Biz Roundup: Reservation deadline approaches for Chamber’s Power in Partnership breakfast

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2022

SALISBURY — The deadline for reservations is noon on April 19 for the Rowan County Chamber’s April 21 Power in Partnership breakfast.

The event will be held at 7:30 a.m. at Trinity Oaks. Keynote speakers are Tom Loeblein and Tim Norris from Healthcare Management Consultants who will present “3 Keys To Achieving a Healthy Organization.” The event is being sponsored by Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.

Loeblein is the president/CEO of Healthcare Management Consultants and joined the company in 1992. He is a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant, a charter member of the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants, a Kolbe Certified™ Consultant and a Certified Financial Planner Professional.

Norris is Vice President and Managing Partner of Healthcare Management Consultants, Inc. He has over 30 years of experience in human resources, organizational development, succession planning and strategic planning at the Fortune 500 corporate level and with small businesses. Norris is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources through the HR Certification Institute, a Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources through the Society For Human Resources Management and is a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant. Norris is also a Kolbe Certified™ Consultant and completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Coach Master Training program.

Cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. The price includes the cost of breakfast and the program. Contact the Chamber for information on reservations or sponsorship opportunities at 704-633-221 or

The last Power in Partnership will be held on May 19. It will be the Leadership Rowan Graduation and will feature nationally recognized leadership speaker Helen Little. The PIP program takes a break in the summer and will resume in September.

U.S. Secretary of Labor signs agreement with Austrian official at EGGER’s Linwood facility

LINWOOD — U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh visited Linwood last week for a ceremony at EGGER Wood Products during which he and Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Dr. Margarete Schramböck signed a memorandum of understanding to expand Registered Apprenticeships among Austrian companies and Austrian-invested companies in the U.S. to promote job creation in both countries.

Austria invested a total of $17.18 billion in the U.S. in 2020, sustaining 33,500 jobs primarily in the areas of industrial equipment, software and IT services, according to a news release.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo also signed the MOU between the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education and Commerce and Austria’s Federal Ministries for Digital and Economic Affairs, Labor, Education, Science and Research.

“Registered Apprenticeships are a proven model for workers and employers that create paths to good paying, middle class jobs,” Walsh said in a news release. “The partnership will help promote the establishment, growth and diversification of Registered Apprenticeship programs. Through these programs, we can increase foreign investment in the U.S. and expand opportunities for America’s workers.” 

The ceremony at EGGER Wood Products in Linwood, the Austrian-based company’s first manufacturing plant in North America.

EGGER is an Austrian firm that started a Registered Apprenticeship program in partnership with the Davidson-Davie Community College, based off experience with the Austrian apprenticeship model. EGGER’s program has 30 apprentices currently enrolled and is planning to enroll 12 additional apprentices this year alone.

“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding reinforces the strong bilateral relationship between Austria and the United States and recognizes the added-value of Austrian-style apprenticeships in the U.S.,” Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Dr. Margarete Schramböck said in a news release. “Apprenticeships benefit our economies and societies, ensure a talent pool of skilled workers, and can positively influence a company’s innovation capabilities and productivity. I am very pleased that Austria’s apprenticeship model continues to serve as inspiration for other companies in the U.S.” 

Specifically, the MOU will promote the exchange of ideas and best practices for expanding apprenticeship programs in both countries. The U.S. currently has similar MOUs with Germany and Switzerland to establish new apprenticeship programs, increase awareness of opportunities and create career pathways for Registered Apprentices.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate improves in March

The state’s seasonally adjusted March unemployment rate was 3.5%, decreasing 0.2 of a percentage point from February’s revised rate, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Seasonally adjusted means seasonal hiring patterns were taken into account.

The national rate decreased 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.6%. North Carolina’s unemployment rate decreased 1.7 percentage points from a year ago. The number of people employed increased 25,123 over the month to 4,853,239 and increased 191,889 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 9,880 over the month to 177,303 and decreased 80,734 over the year.

Seasonally adjusted total non-farm employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, increased 18,100 to 4,712,800 in March. Major industries experiencing increases were construction, 4,200; education and health services, 4,000; manufacturing, 3,200; government, 2,200; professional & business services, 2,000; leisure and hospitality services, 1,100; other services, 1,100; information, 1,000; and financial activities, 700. Major industries experiencing decreases were trade, transportation and utilities, 1,300; and mining & logging, 100.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27, when the county unemployment rates for March 2022 will be released.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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