December 2020 Newsletter
December Highlights
Here is what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • Important Dates
  • New Family Caregiver Specialist
  • Caregiver's Cup
  • COVID Support Services
  • Assistance for Older Adults w/COVID-Related Needs
  • Caregiver Vouchers
  • Medicare Open Enrollment
  • KTAAA Events & Activities
  • Social Justice & Racial Equity Grant
  • Acquisition of Economic Modeling Software
  • North Carolina State Ethics Commission
  • Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference
  • NCDOT Bridge Closure
  • VW Settlement Phase 1-Level 2 Charge Program
  • Safe Routes to Parks
  • Great Trails State Plan Public Review
  • Resurfacing Projects in Person County
  • Regional Job Fair
  • Workforce Success Stories & Accomplishments
  • KTCOG and KTAAA on Facebook
  • Scaling Pandemic Resilience
  • myFutureNC County Data
Mark Your Calendar!
  • Next Workforce Development Board Meeting:
  • Tuesday, December 1 @ 6:00 pm
  • Via Zoom
  • Next COG Virtual Board Meeting:
  • Thursday, December 3 @ 6:00 pm
  • Via Zoom
New Staff Member: Austin Caton
We welcome Austin Caton, our new Family Caregiver Specialist, who joined us in mid-November. Already living in our region, Austin has years of experience serving several populations, including older adults, people of all ages living with disabilities, and family caregivers, and is experienced in both residential and independent living settings. He enjoys connecting individuals with resources and finding creative solutions to challenges. Austin recently completed his Master's in Psychology, is certified in CPR and first aid, and is also an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. Obviously, he is passionate about serving those in need!
Caregiver's Cup
The next Caregiver's Cup coffee club will be Friday, December 11 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 to join us for 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!
COVID Support Services
The Duke Support Services project is scheduled to end this December. During the project, KTAAA provided personal protective equipment and COVID-related supplies to over 2,300 individuals in need. This short-term project allowed us to get to know many community based organizations who provide important services to a broad range of clients. We plan to continue to work collaboratively with each of them to support the region.
Assistance for Older Adults with COVID-Related Needs
KTAAA received federal grant funding through the CARES Act to support COVID-19 related needs of adults age 60 and older in the region. COVID related needs include food, PPE, assistive items for the home, medical alert devices, etc. These services are being advertised via our flyer, which is available through the senior centers and various community partners. Service referrals must come to us via a referral agent, such as the senior center, a care manager, social worker, physician's office or similar party. CARES services are provided at no charge to the older adult. For more information CLICK HERE or contact our CARES Specialist, Mary Lynn Baldwin at 252-436-2040, ext. 2036.
Caregiver Directed Vouchers
Are you a caregiver in need of a break or a little extra help? Respite care enables caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities. Caregiver Respite Vouchers are available. To see if you quality, contact the KTAAA at 252-436-2040 or complete the ONLINE FORM to see if you qualify.
Medicare Open Enrollment
Have you noticed our billboards in the region? There are 3 billboards reminding everyone about Medicare Open Enrollment with our Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging logo. Medicare Open Enrollment will go through December 7th. After Open Enrollment has concluded, these billboards will rotate to information about our Family Caregiver services, so keep an eye out!
Upcoming Events & Activities
KTAAA will be participating in several community holiday events, including a December 5 drive-through holiday parade in Henderson. This is a COVID-testing event, sponsored by Gang Free in Henderson.

Many of our Senior Center providers are also holding community holiday events featuring parades, music, and goodie bags. Call your local Senior Center for details.

On November 18, KTAAA interviewed a local mental health provider on the topic of holiday stress. "Beat the Holiday Blues" was featured on "Town Talk," a regular show at local radio station WIZS. The program included practical tips on how to stay connected with family and friends and manage the holidays in these unusual times. You can listen to the show online HERE.
Social Justice and Racial Equity Grant
We are pleased to announce that Region K Community Assistance Corporation, a non-profit entity of the Council of Governments, was selected to receive a $25,000 Social Justice and Racial Equity Grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. The Region K CAC was one of 40 applicants selected from among 300 applicants across the State of North Carolina. These grant funds will assist the Region K CAC and the Council of Governments in providing training and workshops for our member governments' elected boards and citizen advisory commissions and councils. It is our goal that as a result of the trainings and workshops provided through this funding, there will be a greater cultural awareness and sensitivity of diverse groups living within the Kerr-Tar region. We look forward to collaborating with county and municipal administrators in providing this beneficial and relevant training to our member governments and community partners.
Acquisition of Economic Modeling Software
The Council of Governments is pleased to announce the purchase of economic modeling software from EMSI. The COG will be able to provide detailed economic reports for the Kerr-Tar region. The COG is able to provide information on such economic indicators as employment trends by sector, industry clusters, wage comparisons, labor force trend analyses at the regional, county, and municipal levels. For more information or requests, please contact James Cunningham, Economic Development Disaster Recovery Coordinator at
Kerr-Tar Rural Planning Organization
The KTRPO joint TAC/TCC will not meet during the month of December. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 3:00-5:00 pm via Zoom. Further details will be provided to members as the meeting date approaches.
North Carolina State Ethics Commission
Elected officials serving as members of the KTRPO TAC 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. Existing and newly appointed KTRPO TAC members will receive additional information beginning in January.
Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference
Discover the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technology, operations, and implementations at the 4th Annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference. The 2020 Conference will now be a series of webinar sessions on a variety of topics highlighting the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities.

Each session, covering current technologies in the fleet industry, will feature several expert speakers from all around the country. Sessions will discuss the latest and greatest opportunities for biofuel, electric, natural gas, and propane fuels and fueling, with a strong focus on data-driven decisions, tools, and technologies. All webinar sessions will be offered free of charge. Save the dates and register below by clicking on the sessions you are interested in attending.

NCDOT Announces Bridge Closure in Vance County
The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced it will be closing a Vance County bridge (Bridge No. 56) due to deterioration. The bridge, located along Weldons Mill Road (SR 1526) over Sandy Creek was built in 1949 and is set to be replaced. The Department is scheduled to award a contract to replace the bridge in February 2021, with work beginning in March. All work on the bridge is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.

In the meantime, traffic will be diverted to New Bethel Church Road (SR 1523), County Line Road (SR 1361), Southerland Mill Road (SR 1523), and Vicksboro Road (SR 1533 & SR 1524). Drivers should be mindful of crews working in this area and factor the detour into their commutes.
VW Settlement Phase 1-Level 2 Charge Program
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will begin accepting proposals in January for Level 2 charging projects to be funded by Phase 1 of the NC Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program. The agency has allocated 25% of the Phase 1 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure allocation, or approximately $1.1 million, to Level 2 charging infrastructure projects.

A webinar will be held on December 11, 2020 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm for interested stakeholders and applicants. During this webinar, staff will show applicants how to request access to the DAQ Grants Management System and answer questions regarding the Request for Proposals. DAQ encourages anyone interested in applying for a rebate voucher to attend this webinar.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Level 2 ZEV Charging Infrastructure Program will assist interested parties in applying for funds using a first-come, first-served rebate process to install ZEV Level 2 charging infrastructure, as described in the North Carolina VW Mitigation Plans. The primary goal is to increase use of ZEVs in place of gas-powered cars to mitigate nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

NCDEQ anticipates awarding a total of approximately $1.1 million towards Level 2 charging infrastructure projects in Phase 1. Rebate applications will be prioritized by the urban-suburban/rural split described in the NC VW Mitigation Plan, with about 68% of the funds allocated for urban and suburban counties, and a minimum of 32% allocated for rural counties.

Those interested in attending the webinar must register by December 9, 2020. Registration is available via the following FORM. For additional information and documents regarding the RFP, CLICK HERE.
Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities Program
The Safe Routes Partnership invites communities and organizations working to improve safe, equitable access to local parks to apply for the 2021 Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities Program. The program provides tailored technical assistance, along with a $12,500 award for nonprofit organizations to develop and initiate action plans to increase safe and equitable access to parks and green space in their communities.

To be eligible, applicants must show a commitment to advancing racial and social equity; be a nonprofit organization that is tax-exempt under IRS code; obtain commitments from local agencies; and planning must occur at a system or partial system level. Any funding received will be used to advance the implementation of the Safe Routes to Parks Plan and planning process. Applications must be received by December 18, 2020.
NCDOT Great Trails State Plan Public Review of Draft Trail Network Maps
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is making excellent progress on the Great Trails State Plan and is in the process of finalizing the draft trail network. The Department received over 13,000 responses from the public through the survey and online web map. The Department sincerely appreciates all the involvement and support of the draft network and plan.

To finalize the draft network, NCDOT would like to receive additional feedback from the public in response to the draft maps. A Public Input page has been created and can be accessed HERE. The deadline for public comments on the draft maps is Friday, December 4, 2020. It is anticipated the draft plan will be available for public review in January 2021.
Resurfacing Projects Awarded for Person County
Thanks to three new contracts awarded by the NC Department of Transportation, totaling more than $7.5 million, 61 miles of area roadway will be resurfaced. Under a $2.3 million contract, Carolina Sunrock of Raleigh will mill and resurface pavement and improve shoulders along 22.4 miles of state-maintained roads throughout Person County. This work can start as soon as March 15 and must be complete by the end of July 2022.
Regional Job Fair
NCWorks Kerr-Tar partnered with Vance-Granville Community College in November to provide VGCC's first COVID-19 outdoor job fair, held at all four VGCC locations (Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren Counties). Business Services Representatives, Training and Placement Coordinators, and Veteran's Representatives from the Career Centers met with job seekers and reviewed resumes, discussed current openings, and how to apply. Job seekers were given information on WIOA services and other basic services available at the Career Centers. Several youth job seekers were able to meet with Program Manager Helen Bradby to discuss Next Gen services. Local employers including Carolina SunRock, Rice Wrap, Altec, Walmart Distribution, and Smithfield Farms were represented at the events.
Success Story: WIOA
Tekeia Thomas was displaced from employment in August of 2020 due to COVID-19. She was previously employed as a picker-packer at Food Lion Distribution, and was seeking a change in her career pathway. She called the NCWorks Career Center seeking assistance and was given a referral to a training and placement coordinator who enrolled her in WIOA. She was referred to Select Products and interviewed for a Customer Service Representative position. The HR Manager was impressed with Ms. Thomas's excellent verbal communication skills, and her outgoing demeanor. An on-the-job training plan was developed and she started working at Select Product's new facility in Henderson in late October. She is enjoying her job as well as gaining skills that will enable her to continue to grow in her chosen career.
Success Story: NextGen
Nineteen year-old Isaac Hyman from Warren County enrolled in the NextGen Program in August 2020. He was seeking guidance for his next step on his career pathway. After completing a career assessment, Mr. Hyman decided to explore his interests in working outside and using his hands. He was able to start a Work Experience in September with the County of Warren Facilities Department. He has now completed 280 on-site training hours and is now preparing to enter the US Air Force.
Workforce Development Accomplishments
Listed below are a few of the accomplishments from the Kerr-Tar NCWorks Career Center.

  • Krystle Reid, Warren County resident, passed Nurse Aide State Exam, recently applied to Duke University Hospital
  • Jada Powell-Vann, Vance County resident, passed Nurse Aide State Exam, currently employed with Kerr Lake Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
  • Tashikki Brown, Vance County resident, passed Nurse Aide State Exam, currently applying for local positions in healthcare industry
Looking for a job?
In Other News...
Like us on Facebook!
Beth Davis, our Regional Engagement Specialist, has created a KTCOG Facebook Page. We invite you all to like this page and share any posts that you think might benefit your network. The best kind of advertising is word of mouth, and Facebook is kind of like the digital version. 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.
Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation & Technology
EDA is excited to announce the FY 2020 Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge. EDA is seeking applications from eligible organizations working to rapidly address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.

This $25 million national competition is designed to support the development, creation, or expansion of programs that accelerate technology-based economic development in pursuit of vibrant, innovative economies and economic growth, and respond to the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. SPRINT Challenge applications will be awarded under the EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is authorized under Section 209 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (PWEDA) (42 U.S.C. § 3149).

Applicant organizations should articulate a clearly defined strategy to leverage grant funds to support one or more of the following activities to help address the needs of and unique operating environment necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Scaling biotechnology, health security, and supply chain technologies to market;
  • Increasing regional, national, and government connectivity to support commercialization and entrepreneurship;
  • Developing new and unique investment capital models to address the financial needs of entrepreneurs;
  • Developing and scaling entrepreneurship support models to address the virtual and remote work environment of the pandemic.

Applications are due Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST. Click HERE for more information.
myFutureNC County Data
Join the NC Rural Center, myFutureNC, and Carolina Demography on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 from 1:30-2:30 pm to learn more about their County Attainment Profiles and the customized data specific to your local county. myFutureNC in partnership with Carolina Demography has created data profiles for every North Carolina county that highlight county -level educational attainment and key education and workforce performance metrics.

The goal is for leaders can use these profiles to help facilitate conversations and informed decision-making on local priorities aimed at increasing education levels with a specific emphasis on the "opportunities for improvement" uniquely identified by county.

To register, click HERE.
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