Local Government
Piedmont Blues Festival Returns To Greensboro PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:27
The longest-running blues festival in the Southeast  returns this May with a Carolina Soul theme. The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society (PBPS) 
will kick off NC Blues Week on Sunday, May 9th, 2021 with a special film screening followed by their signature event- the 35th Annual Carolina Blues Festival on Saturday, May 15th, 2021 at  LeBauer Park, 208 North Davie Street in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. Tickets are 
available for both events at PiedmontBlues.org.
The Carolina Blues Festival will be downtown’s first in-person live performance festival since lockdown orders were placed by Governor Ray Cooper in March 2020. The  capacity for in-person attendees will be limited to 500 people and there will also be a virtual live stream available online. The in-person 
festival will open its doors at 4pm on Saturday, May 15th and will have increased safety procedures with pre-entry temperature checks, health screenings, and sanitation stations throughout the festival grounds. 
A special film screening will be presented by the Blues Equity Institute, PBPS’s education program, on Sunday. May 9th, 2021 and will be held virtually on streaming platforms. A suggested donation of $10 for access to the virtual film screening supports the Blues In The Schools programs ran by the Blues Equity Institute. 
“As our families and communities begin to heal from the pandemic we are grateful for the opportunity to present in-person content once more on May 15th. We also recognize everyone is not able to be with us in person. For that reason, we are continuing to embrace technologies that will allow folk to support us virtually," said Atiba Berkley, president of the Greensboro, North 
Carolina-based nonprofit.
PBPS is seeking vaccinated volunteers who are willing to wear a mask diligently for the duration of their time with the event. Ideal volunteers also fit in a low risk category so we can create the safest environment possible. Volunteers must be 18+ years and willing to sign a liability waiver. The event will be mask mandatory.
For more details, including this year’s artist lineup, please visit PiedmontBlues.org and follow on 
social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The 35th Carolina Blues Festival is sponsored by ArtsGreensboro, City of Greensboro, R.H. 
Barringer, and Greensboro Downtown Parks. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact 
Atiba Berkley at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
2021 Festival Artwork
About the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society:
The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society (PBPS) is a 501c3 charitable nonp
Smith Reynolds Airport Receives $4.45 Million CARES Act Grant PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:20

Smith Reynold Airport has been awarded a $4.45 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to help preserve and create hundreds of jobs and offset additional economic adversity caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). This grant will be matched with $1.6 million in local county investment. It’s expected to create 200 jobs, retain 100 jobs, and generate $2.5 million in private investment. The grant will be used to repair a facility used by North State Aviation, an aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service provider.

"This grant will go a long way to ensure the infrastructure at the Airport can continue to support and create jobs,” said Smith Reynolds Airport Director Mark Davidson. “The funds will go directly to a facility that is over 50 years old and is home to hundreds of valuable and highly trained employees in the MRO industry."  

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the EDA-funded Piedmont Triad Regional Council, which brings together the public and private sectors to strengthen the regional economy. The county’s Community and Economic Development Department was instrumental in applying for the grant.

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners have identified Smith Reynolds Airport as a key economic asset and the Community & Economic Development team is excited to continue to leverage funding to support it,” said Community and Economic Development Director Kyle Haney. "In applying for this grant, we worked closely with staff from Smith Reynolds, County General Services, Piedmont Triad Regional Council, and the US Economic Development Administration.  We look forward to continuing these partnerships and seeking additional opportunities to assist Smith Reynolds and surrounding businesses."

County Commissioner Dave Plyler praised the grant, saying the commissioners and the Airport Board are always looking for ways to enhance the airport’s growth.

"This will really help, especially when you add jobs to the area,” said Plyler. “This will make a big difference.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. 

Chatham 250 Passport Helps Residents Celebrate Milestone Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 April 2021 09:49
PITTSBORO, NC— Chatham County kicked off its six-month celebration of the County’s 250th Anniversary on April 10th with Founding Day. To build on that event’s excitement, the Chatham 250 planning committee invites community members to continue the milestone celebrations with the Chatham 250 Passport Experience. 
The Chatham 250 Passport Experience will help residents and visitors alike explore the uniqueness of Chatham County. Each of the five Chatham 250 Passports - Creative Arts, Growth and Change, Community and Diversity, Agriculture and Natural Environment - offer nearly 20 accessible and fun activities that are also designed for a COVID-19 safe environment. The self-guided tour meets scavenger hunt is designed to assist in the exploration of Chatham County in honor of this 250th anniversary. 
“We are looking forward to sharing local places to explore in this commemorative year,” said Neha Shah, Director of Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our guests will love these sites, both the favorites to which they visit more than once and the new ones they’ve had on their list to check out.” I’m eager to share the passports so that guests explore, based on their interests; Chatham 250 curated things to do that are free or low-cost, accessible, self-guided, with safety and simplicity in mind, for everyone visiting - including day trips, road trips, and overnight guests.”
Passport Partners
Many local businesses and organizations are participating in the Chatham 250 Passport Experience as Passport Partners. These partners include Chatham Arts Council, Chatham County Public Library, Chatham County Parks and Recreation Department, NC Cooperative Extension Chatham County Center, The Carolina Stockyard, Huckleberry Trail Farm, Farm at Penny Lane, Hoppin’ John Fiddlers’ Convention, Chatham County Manager’s Office, Main Street Pittsboro, Chatham Community Remembrance Coalition, Chatham County Historical Association, Chatham Artists Guild, Chatham County Council on Aging and Friends of the Lower Haw River. 
Passport Registration
Chatham 250 participants are encouraged to register through the Chatham 250 website: www.chatham 250.com. The registration form can be found on the “Chatham 250 Passport Overview” page. The information provided through the registration form will help ensure that there are enough Swag Bag prizes for participants who complete the passport experience. By completing this registration form, participants also opt into receiving a monthly email about upcoming Chatham 250 events and opportunities to complete passport activities.
How to Get a Passport
All five Chatham 250 Passports are available for download on the Chatham 250 website, on the Chatham 250 Passport Overview page. Participants can choose to download one passport or all five passports. Printed passports will also be available at key locations across the county, including the Chatham County Welcome Center and Chatham County Public Library branches. Additionally, all Chatham County students will receive one printed passport through their schools. Interested residents are asked to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 919-545-8408 if they would prefer a printed passport mailed to them. 
Activities, Events and Details
Each passport includes nearly 20 safe, accessible, and fun activities designed to explore the Celebration Theme by connecting with new people, places and experiences in Chatham County. Each activity is designed to happen at the participants’ preferred pace in their own way, allowing them to maintain their health and safety during the pandemic without sacrificing any of the fun and excitement of exploring the County. 
Passport participants can use the QR Code on the passport to discover event and location details for the passport activities on the Chatham 250 website. Each passport has a unique calendar full of events and a detailed list of ongoing events and locations to assist participants with completing their passport. Most activities are free and open to the public; any activity that requires an entrance fee, ticket or reservation is indicated on the calendar.
Participants should check off completed activities on their passport as they go. The Chatham 250 Passport is based on the honor system. Participants are also encouraged to post their Chatham 250 Passport Experience on social media using #Chatham250. The first activity on each passport is a Chatham 250 Celebration Theme event. These events, hosted by Chatham 250, will occur throughout the Chatham 250 Passport Experience and will be free and open to the public. 
Passport Upload and Drop Off
A passport is considered completed once a participant completes at least 10 passport activities on a single passport. Completed passports can be uploaded on to the Chatham 250 website or dropped off at the Chatham County Public Library book drop. If possible, participants dropping off their passport at an external Library book drop, should write their name and email on their passport, and place their printed passports in a sealed plastic bag. Completed passports must be uploaded or dropped off by Saturday, October 23, 2021. 
Passport Swag Bags
Participants who submit a completed passport will earn an enviable Swag Bag, curated by the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau. They will include fun and useful souvenir items, discount coupons to local businesses, and some exciting prizes. Swag Bag items have already been secured from Carolina Brewery, Starlight Mead and Huckleberry Trail Farm. 
Chatham 250 is seeking additional Swag Bag sponsors. “The Chatham 250 Swag Bag is an affordable promotional opportunity for our visitor businesses to offer a token, souvenir, or coupon as we encourage guests to visit and learn more about them over the next six months,” added Shah. “We are offering three levels of sponsorship, $50, $75, and $100, a sliding scale for business owners to include a coupon ($100 level) or a fun and useful item ($50 or $75 level, based on the value of the gift item). We intentionally made these sponsorships low-cost and the value of promotion offers a long time frame from mid-April through October. One-hundred percent of the funds will go to support the expenses related to the Chatham 250 celebration and festivities.”
“We are so fortunate to live in a diverse community, and with diversity comes opportunity to learn and grow,” said Shirille Lee, Communities in Schools of Chatham County Youth F.I.R.S.T. Student Support Specialist and Co-Liaison of the Chatham 250 Events and Activities Committee. “In developing our Chatham 250 Passports, we wanted to incorporate the wealth of Chatham County. We wanted activities that were family oriented and representative of the diversity of Chatham. Our goal is to have at least one activity that will appeal to every Chathamite. As Chatham County celebrates 250 years, we hope our residents will take advantage of the activities planned and adventures highlighted to hear, feel, see, smell and taste Chatham!”
Those with any questions about the Chatham 250 Passport Experience may contact Hillary Pollan, Chatham 250 Project Manager, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More details on the Chatham 250 Passport Experience and other Chatham 250 activities can be found at www.chatham250.com.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 April 2021 09:50
Automotive Exhaust Maker Expands In Wayne County PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 10:57

AP Emissions Technologies, an automotive exhaust manufacturer, will create 96 new jobs in Wayne County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest $400,000 to expand its e-commerce operations in Goldsboro.

“North Carolina-grown companies, like AP Emissions Technologies know the strength of our workforce, economy and quality of life,” said Governor Cooper. “We are delighted to have this family-owned company continue to invest and create more job opportunities in eastern North Carolina.”

AP Emission Technologies started manufacturing exhaust and emissions products for cars and trucks in 1927. In 1974, the company opened a factory in Goldsboro and added a distribution center in 1995. The company offers a complete line of products to wholesale and retail customers who service the professional automotive repair trade. AP Emissions’ expansion will repurpose the company’s reclamation building to increase the capacity of its e-commerce operations and provide dedicated space in support of this growing segment of their business. The company’s production, warehouse and distribution operations will be expanded to meet the increased sales activity.

“At AP Emissions Technologies we’ve always believed in giving back to our community and we are proud to continue to invest in this area and continue to bring opportunities to the members of the Wayne County community” said Jessica Wolfe, HR Manager at AP Emissions Technologies.  

“When 90-year-old companies reinvest in North Carolina, it underscores our ability to support their long-term success,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “As one of Wayne County’s largest employers, this expansion will allow AP Emissions Technologies to continue evolving with its e-commerce functions and innovative approaches to manufacturing and distribution.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led a team of partners in supporting AP Emission’s decision to locate these operations in North Carolina. New positions include welders, machinists, stockers, forklift operators, setup operators, general and managerial staff. The average annual salary for all new positions is $40,760, creating a potential payroll impact of more than $3.9 million per year. Wayne County’s overall average annual wage is $38,401.

A performance-based grant of $125,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help with AP Emissions Technologies’ expansion plans. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region, North Carolina Community College System, Wayne Community College, Wayne County, Wayne County Development Alliance and North Carolina’s Southeast.


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