April 2021 Newsletter
April Highlights
Here is what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • Important Dates
  • Board Member Spotlight
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Caregiver's Cup
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers Classes
  • Senior Center Updates
  • Assistance for Older Adults w/Hearing Loss
  • Regional COVID Update
  • MedAssist OTC Giveaway
  • COVID Phishing
  • State Ethics Reminder
  • Free COVID Supplies for Agricultural Workers
  • Visit NC Farms App
  • Statewide Litter Sweep & Legislation
  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
  • Small & Local Business Highlights
  • Community Economic Recovery & Resiliency Initiative for Small Towns & Rural Communities
  • NCDOT Bike Helmet Initiative
  • Virtual Town Hall Series
  • Congressional Art Contest
  • NCWorks Success Story
  • VGCC Survey
  • Emerging Stronger Report
  • BAND-NC Broadband Grants
Pop Quiz!
How many counties are in the Kerr-Tar Region?
Seven (7)
Four (4)
Five (5)
Six (6)
Important Dates!
Caregiver's Cup
  • Friday, April 9
  • 12:00-1:30 pm
  • Sadie's Coffee Corner

Regional Aging Advisory Council Meeting
  • Wednesday, May 12
  • 2:00-3:00 pm
  • Via Zoom
Spotlight on Kerr-Tar COG
Board Member Spotlight:
Commissioner Zelodis Jay
Commissioner Zelodis Jay, a native of Granville County has served on the County Board of Commissioners for over 26 years. He is married with 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He has served on the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments for over 20 years as a representative for Granville County. Commissioner Jay is currently serving as the Treasurer on the KTCOG Board of Directors. He enjoys working with the COG Board on different projects to improve the region. He's been a lifetime resident of Granville County and works tirelessly to improve the lives of the residents. He is also active in the community.
We would also like to recognize Board Member Reggie Horton for his work with the American Legion Post 138. Commander John Walker presents Legionnaire Reggie Horton with a Certificate of Appreciation last month.
Staff Spotlight: Lou Grillo, Workforce Development Director
Lou Grillo serves as the Kerr-Tar COG Workforce Development Director and has been with the COG for 6 years. Lou loves having the opportunity to serve the community he's lived in since 2003. He also enjoys learning more about the infrastructure and what it takes to support a community and create opportunities for progress. In 2019, Lou was asked by NCWorks Workforce Training Center to be a member of a traveling 4-person team tasked with developing and leading a training for the On-The-Job Training program, due to the Kerr-Tar region's success. The 2-day training sessions developed were fun to deliver but they were also educational for Lou as he learned about success and potential difficulties of other regions. Something interesting about Lou is that he and his wife owned and operated an extremely fun bungee trampoline business with a location in Triangle Town Center in Raleigh. They had hundreds of customers over 7 years and still get asked by some of the mall and food court employees, "weren't you the bungee guy?" Lou always has a smile on his face (from what we can tell on Zooms...because, masks) and is a valuable asset to the KTCOG team!
Caregiver's Cup
The next Caregiver's Cup coffee club will be Friday, April 9 from 12:00-1:30 pm at Sadie's Coffee Corner in Henderson. If you provide care for an adult over age 60 and would like some non-structured social time and a good cup of coffee, join us! Call Austin with any questions at 252-436-2040, ext 6072. Newcomers welcome!
Powerful Tools for Caregivers
Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a FREE class for unpaid caregivers of those living with any chronic condition or disability. Learn how to manage emotions, reduce personal stress, and confidently cope with caregiving issues and demands. This virtual class will meet 90 minutes per week for 6 weeks and is open to any unpaid caregiver. All tools and materials are free for participants. 

  • Session 1 begins April 20 (Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30 pm)
  • Session 2 begins May 6 (Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 am)

There will be a special gift for the first 20 people to register! Register by calling Susan Tucker at 252-436-2040. Please share with any caregivers you know!
Update on KTAAA Senior Centers
Our region's Senior Centers continue to plan for reopening, although no one knows when everything will be back to normal. Some of the Senior Centers are holding outdoor classes, or very limited indoor activities, with all COVID precautions in place. All are exploring possibilities for virtual connection. Our seniors are longing for their Center activities and friends, and the Senior Center staff miss their participants too. As the weather warms and before it gets too hot, we hope to enjoy more outdoor group activities.

Two of our Senior Centers will be relocating in the coming months: Louisburg Senior Center is moving across the street to a much larger space, and Vance County Senior Center is moving to the re-purposed Eaton Johnson School. Look for grand opening events!

  • Franklin County Senior Center (Louisburg) 919-496-1131
  • Franklinton Senior Center 919-494-5611
  • Granville County Senior Services (Oxford) 919-693-1930
  • South Granville Senior Center (Creedmoor) 919-528-0848
  • North Granville Senior Center (Stovall) 919-693-3383
  • Person County Senior Center 336-599-7484
  • Vance County Senior Center 252-430-0257
  • Warren County Senior Center 252-257-3111
Assisting Older Adults with Hearing Loss
Our Family Caregiver Specialist, Austin Caton, has extended his skills as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter to assist older adults with hearing loss. He also presented our services via ASL to a group of community providers who were unaware of his proficiency and were delighted to witness his fluent signing. If you know of any older adult who could benefit from his assistance, give Austin a call at (252) 436-2040 ext. 6072.
COVID Update
Incidents of COVID infection continue to decline and vaccination rates continue to improve. As of the end of March, our region has had 20,745 cases of COVID and lost just under 300 residents of all ages. As of the end of March, our region's positivity rate was 6.14%, slightly lower than the state's overall positivity rate of 6.3%. As of the end of March, 50,340 people in our region have been at least partially vaccinated, for a regional average vaccination rate of 18.66%.
MedAssist Free OTC Medicine Giveaway
There will be a free over the counter medicine giveaway drive-thru event on Friday, April 30, from 9:00 am-2:00 pm at the Salvation Army in Henderson. Over the counter items include: cold, cough, flu medicine, pain relief, vitamins, and children's medicine, etc. No ID is required, and you must be 18 years old or older. Face masks are required to participate. This event will be held rain or shine. There are no income or residency requirements to receive OTCs. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, and you can register HERE.
State Ethics Reminder
Members of the KTRPO TAC and TAC Alternates are required to submit Statements of Economic Interest (SEI) and Real-Estate Disclosure (RED) forms annually to the North Carolina State Ethics Commission. The annual due date for the Commission to receive these documents is April 15. The Ethics Commission is strongly encouraging all TAC and TAC Alternates to submit these forms electronically via the following LINK, as Commission staff will not be in the office to accept paper forms.
Free COVID-19 PPE Supplies for Agricultural Workers
The Vance and Warren County Cooperative Extension Offices have face masks, sanitizer, and disinfectant available for agricultural workers. These supplies are intended to help farmers and farm workers operate more safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact staff at the Vance and Warren County Extension Offices to arrange for pickup or delivery of these items.

  • Vance County Cooperative Extension: (252) 438-8188
  • Warren County Cooperative Extension: (252) 257-3640
Visit NC Farms Mobile App
The Council of Governments along with our Cooperative Extension Offices are still accepting applications for inclusion onto the the region's Visit NC Farms Mobile App. Since the pandemic, many of our region's farms and Farmers' Markets have adapted the ways they conduct business or offer products.

If you are a local farmer, local food producer, a restaurant using local foods, or offer local goods, please contact your local Cooperative Extension Office or Council of Governments for details about being included onto the mobile app.

The app is available to download for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Volunteers Needed for Statewide Litter Sweep
The North Carolina Department of Transportation needs volunteers to help clean up trash along roads during the Spring Litter Sweep scheduled for April 10-24. Twice a year, NCDOT asks volunteers to help remove litter from roadsides. Volunteers from local businesses, schools, non-profits, churches, municipalities, law enforcement, and community groups play an important role in keeping North Carolina's roads clean.

The annual Litter Sweep is a great opportunity to get outdoors with family and friends and work alongside NDCOT to ensure North Carolina remains a beautiful place to live and work. Volunteers are provided with clean-up supplies such as trash bags, gloves, and safety vests from local NCDOT County Maintenance Yard offices.

All volunteers are encouraged to follow proper COVID-19 safety guidance--this includes wearing a mask and gloves at all times and keeping six feet apart from other volunteers. In addition, anyone that has been diagnosed with or recently exposed to COVID-19 should refrain from participating.

To sign up and get more information, click the button below or call (919) 707-2970. Alternatively, the region's NCDOT Division contact Cheryl Huckabee, State Highway Administrator may be contacted at (919) 693-4886 or clhuckabee@ncdot.gov.
Country Music Artist and North Carolina Native Luke Combs is partnering with NCDOT to encourage NC residents to keep our roadways clean.
Local efforts include Beautify Butner Day, scheduled for Saturday, April 24 as well as a joint effort between Roxboro and Person County for the same day.
HB 100 - Highway Cleanup Act of 2021
Legislation introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly increases the fines on motorists for littering. This legislation was introduced in February and has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation.
HB - 130 East Coast Greenway State Trails
Legislation was introduced to designate the East Coast Greenway as a state trail. The legislation passed in the NC House, and is pending in the NC Senate. The East Coast Greenway is a walking and biking route stretching from Maine to Florida.
SBA Announces Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
The US Small Business Administration is pleased to announce its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Porgram will be accepting applications on April 8, 2021. The SBA understands entertainment venues are critical to America's economy and providing relief to operators whose revenues and operations have been affected by COVID-19. Eligible entries include: live performance venues, theaters, performing arts centers, museums, and movie theaters. The venue must have been in operation since February 29, 2020 and not have previously received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020. If the entity was the recipient of a PPP loan, SVOG funds, if awarded, will be reduced by the loan amount. To learn more about the SBA's SVOG program, please click HERE.
Innovative Small & Local Business Spotlights
Are you aware of a local or small business creatively managing during the pandemic? If so, the Council of Governments would like to highlight those businesses adapting to the pandemic through a new delivery of business services, contactless payment options, or a greater online presence. The COG will be posting these stories to the KTCOG Facebook page and featuring them in our Economic Development newsletter. Please contact James Cunningham at jcunningham@kerrtarcog.org or Beth Davis at bdavis@kerrtarcog.org to submit a business to be highlighted.
Announcing the Community Economic Recovery & Resiliency Initiative (CERRI) to Assist Small Towns and Rural Communities
The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center are pleased to announce the Community Economic Recovery and Resiliency Initiative (CERRI) for communities. The Council of Governments has partnered with the Department in this initiative to assist small towns and rural communities recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and build resilient local economies. Any local government interested in participating in CERRI, please contact James Cunningham at 252-436-2040 or jcunningham@kerrtarcog.org. Participating communities will receive individualized Community Economic Resiliency and Small Business Support Plans.
NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative
A record number of children across the State of North Carolina will be receiving bicycle helmets through the NC Department of Transportation's Bicycle Helmet Initiative as part of ongoing efforts to reduce bicycle injuries and deaths.

NCDOT uses funds from the sale of "Share the Road" license plates to pay for bike helmets that are distributed at Bicycle Safety Events by governmental and non-governmental agencies.

A record 163 organizations applied to participate in the program this year. The Kerr-Tar region is pleased to announced five regional partners (listed below) that applied and will be receiving bicycle helmets. Helmets will be delivered to these organizations by April 30, 2021.

  • Downtown Oxford Economic Development Corporation
  • Henderson Family YMCA
  • The City of Oxford
  • The Town of Warrenton Police Department
  • Vance County Schools

Kisha High, our Safe Routes to School Coordinator has been working with recipients of this year's Bike Helmet Initiative to assist in their distribution.
Virtual Town Hall Series
Join UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professors Dr. James "Jim" Johnson & Jeanne Milliken Bonds for a series of Zoom Meetings entitled: Lean In To 2021: More Equitable, More Resilient. The sessions will be held on April 16, May 21, and June 18 starting at 1:00 pm. Register for the series by clicking the button below.
Congressional Art Contest
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Students submit entries to their representative's office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the US Capitol.

How to enter the 2021 Art Competition:
  1. Contact your representative to confirm your district's participation and obtain specific guidance.
  2. Review the 2021 Rules for Students and Teachers.
  3. Complete the 2021 Student Release Form.
  4. Submit the Student Release Form and any other required materials to your representative by the deadline specified on their website.

The Kerr-Tar region's Congressional Representatives are listed below:

2020 Winner
She Leaves
Slyvie Kay
District NC-01
Success Story: Ask Me About Tuesday
"Ask Me About Tuesday" is a weekly hiring event on which the NCWorks team members have been working very hard to bring to the community. This virtual event is every Tuesday at 11:00 am on Zoom. They have partnered with many great companies in the Kerr-Tar region. One event that was a huge success was a partnership with Altec, Inc., located in Creedmoor. This partnership led to a fantastic 4-day long hiring event and guaranteed virtual interviews.

On February 23, NCWorks, along with Altec representatives, joined a Zoom presentation. During the presentation, Altec highlighted their company, the positions that they were recruiting for, such as assemblers, welders, machinists, mechanics, and electricians. They also shared great benefits that the company offers.

On February 24, NCWorks hosted a workshop to assist with the virtual interview process. The mock interview session assisted clients with signing on to Zoom to ensure their video and audio were both working properly, and review some practice interview questions to prepare for the next day. The final two days consisted of virtual interviews through the Zoom platform.

This event was a huge success! A total of 23 job seekers joined the first presentation session and 16 of those prospective employees moved on from the screening process to be interviewed. Following the interviews, 3 job seekers were given offers. NCWorks was so excited to host such a successful event! This was a great option to offer a local company to accompany the "Ask Me About Tuesday" events and incorporate the mock interviews and virtual interviews. NCWorks staff members look forward to offering this type of partnership with other local companies.
Success Story: William Woody
William Woody, a United States Navy Veteran, was recently hired by Altec, as a result of the "Ask Me About Tuesday" event. While in the Navy, Woody worked as an electrician mate which required him to troubleshoot electrical systems and electric motor rewind. He gained knowledge on ship service diesel engines, was the maintenance specialist for cargo weapons elevators, and administered special trainings on electric hydraulic governors. Recently out of the Navy, he was ready to enter the workforce. He registered for the virtual hiring event that Altec held with NCWorks where every attendee was guaranteed an interview with Altec. Despite technical difficulties, he contacted the NCWorks Business Services Team after the event and expressed his desire to be considered for a position at Altec. With the help of the NCWorks team, Mr. Woody was able to schedule an alternate day for an interview and was hired.
Looking for a job?
In Other News...
Like us on Facebook!
Stay up to date on everything that's happening at the COG by liking our Facebook page! We also ask that you share any posts you think might benefit your network. The best kind of advertising is word of mouth, and during these times, Facebook is definitely the way to get the word out. We welcome any and all feedback regarding the content of this page because we want it to be relevant information. Check it out HERE.

You can also find Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging on Facebook as well. Check them out HERE.
Contractors Needed!
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments (COG) is seeking licensed General Contractors to apply to be included on the approved bidders list. The COG administers the NC Housing Fiance Agency Essential Single Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool Program as well as the Urgent Repair Program (URP) in the counties of Franklin,Granville, Person, Vance, and Warren. Licensed General Contractors with experience in performing comprehensive housing rehabilitation on occupied units will be considered. Liability insurance is required and references will be checked. Those contractors added to the approved bidders list will be invited to bid on housing rehabilitation projects. Some projects may require contractors to be Certified Renovators working for a Certified Renovation Firm or be a Certified Lead Abatement Contractor. To receive more information or a Contractor's Registration Form, please call Diane Cox, Executive Director, Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments at 252-436-2040.

The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages bidding by small, minority, and female contractors. The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments also encourages the participation of locally owned/operated companies and firms that provide employment opportunities to low-income individuals. This information is also available in Spanish or any other language upon request.

Esta información está disponible en español o en cualquier otro idioma bajo petición. Por favor, póngase en contacto con Diane Cox al 252-436-2040.
VGCC Wants Your Input!
In an effort to better understand your student experience at Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC), VGCC is participating in the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). The CCSSE is a national survey focused on teaching, learning, and retention in community colleges. Please use the link below to complete the survey; you will use your VGCC email address as the access code.

Students who are below the age are not eligible to complete the survey. Please help VGCC understand your experiences so they can improve its services to better serve our students now and in the future. Please email ccsse@vgcc.edu for questions or technical support.
Open for Business Loan Program
Many small and local businesses in the Kerr-Tar Region have been negatively affected by COVID-19. In an effort to provide support to those businesses, the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments is rolling out the Open for Business Loan Program. This loan program is designed to help small to medium size businesses recover from the economic effects of this pandemic.

The Open for Business Loan is a non-forgivable interest free loan, ranging from $10,000-$100,000. Eligible borrowers are small to medium size (1-99 employees) businesses who have been in business for at least 12 months and must be located in Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, or Warren counties. Documentation providing evidence of a loss of revenue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is required. All loans will require a personal guarantee and additional collateral. Funds can only be used for working capital and/or equipment and require an application fee of $200. Standard loan terms of 5 to 10 years. To apply, CLICK HERE.

The Open for Business Loan Program is locally administered, funded by the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration with funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Applications are available on the Kerr-Tar COG website, or by calling Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments at 252-436-2040. Applications should be completed as soon as possible as funding is limited.
Emerging Stronger Report
The 2020 Annual Report has been issued from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). The Emerging Stronger report gives the overall activity for 2020. More information can be found by clicking HERE.
IEI Announces 2021 BAND-NC Broadband Grants
The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) announces a new round of funding from BAND-NC, a grant program designed to increase the number of people with internet in their homes, with the goal of making the state "first in digital inclusion." The effort, in partnership with the Broadband Infrastructure Office at the NC Department of Information Technology, and with principal support from the John M. Belk Endowment, is addressing the digital divide across NC by providing $5,000 mini-grants to communities who want to implement digital inclusion plans, begin a digital inclusion planning process, or who are looking to meet immediate digital needs.

To learn more about BAND-NC, click HERE. Applications are due by April 30.
Executive Director
Diane Cox

Area Agency on Aging
Nancy Francis

Planning & Development
Michael Kelly

Workforce Development
Lou Grillo

Mission Statement
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments aims to
promote regionalism that provides opportunities for
local governments to enhance and improve the quality
of life for our citizens through effective delivery of
services and programs.
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments
Contact Info:
252-436-2055 fax

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 709
Henderson, NC 27536