Biz Roundup: Rowan Chamber set to host Disney Institute

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 3, 2022

SALISBURY – The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce is bringing back the Disney Institute’s nationally renowned professional development course to Salisbury.

Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement will be held on Thursday, May 5 at the West End Plaza.

“We are very excited to bring the Disney Institute back to Salisbury,” Disney Institute Chair Jess Vess (Crosby Scholars) said in a news release. “The Disney Institute program in 2019 was a huge success and we look forward to helping employers address the current labor shortage issues with this creative program to retain and recruit employees.”

This one-day event will help area professionals begin to understand the power of leadership values, discover how employee loyalty can be established and gain insight into how organizational culture is strengthened. Participants gain an awareness of the systems and processes that can make exceptional customer service achievable and learn how to integrate personal creativity and organizational processes to support continuous improvement within their organization.

This day of Disney Institute training uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to inspire individuals and organizations to enhance their own customer experience using Disney principles as their guide.

Early bird registration by April 18 is $249 for Chamber members and $349 for non-members. Registration includes all course materials as well as lunch, parking, etc.  For more information or to register, call 704-633-4221, email, or visit

Touch a Truck set for April 9 in Salisbury

SALISBURYThe 200 block of South Lee Street and 100 block of East Bank Street in Salisbury will be closed from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. on April 9 for Downtown Salisbury’s Touch a Truck fair.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for interactive experiences with firetrucks, police cars, helicopters and more.

The City Hall lot will be closed from 5 p.m. April 8 until after the event on April 9. Signage and barricades will be in place.

Salisbury searches for vendors to participate in Health and Wellness Fair

SALISBURY — The city of Salisbury Health and Wellness Committee are looking for vendors to participate in the employee Health and Wellness Expo on May 4.

Businesses that fall under health, wellness or safety in Downtown Salisbury are invited to participate. The committee is asking vendors to bring a door prize in lieu of a fee. If vendors are not able to attend, a general downtown table with information can be arranged, manned or empty.

For questions and applications, email the city of Salisbury Health and Wellness Committee at

The deadline to sign up is April 8.

Austrian Trade Commission Awards EGGER Group for Lexington Investment

LEXINGTON — EGGER, one of the world’s leading wood-based materials suppliers, announced it has received an award from the Austrian Trade Commission for its investment in its Lexington, N.C. facility, the company’s first plant located in North America.

The three-phase, 15-year greenfield project represents a total investment of $700 million and an estimated 770 jobs.

EGGER was nominated in the category of Investment for the 2022 US-A-BIZ Awards which recognizes outstanding achievements by Austrian companies in the U.S. market. The winners and nominees are evidence of Austrian entrepreneurship, innovation and commitment in one of the most competitive markets in the world. 

“We are extremely proud of our investments in the Lexington facility, and the positive impact on Davidson County and surrounding areas. We look forward to continuing our investments here for years to come,” Gerald Jobst, plant manager for finance and administration at EGGER Wood Products, said in a news release. “Whether working with local suppliers or hiring from the local workforce, contributing to the regional economy continues to be a priority for EGGER.”

Construction on the 1 million-square-foot facility, which focuses on raw particleboard manufacturing and particleboard lamination, began in April 2018 with production officially starting in September 2020 despite challenges from the ongoing pandemic.

Phase two of development, which will focus on finishing lines for added production value, is set to begin in 2025 with an additional 300 jobs planned over the next 10 – 15 years. Currently, the plant employs more than 450 employees, including apprentices.

Last year, EGGER announced an additional $50 million phase one investment for a third lamination line and a new recycling center. The additions are set to be complete by the end of 2022 and early 2023, respectively, and create 35 to 40 new jobs over the next year.

The US-A-BIZ awards ceremony was held on March 25 in Santa Monica, California.

Kannapolis to benefit from pedestrian and bicycle safety program

KANNAPOLIS — For the fourth year, the city of Kannapolis is one of 22 communities that will benefit from participation in Watch for Me NC, a comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle safety program aimed at reducing bicycle and pedestrian crashes and fatalities in North Carolina. 

Now in its ninth year, the Watch for Me NC program provides training for law enforcement officers on ways to improve safety for road users in their areas. Groups also will receive technical assistance, materials and purchased media promotion such as radio advertisements to bring attention to driver awareness and pedestrian and bicycle safety.

“As the city’s population, especially in downtown Kannapolis, grows, it is very important for police officers to educate pedestrians and motorists on how to safely share the roads,” Kannapolis spokesperson Annette Privette Keller said in a news release.  “Everyone needs to be aware of each other when driving, walking, running, biking and so forth. Education about the proper rules for driving, using crosswalks, bicycle paths, and more are all part of the Watch for Me NC Program. Last year, the department also received a grant for children’s bicycle helmets that were distributed to the public.”

The program leverages the strengths of law enforcement and public education to encourage safe and secure places to walk and bike. 

The 2022 partner communities and counties are:
• Apex (Wake)
• Beaufort (Carteret)
• Bogue Banks Coalition (Carteret)
• Carrboro (Orange)
• Chapel Hill (Orange)
• Cornelius (Mecklenburg)
• Creedmoor (Granville)
• Davidson (Mecklenburg)
• East Carolina University (Pitt)
• Elizabeth City (Pasquotank)
• Forest City (Rutherford)
• Fuquay-Varina (Wake)
• Greensboro (Guilford)
• Greenville (Pitt)
• Kannapolis (Cabarrus)
• Kinston (Lenoir)
• Kill Devil Hills (Dare)
• Morrisville (Wake)
• Murphy (Cherokee)
• Shelby (Cleveland)
• Sparta (Alleghany)
• Wendell (Wake)

The UNC Highway Safety Research Center provides technical support with program implementation and evaluation. For more information about the program, visit


Jay Efird

Kannapolis native Efird honored for sales achievement

Jay W. Efird, a representative of Modern Woodmen of America in Concord, has been named to Modern Woodmen’s President’s Council.

This distinction recognizes the Kannapolis native’s high achievement in the sales of financial products to meet families’ protection, savings and retirement needs.  Efird ranks among the organization’s representatives nationwide. Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America is a fraternal financial services organization offering financial products and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.

The Modern Woodmen office is located at 860 Craigmont Lane NW, Concord and the phone number is 704-244-8353.