Local Government
Buncombe, Haywood Transylvania Residents Can Apply For Food Assistance After Tropical Storm PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 01 October 2021 16:52
Resident in three western counties impacted by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred can apply for help buying food through the Disaster Food and Nutrition Services (D-FNS), or Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) beginning Monday, Oct. 4, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced. 
NCDHHS received federal authority to implement the program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Residents in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties will be able to apply for help buying food through the Disaster Food and Nutrition Services, or Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (D-SNAP) between Oct. 4-7, 2021.
The program is open to individuals not currently receiving Food and Nutrition Services benefits and who were affected by remnants of Tropical Storm Fred. Benefits may be available to individuals that would not normally be eligible for Food and Nutrition Services.
"This program will help people who have suffered losses due to Tropical Storm Fred buy food for their families," said Tara Myers, NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Employment, Inclusion and Economic Stability. "Anyone who lives in these three counties and needs this help should apply as soon as they can."
Eligible households will receive a one-time benefit on a special debit card (called an EBT card) to help buy food. The exact amount will depend on household size, but a family of one would receive $234, a family of four would receive $782 and larger families would receive more.
To apply:
Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania county residents who were impacted by Tropical Storm Fred and not currently receiving Food and Nutrition Service Benefits who want to apply for help buying food can use the D-SNAP Prescreener Form and submit it to a secure county email at the email address listed below. Residents can also submit the D-SNAP Prescreener Form via fax, telephone, drop-box or do so in person at designated application sites beginning Monday, Oct, 4 through Thursday, Oct.7. They can also complete their application ahead of time and bring it with them to DSS by downloading the form in English or Spanish.
Please note – All pre-screener forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7. Any pre-screener form or application submitted by email, fax or drop box and received after 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7 will not be a valid submission and will not be processed for payment.
Buncombe County Department of Social Services
     40 Coxe Ave.
     Asheville, NC 28801
     (828) 250-5500 telephone | (828) 250-6235 fax
      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
     7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday
     7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday
Haywood County Department of Social Services 
     157 Paragon Parkway
     Clyde, NC 28721
     (828) 452-6620 telephone | 828-452-6752 fax
      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
     7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Transylvania County Department of Social Services 
     106 E. Morgan St.
     Brevard, NC 28712
     828-884-3174 telephone | 828-884-3261 fax
      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
     8:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday
To be eligible, a person must: 
Live in Buncombe, Haywood or Transylvania counties. 
Have suffered losses/damages related to remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, such as damage to property, or loss of income.
Have proof of identity and proof of residency (if available).
Meet special disaster income limits.
Not currently receiving help to buy food through the FNS program. Residents in these counties already receiving FNS can also get extra help buying food, but do not need to fill out a D-SNAP application. They can get more information about how to get the extra help here.
While Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania county residents are encouraged to apply at the Department of Social Services in the county of their residence, they can also apply in person at any of the three eligible counties. NCDHHS will post information on locations and hours of the sites in each county. Residents in these counties can also dial 2-1-1 for information on application sites in their county.
Wait times should be anticipated, and county officials will do everything they can to process applications as quickly as possible.
Residents in these counties who need assistance with applying for D-SNAP can have an Authorized Representative apply for benefits on their behalf. These includes residents who don’t have transportation, are disabled or are physically not able to apply for D-SNAP for themselves. Persons who are elderly or who are disabled are strongly encouraged to name an Authorized Representative to complete an application for D-SNAP on their behalf. 
An authorized representative is an individual designated by the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) unit to apply for D-SNAP benefits, use D-SNAP benefits to purchase food for the D-SNAP unit or both apply and use D-SNAP benefits on behalf of the DSNAP unit. The Authorized Representative can  complete this form in English or Spanish or provide a signed statement from the applicant/head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative and to make an application on their household's behalf.
Authorized Representatives must bring proof of identity and proof of identity of the applicant/head of household when they apply on site for D-SNAP benefits on behalf of the client.
To prevent the spread of COVD-19, individuals wishing to apply for DSNAP should wear face coverings in all county offices. 
Last Updated on Friday, 01 October 2021 16:55
Corning To Expand Operations In Catawba County PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 29 September 2021 10:36

Corning Incorporated will invest $150 million to expand operations in Catawba County, creating 200 jobs in Hickory.

“As we celebrate Manufacturing Week in our state, it’s exciting to see a global manufacturer like Corning expand yet again in a great rural county like Catawba,” said Governor Cooper. “Corning understands North Carolina’s strengths as a business location, thanks to their firsthand experience with our skilled workforce, customized training programs and great quality of life.”

“With this capacity expansion, Corning is addressing demand from leading network operators -- in particular AT&T, which previously announced plans to significantly expand its fiber footprint," said Michael A. Bell, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Optical Communications. "We believe the industry is in the early stages of a major growth cycle, and we’re turning once again to the highly skilled local workforce in Catawba County to help us meet the demand. We deeply appreciate the support of local and state officials, particularly Governor Roy Cooper, Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders, and state lawmakers.”

Corning's Optical Communications business operates cable facilities in Hickory, Newton and Winston-Salem, and optical fiber facilities in Wilmington and Concord. Its Optical Communications headquarters is in Charlotte.

“Corning is one of North Carolina’s flagship manufacturers, helping us maintain our number one standing for manufacturing in the Southeast,” said Secretary Sanders. “Our state’s commitment to education and workforce training remains fundamental to our ability to supply the skilled, diverse workers companies look for in a business location.”

While salaries will vary based on position, the average wage for all the new jobs will be $55,000, which is above the Catawba County average of $43,920.

Corning’s project will be facilitated by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Using a formula that takes into account the tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $2,041,200, spread over 12 years.

State payments only occur following verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

Corning’s JDIG agreement could also move as much as $226,800 into a fund that helps rural communities across the state attract business in the future. When companies select a site located in a Tier 2 county such as Catawba, their grant agreements move some of the new tax revenue into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. Local communities in more economically challenged areas of the state use grants from this fund to build public infrastructure projects, which can improve a community’s ability to attract companies to their regions.

“Corning is a global company with many options when it comes to selecting a business location,” said N.C. State Senator Dean Proctor. “We’re proud of the skilled workers in Catawba County and our region who help keep us competitive and set such a high bar for excellence.”

“Many local people and organizations helped bring about today’s good news,” said N.C. Representative Mitchell Setzer. “Our community will continue to offer strong support for Corning and its employees as the company enters this next exciting phase of growth in Catawba County.”

Today’s announcement comes as the state celebrates North Carolina Manufacturing Week, September 26 – October 2. Earlier today, Governor Cooper issued a proclamation marking the importance of the state’s manufacturing sector, which employs more than 452,000 North Carolinians representing 12.5 percent of the state’s workforce. North Carolina is home to the largest manufacturing workforce in the southeastern United States.

Partnering with N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, Catawba County, the City of Hickory and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.


Forsyth County Appoints CFO PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 24 September 2021 17:21
Forsyth County Manager Dudley Watts announced on Thursday that Terri Goodman has been selected to serve as the County's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective Oct. 2.   
Goodman has served the county as a Deputy CFO since 2010 and has more than 32 years of service with Forsyth County in the Finance Department. Her educational accomplishments include a Bachelor of Science degree from Wake Forest University with dual majors in Business and Spanish, graduating magna cum laude.  She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University with a concentration in Accounting and Finance.  
She has been an active community member, serving as president of the West Central Community Center and has served in leadership roles with various PTAs and in her faith community at College Park Baptist Church.  
"I am very excited for the opportunity to serve as the County’s next chief financial officer.  I thank the board and the manager for entrusting me with this responsibility and look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Forsyth County in this new role," said Goodman. 
Goodman will succeed Paul Fulton who has been the county’ CFO for more than 33 years and served the county for more than 47 years. Fulton will assist Goodman in special projects role during the transition through the end of December, when his retirement becomes effective.  
Fulton commented that he "couldn't be more pleased for Terri and for the County.  Her skills and knowledge of governmental finance and of the county will ensure a seamless and positive transition." 
The change in leadership comes at a time when the county is taking on the tremendous task of updating the automated systems for the local government's critical finance, human resources and business functions. The county has relied on a patchwork of legacy systems, developed in-house, and third party systems for many years.  Under Fulton's leadership the county has embarked on this challenging project that will serve the community for many years to come. 
Chatham County Issues Pfizer Booster Guidance PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 24 September 2021 16:25

As news comes from federal agencies about expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, the Chatham County Public Health Department continues to encourage more people to get their first dose as soon as possible.

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses

On Friday, September 24th, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommended that the following people who received their second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine:

  • Those who are 65 years of age and older, and residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes; and
  • Those who are 50 to 64 years old with certain cal conditions.

In addition, the CDC said the following people may receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, based on their individual benefits and risks:

  • Those who are 18 to 49 years old with 
  • Those 18 to 64 years old who work or live in settings that make them more likely to be exposed to COVID-19.

A few important facts 

  • Booster shots are only recommended for those who received the Pfizer vaccine. People who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines should not get a booster shot at this time.
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was already fully approved by the FDA for all individuals aged 16 and older as a two-dose series.
  • The booster dose is the same as the approved vaccine.

“There are three key points to make based on this news,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “First, all authorized COVID-19 vaccines continue to work very well against COVID-19, particularly in preventing serious illness and death. Second, some who received the Pfizer vaccine can benefit from a booster dose. This includes those who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or are at higher risk of getting exposed to COVID-19 based on where they work or live. Third, and most importantly, our ability to end this pandemic will depend on those who are not yet vaccinated getting their first and second doses.”

The Chatham County Public Health Department continues to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at its Siler City clinic, but there are several locations in Chatham County that offer the Pfizer vaccine and are giving the booster, including:

  • Siler City Pharmacy
  • Pittsboro Pharmacy
  • 501 Pharmacy in Chapel Hill
  • Walmart in Siler City
  • CVS Pharmacy in Chapel Hill and Siler City
  • Harris Teeter in Chapel Hill
  • Walgreens in Siler City and Pittsboro
  • StarMed Healthcare in Goldston (Wednesday afternoons at Goldston Town Hall)
  • Optum Healthcare in Pittsboro (Mondays and Thursdays at the Old Agricultural Building in downtown Pittsboro)

Get Your First Vaccine Dose Now

To best protect the Chatham County community, all individuals who are eligible should get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

As of September 23rd, Chatham County saw 131 new cases and 7% of tests returning positive over the previous week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While both case numbers and test percent positivity decreased from the previous seven days, there is still high community transmission of COVID-19 in Chatham, meaning that everyone in the county should continue to wear a mask in public indoor settings.

As of Thursday, September 23rd, 55% of Chatham County residents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 52% were considered fully vaccinated.

“COVID-19 is still a threat in Chatham County. Like communities across the state and country, we have had deaths during the recent surge, a stark reminder that this remains a deadly virus” added Zelek. “Our healthcare workers also continue to carry a heavy load. Let’s support them and each one another by doing the easy thing and getting a COVID-19 vaccine.”


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