1 March 2013 Volume 13 Number 3 State of the Community Thank you to everyone who joined us for the State of the Community Breakfast on February 12 th! If you were unable to be with us please take a look at pages 6-8 and find out more. 11 Ribbon Cutting Longhorn Steakhouse March :45am, 3510 Western Blvd., Jacksonville 14 Ribbon Cutting Crystal Coast Tent & Event Rentals, LLC and American Dream Cakes 12noon, 416 Cedar Point Blvd., Cedar Point, NC Attendees at the State of the Community Breakfast Ribbon Cuttings Business is booming in Onslow County! Check out all the Ribbon Cuttings on page Ribbon Cutting Through the Looking Glass 1pm, 101 Church Street, Swansboro, NC 21 Business Expo 10:00am-2:00pm, Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center, Jacksonville 23 7 th Annual Trades Day 7:00am, Coastal Carolina Community College For more information call (910) Hairtage Salon and Day Spa African American Heritage Trail (AAHT) The African American Heritage Trail celebrated its Walkway Dedication on February 1 st. Check out page 5 for more photos and information! Ribbon Cutting for the Walkway Please Welcome Laurette Leagon to the Chamber and the Community! Laurette began her work as Chamber President on February 25 th after moving to the area from Elkin, NC. Please help us welcome her to our wonderful community and Chamber!
2 Chamber Connection - March Volume 13 - #3 Chamber Officials: Laurette Leagon,, President Mat C. Raymond III, Chairman Staff: Welcome to the Million Heir-Williams,,Vice President Janet Bowen Director of Operations and Governmental Affairs Christina Fernandez Membership Manager Renee Parks Special Events & Project CARE Manager Dawn Jensen Military Affairs Manager Ashlynn Robertson Marketing Manager & Administrative Assistant Clemonteen McCummings Receptionist Arthine Thomas Minority and Small Business Services Manager Tourism: Theresa Carter Tourism Director Stephanie Key Tourism Assistant 1099 Gum Branch Road, Jacksonville NC The Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce s mission is to be the voice of business in collaborative partnership that work to build and enhance a healthy business climate and a vibrant quality of life. The Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce s vision is to recognized as a model in building collaborative partnerships that encourage business growth and sustainable community development. Member Benefit Did you know? We give discounts to Chamber Members for events including the Annual Business Expo and the Holiday Parade. Join us for the next Member Welcome Reception on April 18th at 9am to learn about benefits of being a Chamber Member. For more information, call Christina at , ext Featured Members Its tax time again! Our Membership offers you these referrals for your tax preparation needs: Caron s Services Company Jacksonville or Aman & Peters, PA 505 New Bridge Street C. Gar y Lanvermeier, P.A. 405 A Western Blvd H. Donald Scott, CPA, PA 8402 Richlands Hwy, Richlands J. Milton Uzzell, CPA, PA 825 Gum Branch Rd, Suite McGladrey & Pullen, LLP 300 N. 3rd St, 5 th Floor, Wilmington William M. Rogers, CPA, PA 825 Gum Branch Rd, Suite Escrow Consulting & Accounting, LLC 722 Cedar Point Blvd, Cedar Point Williams Scarborough Smith Gray, LLP CPAs 824 Gum Branch Road, Suite K Naturally Affordable. Naturally Comfortable. piedmontng.com Board of Directors Mat C. Raymond, III Chairman Elliott Potter Past Chairman Scott Riggs Chairman Elect Anthony Harvey Division Chair, Investor Relation Matt Ray Division Chair, Governmental Affairs Jeff Clark Division Chair, Administration (Treasurer) Bob Dupuis Division Chair, Military Affairs Dr. Ronald Lingle Division Chair, Partnerships Chuck Uzzell Member At Large Laurette Leagon President Ed Garris Robert Dickerson Joey Carter Terry Branton Jim Roddy Dan Oliver Bobby Mills, Jr. Tiffany Choice Melissa Leifheit LaDonna McAllister Pamela Thomas Jeff Hudson Paul Buchanan Dr. Richard Woodruff Mayor Sammy Phillips Dr. Ed Piper, Ph.D. Budda Howard Anne Shaw Col Mitchell Cassell BGen Thomas Gorry Col Darrel Thacker MajGen Mark Clark Sheila Pierce Dr. Kathy Spencer Dr. Tommy Morgan Craig Moore
3 Chamber Connection - March Volume 13 - #3 Member Renewals 30 Acres and a Mule Farm A Dog s Dream American Dream Cakes Animal House Atlantic Marine Corps Communities, LLC; a Lend Lease Community Broaster Chicken & Ribs at the Hummingbird Restaurant Carmike 16 Carolina Convention Services & Rentals Century 21 Cherie Schulz Realty Firm Coca-Cola Bottling Company Diana s Dance Academy Act II Dunkin Donuts East Carolina Brace & Limb Co., Inc. Eric Kopka, Attorneys at Military Law Flatwoods Outfitters Foundation for Hospice Gina Collins Mancini, DMD J.C. Hardee I Fix NC J & T Siding, Inc. LeBleu Bottled Water Living Water Christian School Margolis Men s Store MCCS Camp Lejeune Michaelangelo s Pizza Camp Lejeune Montford Point Marine Association Mr. Woody Myers National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS) New Beginnings Child Care New Life Family Worship Center MCCS New River MCAS Onsite Computer Service, Inc. Onslow Fitness Center, Inc. Operation Homefront of North Carolina Panache Wedding, Catering & Photography Services PNC Bank Prudential Hometown, REALTORS Public Radio East Purple Crown Massage and Bodywork Therapy Ray Development & Consulting, LLC Sara Margaret Inn Bed & Breakfast H. Donald Scott, C.P.A., PA Something Special Wedding and Events Sunset Inn The Little Bank, Inc. Walgreens WCTI TV 12, Fox 8, Fox 14 WNCT-Chanel 9 New Members E & R Total Services Cleaning and Transportation Jacksonville, NC Mr. Eric O. Johnson yahoo.com Cleaning Services/ Transportation Heavens Best Carpet Cleaning 188 Seashore Dr., North Topsail Beach, NC Mr. Stefan Gee Carpet Cleaning Freedom Chiropractic 445 Western Blvd., Suite O, Jacksonville, NC Dr. Sara Stroud live.com Healthcare WAVQ Radio 907 Lejeune Blvd., Jacksonville, NC Ms. Cathy Clark yahoo.com Broadcast Radio Promised Hearts New Bern, NC Ms. Pam DuVal hotmail.com Wedding Services North Carolina I.T. Professionals, Inc. PO Box 7066, Jacksonville, NC Mr. Shaun Selman ncitprofessionals.com Computer Repair HoneyBaked Ham Co. & Café 1250 Western Blvd Cross Point Shopping Center Jacksonville, NC Ms. Jackie Barton gmail.com Restaurant Servpro of Carteret & East Onslow Counties 102 Seth Thomas Lane, Swansboro, NC Vaughan Branch Water Damage Restoration Grant s Creek Nursery, Inc. 763 Grants Creek Road, Jacksonville, NC Ms. Meredith Croom yahoo.com Landscaping /Nursery Mr. Appliance Wilmington 9613 Ploof Road SE, Leland, NC Ms. Sarah Nasypany yahoo.com Appliances Sales/Service Jacksonville Physical Therapy Center 2200 Gum Branch Road, Suite G Jacksonville, NC Ms. Holli Miner Physical Therapy Culligan Water 903 W.B. McLean Blvd., Cape Carteret, NC Mr. Eric Leiblein hotmail.com Water Sales/Service CAPT Efren S. Saenz, USN (Ret) Hubert, NC gmail.com Individual Membership Col Robert L. Hayes, USMC (Ret) Swansboro, NC hotmail.com Individual Membership 827 New Bridge St How about a bank you can believe in? Stop by First Bank today and discover why thousands have made us their first choice in community banking. Your Community Bank Since Jacksonville Locations To Serve You: 400 Western Blvd MEMBER FDIC
4 Chamber Connection - March Volume 13 - #3 Need to contact Onslow CHIP? Please us at or Twitter: # OnslowCHIP Facebook: Chip Chat - Health Track March Is National Nutrition Month (Nnm) The experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supply resources for promoting NNM at www. eatright.org/nnm/. Their campaign Eat Right. Every Day. Your Way complements the USDA s initiative R egister ed Dietitian Day M a rch 13 Registered Dietitian Day increases awareness of RDs & their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives. A mer ican Diabetes A lert Day M a rch 26 Take the Diabetes Risk Test offered at R a ising Gr een for the Gir ls Onslow Women s He a lth Fund BUNCO Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 14 from 6-9pm at the Marina Café for OWHF s Annual Bunco Tournament. You can find OWHF on Facebook and follow us for up-to-date details on events. Please contact OWHF at for more info. Lions Club Fundr a iser Stop by the Marina Café and support the Jacksonville Host/New River Lions Club and enjoy an Oyster Roast and Pig Pickin Fundraiser on Saturday March 9 th starting at 5:00pm. $30 per person, kids 12 and under for free. Purchase tickets for these raffle prizes: A quilt, an afghan blanket, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and fabulous door prizes! For event information call Curtis Erickson at (910) or James Townsend at (910) Proceeds benefitting the blind and other Lions charities. Ladies Day Special! Visit Liberty Tire, Inc. located 1137 Gum Branch Road in Jacksonville on Friday, March 15 th for an Oil Change for $29 (most cars) which includes Oil Change, top off all fluid levels, rotate tires and correct tire pressure! Let Eddie Ray Horne and staff service your automotive needs! Did you know? Pro-Type Services has expanded its screening services. We now offer skills assessments, FBI fingerprinting, I-9 E-verification, drug screening and so much more to fit your business needs. Call Caroline Buchele at , ext. 6# for more information. Welcome! Prudential Hometown, REALTORS, is continuing to expand in 2013 and would like to introduce and welcome three (3) new sales professionals to their team. Melinda Highers, Jonathan Withers and Nicholas Gradus are excellent and enthusiastic additions to their growing family! Wow! Jammie Garlock of CENTURY 21 Sweyer & Associates-Jacksonville Achieves CENTURION Producer Award for Individual Sales Production. This is an unbelievable recognition which puts her in the top 2% of all CENTURY 21 agents in the world based off Gross Closed Commissions. We are extremely proud of Jammie and are glad she has qualified for this special award. said Shirley Morrison, Broker/Owner of Century 21 Sweyer & Associates Jacksonville. Congratulations! CENTURY 21 Sweyer & Associates is proud to announce and would like to congratulate their Top Agents for the month of December in the Jacksonville office. Top Listing Agents were Taylor Greene, Jammie Garlock, and Scott Morrison. Top Selling Agents were Scott Morrison, Sheila Minor, and Jammie Garlock. Top Producers were DeAnna Corzo, Jennifer Stevermer, and Taylor Greene. Great Job! Coldwell Banker Fountain Realty is pleased to announce their top agents for the month of January Top producers were #1 Terri Alphin Smith and #2 Sara Coppola. Top listing agents were #1 Terri Alphin Smith and #2 William Sanders. Top buyer agents were #1 Sara Coppola and #2 Pattie Locke. Way to go! Four of CENTURY 21 Sweyer s agents, Scott Morrison, Deryl Smith, Taylor Greene, and Jammie Garlock were recently awarded during the prestigious JBOR Circle of Winners Awards to honor the individual production of real estate agents in the Jacksonville community. We are extremely proud of our 2012 award winners. They each achieved their goals with the level of professionalism and quality service second to none. said Shirley Morrison, co-owner of CENTURY 21 Sweyer & Associates Jacksonville office. Miracle-Ear Hearing Aid Center is NOW offering HEARING AIDS AT NO COST TO FEDERAL WORKERS AND RETIREES! Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Insurance pays total cost of 2 Miracle-Ear ME200 series aids. If you have Federal Government Insurance with enrollment code #104, #105, #111, or #112, you are covered for hearing aids with no out of pocket expenses. 1 yr. warranty. If you have a basic plan, we have factory pricing for non-quali ers. Discover How Much Better Your World Can Sound... GRAND RE-OPENING JACKSONVILLE Miracle-Ear Center 215 Western Blvd., Suite 300 Call today!
5 Chamber Connection - March Volume 13 - #3 J a c k s o n v i l l e Onslow A f r i c a n-a m e r i c a n Herita g e T ra i l Walkway Dedicat i o n The planning began in the latter part of At the February 2012 Phase One Culmination Ceremony, orders for engraved bricks began. The 62 bricks were constructed in a walkway leading to the Linda L. Richardson/Sports Hall of Fame site at the Commerce Center to commemorate the original 13 sites on the trail and people/places in the community. BBB&D Enterprises constructed the walkway. The Walkway Dedication was held on Friday, February 1 with approximately 70 people in attendance. Chamber Board Chair, Matt Raymond, III, and Interim Chamber President Million Heir-Williams presided. Minister Adrienne James, Chamber member, gave the invocation. Arthine Thomas, Minority and Small Business Services Manger, gave an overview of the trail. Jacksonville Mayor, Sammy Phillips, presented a proclamation proclaiming the day African American Heritage Day. The Georgetown High School Alumni Choir gave 2 stirring musical selections. Minority Business Services Committee Chair, Veronica Martinez introduced the speaker. Mr. Johnnie Southerland, Director of Strategic Planning at North Carolina Central University in Durham and Richlands High School/UNC-Ch grad, delivered inspiring remarks. The program ended with the ribbon cutting of the walkway. It was very moving to see the emotions displayed by those that had a loved one immortalized with a brick. Arthine Thomas Minority and Small Business Services Manager
6 Chamber Connection - March Volume 13 - # State of the Community On February 12 th 2013, the Chamber of Commerce held its annual State of the Community breakfast at the MCAS New River Officer s Club, sponsored by Jones- Onslow EMC. Without the support of our sponsors we would not be able to bring you these events. Thank you to Col Cassell, LtCol Pierson and New River Air Station for hosting the event and to the staff at the Officer s Club for all of their assistance. Thank you to Jacksonville Media Services for recording the event. We would like to thank all of our guest speakers who work to make Onslow County the best it can be and who gave their time to make this event a success: Col Darrell Thacker, Deputy Commander, MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune LtCol Stephen Pierson, Executive Officer, Marine Corps Air Station New River Jeffrey L. Hudson, Manager, Onslow County Sammy Phillips, Mayor, City of Jacksonville Dr. Kathy Spencer, Superintendent, Onslow County Schools Dr. Ed Piper, Chief Executive Officer, Onslow Memorial Hospital Dr. Ronald K. Lingle, President, Coastal Carolina Community College Matt Ray, Division Chairman Governmental Affairs Committee, Chamber of Commerce Mat C. Raymond, III, Chairman of the Board, Chamber of Commerce Million Heir-Williams, Vice President, Chamber of Commerce George Speake, Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church Each speaker recounted with pride the progress and accomplishments made last year, and the plans for the future. A resounding theme was partnerships and collaboration. As we have heard in the past, we could not be successful and cannot continue to be successful in the future without working together, communicating with one another and being active participants in our community. From the speakers there was a general respect for one another and what each brings to the table. Last and certainly not least, thank you to all who took the time to attend the State of the Community Breakfast and also work together for the sake of our community. We have included highlights from each speaker s presentation in this issue of the Chamber Connection. If you would like to hear the speeches in total you may watch the State of the Community on G10 and Charter 14. Dr. Ed Piper My presentation covers three areas; Organizational Culture, Accomplishments and Contribution 2012, and The Future under the Affordable Care Act. Organizational Culture: Onslow Memorial Hospital s culture is about becoming better every day in reducing costs and improving quality, services and the patient experience with the human passion of sensing others needs in an environment of patient and family centered care where we treat everyone with dignity and respect, information sharing, collaboration, and partnership. Our culture is embraced by a Code of Conduct which all members of our staff sign a pledge to support in their Mayor Sammy Phillips The State of the City of Jacksonville is good. The Council has adopted and recently reviewed for future adoption a set of goals. Our fiscal condition is good but challenged. The financial condition is challenged by the effects of growth and the Council s desire to help improve the quality of life for our Citizens. Faith in the City s finances earned it very good bond ratings. The City s financial health was demonstrated in issuing $30 million in bonds for the construction of the new Center for Public Safetyand phase one of the Sturgeon City Civic and Environmental Education Center. The City Council has made the Clean & Green campaign a attitude, behavior and performance. Accomplishments and Contributions for 2012: We support many organizations to include the United Way, Relay for Life, Girls on the Run, Wounded Warriors, Bike MS, Bike Tour de Cure for diabetes, Partnership for Children and the Caring Community Clinic. We treated 64,000 patients in the Emergency Department, 6,000 surgical procedures of which 159 were with the davinci Robotic System, 3400 radiation treatments and delivered 1,875 babies, over $45 million in uncompensated care, recruited 16 physicians in such specialties such as Family Practice, Internal Medicine, OB-GYN, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Pulmonology and Urology, completed second phase of a two phase project implementing our electronic medical record. The Future: Under the Affordable Care Act, it will be very challenging for community hospitals to maintain their independence due to the financial implications by the reduction in reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid and the fact that hospitals will be in competition in the marketplace under the value based purchasing program whereby hospitals are reimbursed on national benchmark scores for quality and patient satisfaction. Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals key priority. The City recently reconfigured the advisory boards, commissions and committees. Now there are five main boards and committees which have clear advisory duties to the City Council. Phillips Bridge: This is a DOT project and we re happy that work has resumed. Jacksonville Landing The landing project will help remove slum and blight from the entrance to the City. It has been done in cooperation with the Onslow Board of Commissioners and the NC Wildlife Commission. Downtown Development is going well. Further Downtown Development requires cooperation and I m pleased that two Onslow Commissioners and two Councilmembers have been named to a group who will evaluate the role of the governments in this effort. $30 Million Center for Public Safety Building will not only provide a new Fire Station, Police and Fire Headquarters but also serve as a major focal point for the downtown area. Sturgeon City Civic and Environmental Education Center are responsible for population health. We have already initiated our Community Health Needs Assessment and identified four major areas to include Primary Care and access to Primary Care, Heart and Vascular, Cancer and Oncology, and Mental Health. We plan to form a coalition with other stakeholders in the community to improve these community health needs. Of concern is mental health. These folks live in the shadows of our community and live on an island of irrelevance surrounded by an ocean of indifference. They come to our Emergency Department shackled and chained and sometimes wait days before being shackled and chained again and taken to a psychiatric facility and in a couple of months they return to us again due to non compliance with their medication. These community members have lost their jobs, have lost their families, have lost income, have lost meaning and purpose, and have lost hope. Another concern is the rising epidemic of the abuse of pain medications related to narcotics to include abuse of Percocet, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, and Methadone. Obesity is another epidemic. Obesity has stricken 30% of our teenagers. The significance of obesity is that it leads to medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and renal disease. It has produced more than 2500 young people who have been through the Science, Technology and Leadership programs. A nonprofit is operating the main program and the new building which is raising more than $1.75 million for the building and the materials that will be inside the building. The building will have a 7,000 square foot space. The Freedom Fountain is an important and key element for downtown and for the City. Beirut Memorial Tree Grove 2013 is the 30th Anniversary of the Beirut Bomb Blast. The Beirut Memorial Trees over time have been damaged by storms, cars and time. Some of the trees will have to be moved to make way for the new entrance into Camp Lejeune. Family Friendly Events The Council has approved a concept of ensuring that there are some family-friendly events in Jacksonville. The Work of the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority has advanced some of these efforts and is working to not only put heads on beds in Jacksonville lodging facilities, but create travel destinations within Jacksonville.
7 Chamber Connection - March Volume 13 - #3 Jeffrey Hudson The truth is, we are a solid community being assailed by numerous, significant external forces. The effect that these forces will have upon Onslow County is uncertain. Primary forces acting on our community in the coming year will arise from the federal government, the state government, and the housing market. Unemployment continues to be a real concern for both North Carolina and Onslow County. A complication to our employment recovery will likely be the completion of the $3.2 billion in construction spending aboard our local bases. In 2015 those funds are projected to be fully expended and the short-term economic boost will end. Across the board budget cuts are scheduled to occur March 1st unless Congress and the White House strike an accord on at least $1.2 Dr. Ron Lingle trillion in additional deficit-reduction measures. Roughly $85 billion in spending cuts are planned to begin nationally next month and run through September 30th, and then about $110 billion in annual spending cuts would begin October 1st and continue for eight years. Turning from our federal government to our state government, the state s unemployment insurance solution will affect all employers; as the plan to repay the $2.4 billion in federal debt is implemented. This is projected to cost Onslow County Government an additional quarter-million dollars. An even larger task facing North Carolina requires modernization of the tax system. I learned that tax modernization likely means a broadening of sales tax to the purchase of nearly every good and service. In Onslow, where our sales tax has been historically strong and our property tax base historically weak, this is a considerable concern. This fiscal year, we relied on sales tax to cover nearly $30 million of our $170 million budget; a total of almost 18 percent. While sales tax is a strong source of revenue, the largest single source of county revenue is from the property tax. Property tax provides over $77 million to Onslow County. As we move forward into 2013, we must carefully track the construction market as a leading indicator of our local economy. One highlight of recent construction has been a surge in commercial permits. Although housing may be stabilizing, commercial growth is still on the rise as compared with prior years. First: Onslow County will continue to work to preserve the training mission of our military bases. This will help ensure their continued value to the federal government. Second: We must pursue economic diversity through continued expansion of our non-military business sectors, including agriculture and tourism. Third: Onslow County Government will continue implementing infrastructure improvements within the funding limits of the county s capital reserve fund. Fourth: Onslow County Government will work with our legislative delegation and the North Carolina Association of Counties to attempt to preserve the revenue sources upon which our local governments rely. And finally, in response to our uncertain future revenues, this week Onslow County Government will begin a systematic evaluation of our organizational structure, position allotments, departmental programs, and contributions to outside agencies. In accordance with the conservative fiscal policies of the Board of Commissioners, our goal shall be to enhance economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. Dr. Ron Lingle, President of Coastal Carolina Community College, provided a brief update, noting that the College continues to lead the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System on the Annual State Performance Measures. He then thanked the Board of Directors, the Governmental Affairs Committee, and particularly Million Williams and the staff of the Chamber for planning, organizing, and presenting the Annual State of the Community Breakfast. Dr. Lingle stated that, whether Congress and the President reach agreement on the combination of revenue increases and expenditure reductions required to avoid sequestration, or not, the defense budget will be dramatically reduced for the remainder of this fiscal year and for several years to come. That fact and the determination of the leadership of both Houses of the North Carolina General Assembly, to pay back the 2.5 billion dollar loan from the federal government over the next six years, virtually guarantee that the next few years will be extremely challenging for Onslow County. Challenges of this magnitude can only be successfully overcome by a combination of exceptional LEADERSHIP and exemplary TEAMWORK. Fortunately, Jacksonville and Onslow County are always AT THEIR BEST when the chips are down, the odds are long, and the price of failure is frighteningly high. If this community cannot handle the challenges that are coming, then they can t be handled!!! Dr. Kathy Spencer This is the 7th year I have stood and shared the message around K-12 public education. The issues that have been shared over that time remain the same, issues like student growth, funding impacts, and even new mandates facing educators. My focus will be on how the issues are challenging the system, and how we are serving the students and community at a high level of excellence. Let s start with community growth. The 5 year trend data shows student growth averaging over 300, with the increase at over 625. This has put a strain on our facilities. We also have 2 sites over 85 years old and limited in functionality. Recognizing the concerns of uncertainty, the challenge remains for the school system to meet growing student needs with strained facilities, shrinking state resources, and increasing operational expenses. The Board Of Education began in 2012 considering the Land Use Study and Long Range Facility Needs Assessment (LRFNA) completed by external experts. The 10 year projection documents 363 million dollars worth of anticipated needs. The Board identified from these the most critical for the next 5-6 years at 149 million and last Thursday addressed the scheduling of these. As a result of this recent work, the Board of Education has requested that County officials address the first portion of the needs immediately at $75 million, with an additional request for plans to fund the additional identified needs that are anticipated beginning This work has been challenging for all involved, as we consider issues of educational access, strategic planning, and quality of life for our community. Let s move to economic and workforce development issues. We can expect an increase in new employees to serve our growing student population. At our job fair we average 600 teacher candidates annually and this year hosted a fair for support staff that drew 200 potential employees. It is not unusual for OCS to employ over 800 new staff each year. As one of the fastest growing and thriving communities in NC, we are faced with some challenges, but are poised to set the stage as a leader. Now consider how our educational programs are contributing to the economic growth of our community. OCS is serving as a model across the state and country in areas that are directly part of economic development. The first is our global education work, which provides students and staff with a better awareness of the global economy and the changing opportunities facing graduates. Additionally, we are a NC STEM system, which focuses on engaging students in real-world problems/ engineering directly connected to growing workforce issues. There is ongoing interest in our CTE/Vocational initiatives. These programs are in areas of construction trades, automotive work, culinary work, and even Microsoft technology certifications. The impact of this work is twofold as graduates are ready to contribute to our local economy immediately, and as outside groups visit our community to learn from our school system s successes. Upcoming examples of this include: our Digital Promise opportunity; host systems from across the country; and host for the regional Odyssey of the Mind Competition. Finally, we have tremendous partnerships with the community, including, county/city parks and recreation, counseling programs with the military; educational partnerships with CCCC; a WorkReady Community with JOED; and Bright Ideas Grants with JOEMC. Our education system has truly progressed to a high level of success. Our hope is that each of you, individually and as a community member, will continue to help us in the process of providing the very best for our students. The end result is a community that others want to be a part of, and hence a thriving, growing community that we can be proud to be a part of, proud to raise our families in, and hence proud to CALL Home.