Many utilize assistance

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 06:09 PM

OXFORD — Local businesses and industries had an opportunity to avail themselves of the services of a variety of agencies and organizations at Thursday’s Industry Appreciation Day in Granville County.

The event was sponsored by Granville County and the Granville County Economic Development Commission in collaboration with the Granville County Chamber of Commerce and held at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center.

The helping agencies were well represented. Attendance of business and industry representatives appeared to be light.

Most of the county commissioners, mayors and city commissioners were in attendance.

Participants had a chance to consult with representatives of a number of organizations, whether they were just starting a business or wanted to expand an established business. Present to assist them:

• Small Business Center of Vance-Granville Community College.

• N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions.

• Workforce Development Solutions of Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments.

• Small Business and Technology Development Center at N.C. State University.

• Granville Health System.

• Representatives of local banks.

A view of businesses of the future was provided by young entrepreneurs in the Virtual Enterprises program offered by Granville County Schools. Walker Brummitt, a senior at J.F. Webb High School, is CEO of Cyber Shock, a virtual company he and other students operate. The company develops high tech products and sells them on the Internet, using virtual money. Brummitt hopes to use the knowledge and experience he gains in Virtual Enterprises in a career as an attorney.

Kristin Strickland, a senior at Granville Central High School, is CEO of The Edge, a virtual company that sells a variety of beauty products, again, virtually. Strickland plans to major in business in college.

Tom Cook, who directs the program at Granville Central, said Virtual Enterprises gives students an opportunity to experience all facets of being a company employee in a simulated business environment.

Granville County Schools Superintendent Tim Farley spoke of the role of education in economic development and described other programs offered by the school system. “Our job is to listen to what all of you people in this room say you need,” he said. “I hope we’ll do this together.”

In a short ceremony, Edgar Smoak, chairman of the Granville County Board of Commissioners, expressed his thanks for the contributions industry makes to the economy and life of the community.

“We’re supportive of business and industry in Granville County,” Smoak said. “That’s where the jobs are.”

Smoak said 50 years ago family farms dominated the county. He said today, in a different environment, citizens and government need to work together to encourage industries to make Granville County their home.

Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss described the mayors’ alliance that the county’s five municipal leaders have formed for the  purpose of “putting things together for our mutual benefit.”

Oxford Mayor Jackie Sergent told the group, “Jobs are critical to everyone’s well being. I encourage you to become passionate about supporting our businesses in Granville County.”

She concluded with the cheer, “Shop Granville County!”

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.