interview questions to reinforce the learning objectives. Participants are encouraged to bring a job description for a position applicable to their work and organization.
This workshop is taught by Eleanor Green of UNC's School of Government. For program information, contact LGTP director Bob Boylan at (828) 227-3442 or email@example.com.
A registration fee of $60.00covers the cost of materials, lunch and breaks. Registration ends Thursday, September 26th (or when the class reaches capacity).
Business Courses Coming to Polk County this October
The Foothills Launch initative is excited to be offering two of Mountain BizWorks flagship courses, Foundations & Alpine, in Polk County this October. Foundations, which meets once a week for 6 weeks, is a great fit for those trying to go from concept to creation. Alpine, which meets once a week for 5 weeks, is perfect for existing business owners seeking ways to streamline, strengthen, and ensure their business is making the right critical decisions.
Mountain BizWorks has opened its third pop-up office in Marion, McDowell County. Get access to small business capital and business training, and maybe even run into Big Foot, when you stop by our new pop-up office, co-located in Mica Town Brewing. We are open Tuesdays and Wednesdays until mid-November.
USDA Rural Development will present information about the Value-Added Producer Grant program at three scheduled seminars. Nationally competitive VAPG grant funding is typically available on an annual basis for farmers and farmer groups to help them enter into value-added activities. Grant funds may be used to facilitate economic planning activities to determine the viability of a value-added venture, or for working capital costs directly related to the processing and/or marketing of the value-added product.
To learn more, join us at one of the seminar locations below, call Lyn Millhiser at 919-873-2029, or click here.
Adult Day Services Week
Special Training on Domestic Violence in October
United Way of Rutherford County is working with a collaborative group to host a special training on Domestic Violence in October. We're bringing in a nationally renowned trainer/speaker for this event. This training is multi-disciplinary and open to those who want to learn more about the topics listed on the flyer. We encourage you to please share it with your contacts across the region. Those who might find it highly useful include law enforcement, EMS, DSS workers, behavioral health providers, ED staff, medical providers, social workers/school counselors, those working in agencies that serve individuals affected by domestic violence, shelter workers, and other human service providers. CEUs are available for law enforcement officers and some other disciplines as explained on the registration site.
The event brite registration link is open, click here. FYI- day two of this training is for Rutherford County professionals only please as it is dedicated to collaborating and problem solving across local systems.
Economic & Workforce Development
Finish Line Grants have a great effect in the Isothermal Region
Annette Staley, of our Region C Workforce Development Board, is part of a panel discussion on how the Finish Line Program is assisting community college students across the Isothermal Region. North Carolina Department of Commerce
NC State Rural Works! Employer Internship Opportunities
NC State University’s Rural Works! program brings qualified, high-caliber students to your business for paid summer internships. We are currently seeking employers to host interns for summer 2020. Rural Works! welcomes private, public, government and nonprofit organizations in rural communities to participate in the program.
Watch this video to hear employers and students share their experience with Rural Works!
In order to participate in the Rural Works! program, employers must meet certain criteria, including:
Being located in or work with a rural community in North Carolina
Being able to compensate the intern a minimum of $10 per hour for 40 hours a week for 10-12 weeks
Being willing to help identify housing in the community for the intern
Providing the intern with interim and post internship feedback (template will be provided)
Completing a post internship evaluation survey
Agreeing to provide each student 8 hours of compensated time to conduct or participate in a community engagement activity outside of their job to deepen their understanding of the community
Rural Works! will promote the internship opportunity to NC State students November 2019- February 2020
Employers will review applications, conduct interviews, and hire an intern by March 25, 2020
Employers should complete the Employer Hiring Form once they have selected an intern (no later than March 25, 2020)
Employers may begin their hiring process on October 1, 2019. All hiring must be complete by March 25, 2020.
Support from Rural Works!
The Rural Works! coordinator is available to assist employers throughout the entire process. If you need help creating an internship description, developing interview questions or onboarding the intern-- we can help. If you would like to hold interviews on campus, we can reserve space for you.
Students that participate in the Rural Works! internship program are required to attend an orientation on campus in late April 2020. The orientation includes an overview of the Rural Works! program, professional and leadership development activities and prepares students for their internship experience. Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, be enrolled full time and be clear of suspension/expulsions and current disciplinary sanctions. The Rural Works! coordinator will verify these requirements.
Rural Works! aims to help rural employers achieve their workplace goals while providing NC State students with a hands-on internship experience. If you are interested in participating, please contact Rebekah Dunstan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.515.1575.
You are invited and encouraged to attend an informational meeting about the WNC AgOptions grant program for growers and producers in 2020. Representatives from the WNC AgOptions program will be present to discuss the program, go over the 2020 application... Read more →
Lead Housing Counselor (Shelby)
The Isothermal Regional Commission has an opening for Lead Housing Counselor to serve the Shelby Field Office. This position supervises a staff of three and participates in administrative, technical, professional work and intake within the Isothermal Housing Choice Voucher Program. Work includes supervision of staff, program administration and oversight for the field office, reviewing work efforts for compliance with applicable federal housing guidelines and division procedures, validation of verification process, and other confirmation and compliance reviews; and produces several reports and maintain schedule of utility rates. Does related work as required for the Regional Housing Authority.
The Main Office of the Rutherford Housing Office is located at 111 West Court Street, Rutherfordton, NC. A copy of the job description and qualifications can be found here.
Final candidates will be subject to a background check followed by an interview process with the selection committee. This is a safety sensitive position and participation in the Drug and Alcohol Program is required. Background Check required. This position has a competitive salary (depending on the experience of the candidate) and an excellent benefit package to include NC Retirement, Health Plan for employee. This position is open until filled.
Isothermal Planning and Development Commission is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer.
Housing Counselor (Shelby)
The Isothermal Regional Commission has an opening for Housing Counselor to serve, in the Shelby Field Office. A Housing Counselor performs technical, administrative and intake within the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Housing Counselors establish and maintain contact with local landlords, service agencies and assist families who have been issued a voucher in finding appropriate rental units.
An employee in this class performs technical, administrative and intake within the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Work includes accepting and processing applications by the public for housing assistance initially in office appointments or serving walk-ins; determines eligibility through the application of a variety of pre-determined requirements; enters application data into computer software program; performs verification of information such as income, child care, bank accounts, age, (criminal records and other data information submitted by applicants; creates and maintains a variety of records and lists; perform self-audits to review work for completeness and accuracy on a regular basis; orientate new tenants on program and its rules and regulations as needed; and produces a number of reports detailing activity. Does related work as required for the Regional Housing Authority.
The Main Office of the Rutherford Housing Office is located at 111 West Court Street, Rutherfordton, NC. This position will be based at the Shelby Housing Office [127 W. Graham St, Shelby, NC 28150]. A copy of the job description and qualifications can be found here.
Hiring Range: Grade 18 $33,807 to $48,296 and a hiring rate of $32,197
Position(s) are open until filled.
Final candidates will be subject to a background check followed by an interview process with the selection committee. This is a safety sensitive position and participation in the Drug and Alcohol Program is required. Background Check required. This position has a competitive salary (depending on the experience of the candidate) and an excellent benefit package to include NC Retirement, Health Plan for employee.
A job application is linked at the top of this page. Resume, cover letter, and signed application must be submitted to email@example.com.
NCDOT Launches Fourth Annual Customer Survey
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation has launched the department’s fourth annual customer survey, available here. The department encourages everyone willing to offer feedback to take part.
The purpose of the survey is to gauge how the department is performing in its effort to provide great customer service. It takes about 15 minutes to complete and the link is mobile-friendly.
Participation can help NCDOT identify ways to make North Carolina transportation services safer, more efficient and customer focused.
Administered by North Carolina State University's Institute for Transportation Research and Education, the survey is grouped into eight core transportation services: motor vehicle transportation (highway), bicycle, pedestrian, transit (local bus), passenger rail, ferry, aviation and the Division of Motor Vehicles.
The N.C. General Assembly requires the survey and the results will be used as the basis for measuring NCDOT’s performance in the area of customer service across the department.
Survey responses must be received by the end of October. The results will be available to the public on NCDOT.gov by January 2020.
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