All posts by MitchellCountyChamber

Chamber Launches Mitchell Works Project at Mitchell High School

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The Mitchell County Chamber launched the new Mitchell Works workforce development project at Mitchell High School on January 16, 2020. The entire student body was introduced to the program. Guest presenters from area industries who are also featured in the success story videos on the Mitchell Works website were on hand to talk with students about their career path since graduating from Mitchell High School.

The Chamber is excited to officially launch Mitchell Works, a workforce development project, geared towards our middle and high school students. The goal of this project is to engage and educate our students in Mitchell County schools about the opportunities for careers that they may not be aware of and to build and strengthen connections with our businesses and industries and our school system to create more opportunities for exposure, learning, internships, industry speakers bureaus and more as a way to support what our schools and Mayland Community College are already doing and create new opportunities and pathways for our students to engage with our local businesses and industries

 

Please visit our website at mitchellworksnc.com and for partnering with this organization, give us a call at 828-765-9033.

 

28705 Business Breakfast Topic: Marketing Checklist

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The 28705 Business Breakfast Workshop will be held February 13, 2020 from 8 am-9:30 am (Please come early at 7:30 am for breakfast and networking). Breakfast will be provided by Southern Ridge Cafe.

The workshop will focus on your marketing checklist. Guest spaker Martin Brossman will cover:

  • Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business
  • Social Media Marketing Tactics
  • 28705 Marketing Campaign and Match Grant
  • Bakersville Hashtag Suggestions

This is a Free Event however you need to register. Call 828-766-1295 or register online at https://www.ncsbe.net/workshop.aspx?ekey=310400021,

Location: Historic Courthouse in Bakersville

 

The 28705 Business Breakfast workshops are sponsored by the Small Business Center, Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, Mitchell County Economic Development Commission.

 

Chamber Announces New Membership Benefit, Free Discount Rx Card

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The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce is proud to offer our members and your employees,  family/friends a FREE DISCOUNT DRUG CARD. Receive savings of up to 75 percent at over 56,000 pharmacies across the country (savings average around 30 percent). This card is especially helpful if you are uninsured or underinsured. However, even if you have insurance, you can still use this card to get a discount on non-covered drugs. All prescriptions processed through the program are completely confidential (no name required on card).

This program is being provided to Mitchell County Chamber members and your employees and family to help lower your prescription drug costs.  This card can be used as your primary plan and/or it can be used on prescriptions not covered by your insurance plan. This program also includes other value added programs which will be listed on the card. Please enter your name in the box below and we will generate a printable membership card for you (no application/enrollment or eligibility required). This program has “LOWEST PRICE” logic to guarantee that you get the best deal on your prescriptions. (You pay the lower of a discount off Average Wholesale Price–AWP, discount off MAC Pricing or Pharmacy Promotional/Retail price). This card is pre-activated and can be used immediately!

Print a card for yourself, employees, friends and family by clicking here.

 

Chamber launches new workforce development project Mitchell Works

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“One of the missions of the Chamber is to respond to the needs of our members and to try to partner with them to find solutions,” said Patti Jensen, Executive Director, Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce.

After hearing from the  business community of their concerns regarding both their current and future workforce needs and the areas in which they were seeing gaps, the Chamber began looking into solutions they could provide as well as researching what was already being done.

What they found was a successful CTE program in the local school system and programs being offered at Mayland Community College to assist students and employers. Also found was a perception that there are no jobs in Mitchell County and that to make a living, local students need to leave Mitchell County.  In contrast to that were the many employers telling Chamber staff of hundreds of job openings going unfilled due to the lack of a qualified workforce. The one thing that appeared to be missing was a central place for information for students and their parents or guardians as well as the “marketing” or outreach to the students about opportunities in Mitchell County that they could learn more about and plan for.

The Chamber staff met early on with the Economic Development Partnership of NC where they learned about a program in Burke County, Work in Burke,  that was also addressing these issues. Bill Slagle with EDPNC ,connected the Mitchell County Chamber staff with them where they ultimately worked with Burke County to adapt their program to fit Mitchell County and our local needs. “We are grateful to Sara Chester and the Work in Burke program for being so willing to share their program with us and to allow us to be the first county in NC to replicate their successful program here,” said Patti Jensen, Chamber Director.

The Chamber began the planning phase by interviewing many local industry leaders as well as the local CTE program staff,  meeting with Mayland Community College staff, the High Country Workforce Development Board staff and others to discuss a new project and get their input.

The Chamber  applied for a Maximize Carolina grant with the NC Dept of Commerce and were successful in their application of a $75,000 grant to begin the project. The Chamber quickly received additional support from others including the Mitchell County EDC, Duke Energy and the NC General Assembly through Senator Ralph Hise and Representative Josh Dobson which the Chamber was truly grateful for. The grant is administered by the High Country Workforce Development Board in partnership with the Mitchell Chamber.

Over the last year, the Chamber staff convened a Steering Committee to begin the early planning of this project consisting of local industries, education, economic development and workforce organizations from across the county and region, surveyed over 600 students in our middle schools and high school, convened a focus group of Mitchell High students who helped us develop the project as well as name the project, partnered with the Mitchell County School system and began to work on a new website which includes industry videos and a slate of career opportunities to learn more about.

The Chamber is excited to officially launch Mitchell Works, a workforce development project, geared towards our middle and high school students. The goal of this project is to engage and educate our students in Mitchell County schools about the opportunities for careers that they may not be aware of and to build and strengthen connections with our industries and our school system to create more opportunities for exposure, learning, internships, industry speakers bureaus and more as a way to support what our schools and Mayland Community College are already doing and create new opportunities and pathways for our students to engage with our local businesses and industries.

The Chamber thanks our Steering Committee, student focus groups, Kim Hodshon and the  CTE program and principals and county school leadership for being such great supporters of the project along with our industry leaders, including BRP, the Quartz Corporation, McManus Microwave, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, Spruce Pine Police Dept and Buck Stove for being the first to engage and support this project.

The Chamber invites all local businesses to become a partner of this new project by filling out a MW Partner Pledge Form . There are nearly 2 dozen ways that your company can partner and we encourage you to consider it.

For more information contact the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce and visit www.mitchellworksnc.com.

 

 

Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce Announces Shirley Hise Memorial Scholarship Fund

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The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced at their annual dinner the establishment of the Shirley Hise Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of long time Chamber Director Shirley Hise. “Shirley was an integral part of the growth of the Chamber during her tenure as Director and continued her commitment to education and the support of her community throughout her life,” said Patti Jensen, Mitchell County Chamber Director.

In honor of her undying commitment to her community, the Mitchell County Chamber and to education, a scholarship fund has been established to be given to a Mitchell High School student in the Spring of each year. Criteria for the scholarship will be established by the Board of Directors in partnership with the family of Shirley Hise.
The Chamber is providing the seed money to establish the scholarship and announces that anyone who would like to support the scholarship in Shirley’s name is invited to participate. Pledge cards are available from the Chamber of Commerce by calling 765-9033.

The following was read at the Annual Dinner at the announcement of the scholarship.

In October of this year, we lost a very special person to the Mitchell County Chamber and to our county. Shirley Hise served as the Director of the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce for nearly 15 years and led the Chamber with new initiatives, growth and a fierce commitment to seeing Mitchell County and its citizens grow and succeed.

Prior to coming to the Chamber, Shirley taught in the Mitchell County Schools for over 30 years and there wasn’t a week that went by over the last decade that we didn’t hear from a current business owner or local business person who said that Shirley was their hardest but best teacher they ever had. She cared for her students and worked tirelessly to make sure they had every opportunity to succeed. She cheered them on in the classroom and was a fierce Mitchell High fan in the stands. She continued to support them in any way that she could even after they graduated and after she retired. They knew that Shirley was in their corner if they needed her. If you or your children were taught by Shirley we ask that you stand.

As Chamber Director Shirley was continually writing checks to support student groups, field trips, scholarships and especially students facing hardships. Shirley was a lifelong learner and held several degrees herself including a Masters degree and a Doctoral degree in Education. She loved history and politics and was an avid reader and researcher.

Shirley’s presence is missed by everyone at the Chamber and as a way of honoring Shirley’s service and her love of education and community, the Board of Directors of the Mitchell County Chamber is announcing the Shirley Hise Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide an annual scholarship to a Mitchell High School Student. The Chamber will seed this scholarship and in response to those who have asked for ways to honor her, there is an opportunity for anyone to contribute to her scholarship fund on a one time basis or with a yearly pledge.

For more information, contact the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce at 828-765-9033.

Mitchell County Chamber Announces New Holiday Trail of Lights Promotion

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The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce has Christmas on their minds these days.  The Chamber is excited to announce a new community event for the 2019 Holiday season, A Mountain Christmas Trail of Lights.  The Trail of Lights will go from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Bakersville and beyond, beginning November 30th and ending on New Year’s Eve.

“This project has been something we have been talking about for a year,” said Patti Jensen, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce. “We began discussing holiday plans with local organizations and leaders and focused on two things,” said Jensen. “There really wasn’t much planned in the county after the first weekend in December and we knew that if we could build out the month with holiday events, we could not only create a great holiday experience for Mitchell County families but also create an opportunity to bring more people into Mitchell County to shop with our local businesses.”

The Chamber is inviting all businesses, homes and churches along Hwy 226 from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Bakersville as well as businesses in downtown Spruce Pine and Bakersville to sign on to decorate their homes, yards or buildings with lights this year. They aren’t stopping there though, as they are inviting neighborhoods to get together and decorate as well to be added to the trail as extensions. The trail will go from the Blue Ridge Parkway on Hwy 226 to Spruce Pine, travel down Summit Avenue then through downtown, back out Roan Road to pick up 226 N to Bakersville.  The Chamber will be providing a prize to the light display judged as the Best of the Mountain Christmas Trail this year!

In addition, the Chamber will be putting together a full calendar of events for the holidays and is asking for local organizations, businesses and churches who are hosting a holiday event to send their information as soon as possible to the Chamber at [email protected]. “Our hope is that we can create a Holiday Calendar of Events that is packed full of things for locals and visitors to do as well as encourage people to create new holiday events this year from Thanksgiving until New Years,” said Jensen.  The Chamber has met with several interested people from across the county to begin the holiday planning and some are already planning new events. “We are excited to see everyone’s enthusiasm for the trail and for new event ideas,” said Jensen.

The Chamber is asking the public to follow the Facebook page for A Mountain Christmas Trail of Lights and begin to help spread the word. A new website for the project is live and offers information on the trail, dozens of holiday events and more information for planning for the holidays. Visit www.amountainchristmastrailoflights.com.

“The Trail of Lights is a way for our community to come together to celebrate the holiday season and to offer it as a gift to our citizens and visitors,” said Jensen. “We hope that this is the start of something special for our county that will continue to grow for years to come.”

Mitchell County Chamber Director Receives Award

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The Mayland Community College Board of Directors presented their 2019 Distinguished Citizen Award to Mitchell County Chamber Director Patti Jensen at their annual Community Pig Pickin’ and Update event.  The award was presented by Mayland Board member Keith Holtsclaw. “I was both surprised and honored to be selected by the members of the Mayland Community College Board of Directors to receive this recogntion,” said Jensen. “It is my honor to represent the Chamber and work along with community organizations, officials and businesses to help move our county forward.”

 

Chamber to Partner with Small Business Center for Small Business Workshops

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The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce will be partnering with the Small Business Center to host Small Business/Entrepreneurship breakfast workshops for the merchants and business owners in Bakersville. These workshops will offer workshops in marketing, growing your business, social media, business collaborations and more.  Stay tuned for a workshop calendar!

Chamber’s New Workforce Development Project Featured

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The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) recently featured the Mitchell County Chamber’s new workforce development project. The project’s goal is to address the local business and industry concerns regarding the availability and future of a qualified workforce in Mitchell County. The project’s launch is scheduled for Fall 2019 and will focus on middle school and high school students and their parents.

The project has been in planning for the past year and has consisted of business and industry interviews, student surveys, steering committee meetings, video production in local industries, student focus groups and more! Stay tuned for the project launch in Fall 2019. If your business would like to learn how to partner and support this project, contact the Mitchell County Chamber office at 765-9033.

Link to EDPNC Featured Article: EDPNC Featured Article

 

Candidates Forum Scheduled for October 8th

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The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce will host a Candidates Forum on Tuesday, October 8th at 6 PM at the Historic Courthouse in Bakersville. The forum will provide local citizens with an opportunity hear from candidates seeking the offices of Spruce Pine Mayor and Bakersville Town Council. The two candidates running unopposed for the Spruce Pine Town Council seats will also have the opportunity to address the audience. A survey will be offered to Chamber members to submit questions for the candidates. The event is free and open to the public.