Thanks employers, educators and workforce partners for a wonderful 2018!

You will find the following in this newsletter:

  1. Please RSVP to Attend the Mountain Area WDB Recognition Luncheon
  2. Employers Respond Now to the Skilled Trades/Construction Workforce Survey
  3. Finish Line Grants Update
  4. Employers sign up for Work-Based Learning Navigator
  5. NCWorks Economic Impact in Our Region
  6. State and Local Area Employment Data Released
  7. Employers Apply Now for Business Accelerator Grant
  8. Mountain Area Careers preview
  9. NCWorks NextGen Youth Success Story
You are invited!
Mountain Area Workforce Development Board Annual Recognition Luncheon

WHO: Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, employers from throughout the region, WIOA participants, workforce partners and the general public.

WHAT: Mountain Area Workforce Development Board recognizes outstanding employers and participants from the past year.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Welcome 11:15 am
Student musical performance 11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Luncheon 11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Program 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

You can arrive any time between 11:15 am - 12:00 pm. Program will begin promptly at 12:00 pm. Please park in the parking deck located adjacent to the conference center.

The luncheon has been postponed from December 11 to January 8 due to the snow storm.

WHERE: Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center
16 Fernihurst Drive, Asheville, NC 28801

RSVP: Please RSVP at the following link. Everyone is invited to attend. There is a FREE event.
Please RSVP NOW!
Mission Health - AB Tech Conference Center

01/08/19 11:30am - 01/08/19 1:00pm

Catered luncheon by Red Radish as we honor employers, participants and others. Music provided by North Buncombe Schools Strings Orchestra.
I'll be there!
I can't make it
Employers please respond: Skilled Trades/Construction Career Pathways Employer Survey  

Our region's construction sector is growing and employers are struggling to meet their workforce needs.

Please respond to the following employer survey by December 7, 2018 . This survey will help our region develop a NCWorks Certified Career Pathway for the Skilled Trades/Construction sector which will help us more effectively meet workforce needs in this sector.
Skilled Trades/Construction Workforce Survey

Employers please click on the survey monkey link below to respond to this survey to help our region develop a career pathway for this sector.

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Finish Line Grants are helping students complete their education and enter into the workforce

"A-B Tech, in partnership with the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, was awarded the Finish Line Grant in September to assist students who have completed 50 percent or more of their degree or credential. So far, $9,285 has been given to students to pay for financial emergencies they may face through no fault of their own. The North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of the Workforce Solutions, awarded the grant."
A-B Tech Has Given More than $9,000 to Students Through

Eleven students at A-B Tech Community College have been assisted this fall through Finish Line Grants that help students overcome economic hardship in order to complete their studies. The Finish Line Grant program was announced by the Governor's...

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Governor Cooper Announces Finish Line Grants Program

Today, Governor Cooper announced the Finish Line Grants program to help community college students who face unforeseen financial emergencies complete their training. The program will leverage up to $7 million in federal funds to help students pay ...

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Employers please sign up for the Work-Based Learning Navigator   

The Governor's Office, North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and Fidelity investments have created the Navigator. The Navigator will allow you to connect with educators for work-based learning opportunities (school tours of businesses, internships, business classroom speakers, etc.). We hope Western North Carolina businesses will sign-up for The Navigator so our educators can connect with you for work-based learning opportunities.

If you are a business that would like to sign up on the Navigator, please see the following links: 
Organization Signup Form

The North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) is inventorying work-based learning programs from across the state, and with your approval, helping you connect those opportunities with NC educators through an online marketplace called ...

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WHAT IS THE NAVIGATOR? The Navigator is an online marketplace that makes it easier for NC educators and workforce development professionals to integrate work-based learning resources into their classrooms. The platform operates like an online...

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Individuals served by NCWorks system in our region earned over $63 million in wages last year
North Carolina's November Employment Figures Released

The state's seasonally adjusted November unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, remaining unchanged from October's revised rate. The national rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent. North Carolina's November 2018 unemployment rate decreased 0.9 of a...

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NC Today 2018

NC Today is a monthly review of labor market conditions in North Carolina with comparative data from the United States as a whole, and from selected Southern states on various aspects of the economy.

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As of October 2018,  1,246  more people are working and  1,300  jobs were added in the region in the past year. Total regional employment is  210,442 .
Mountain Area region continues to have NC's lowest unemployment rate

For October 2018, our region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate at   in NC at 2.8% , Buncombe County has the lowest rate of any county in NC at   2.6%   Henderson County has the #2 lowest rate in the state at  2.9% tied with four other counties. Madison County is at   3.1%   and Transylvania County is at   3.3% . All counties in our region are below the state unemployment rate for October 2018 of 3.4%.

For 46 consecutive months Buncombe County has maintained the lowest unemployment rate of any NC county. For 44 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.
Asheville metro unemployment rate 2.8%

The Asheville metro (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison Counties) continues to have the lowest unemployment rate of any NC metro at   2.8%. In the past year  1,300   jobs were added in the metro.

In the past year since October 2017, the following sectors added jobs: Mining, Logging and Construction (500 jobs), Manufacturing (1,000 jobs), Trade Transportation & Utilities (100 jobs), Government (300 jobs), and Other Services (100 jobs). Education & Health Services (-400 jobs), Leisure & Hospitality (-200 jobs), and Professional & Business Services (-300 jobs) declined in employment. Information remained unchanged.

Manufacturing is leading our year-over-year job growth. The manufacturing sector has consistently been the leading sector for job growth during the past year.

It appears our region's overall job growth is slowing. We were adding 3,000+ jobs annually and this latest number is almost half of that. This decelerating job growth may be due to employers difficulty in filling positions or it could be due to economic conditions. The data is too preliminary to make a conclusion.
Employers: Apply now for a Business Accelerator grant

Mountain Area Workforce Development Board is now taking applications for "Business Accelerator" grants.

Business Accelerator grants can help local employers upskill their existing workforce to make their business more competitive in the marketplace. 

These Incumbent Worker Training grants will be available to employers with at least five employees. The maximum grant allowed will be $10,000 for a single employer or $12,500 for a collaboration among multiple employers. We anticipate that the Board will receive more requests than funding available.

Please contact Barbara Darby, Regional Business Services Coordinator at to learn more about how a Business Accelerator grant can assist your organization.

The deadline for submission of Business Accelerator Grant applications is January 31, 2019.
Mountain Area Careers (MAC) highlights our region's career pathways in the Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare and Hospitality & Tourism sectors

Our region has three "NCWorks Certified Career Pathways" in Advanced Manufacturing, Hospitality & Tourism and Healthcare which have been approved by the NCWorks Commission.
Crystal at Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard
Josh at Advanced Superabrasives (ASI) in Madison County
Robert at Biltmore Farms Hotels in Buncombe County
Lezlie with the Hot Springs Health Program at the Mars Hill Medical Center in Madison County
Erica at Pardee UNC Healthcare in Henderson County
Chris at Mission Health in Buncombe County
Leigh at GE Aviation in Buncombe County
Women in Advanced Manufacturing
Heather with Home Instead Senior Care
Isaiah Poore: NCWorks NextGen Youth Success Story   (WIOA In-School Youth)

Isaiah Poore is an outstanding person in so many ways. When we first met, he was amidst many struggles; his family had many issues. Drugs and alcohol prevented them from caring for Isaiah properly. During these times, Isaiah would become depressed and down. He struggled. However, if you met Isaiah, he would get your attention. He is a very likable young man. It was apparent to those around him that he had been through much.

The community came together and took care of him. Living with peers often and under the care of teachers and coaches, Isaiah continued to strive. This young man, because of his sweet and kind disposition, became a community child.

A notable feature of Isaiah is that he loves to help others. He volunteers in youth league football and has been a Special Olympics volunteer. If you knew Isaiah, you would know he gives much more than he gets. I placed him in WIOA-supported work experience with several coaching staff members as an assistant. He worked with them, working late after practice or events. This allowed him to have mentorship with some great people and gain work experience.

Isaiah will graduate in a few months and will attend college on an athletic scholarship. For this to happen, WIOA-supported work experience, community support and Isaiah's will to succeed worked together. He pushed and he never gave up because his community worked alongside him, encouraging him and supporting him. Isaiah persevered for them as much as he did for himself. This magnetic and inspiring young man is a success due to the NCWorks NextGen program. I believe he will make is big and become a helper to many others along his way.

Nominated by Darrell Clark, NCWorks Next Gen Youth Career Coach, Buncombe County Schools