The e-newsletter for Catawba County's Existing Industries
Vol. 14 Issue 4
EDC Hires Economic Development Specialist – Kimberly Propst

We are very pleased to announce Kimberly Propst will be joining our EDC team as Economic Development Specialist starting TOMORROW, November 1st. In this newly-created position, Kimberly will primarily be responsible for developing and directing our organization’s efforts to assist Catawba County companies. 

You may already recognize Kimberly as she has served as the Apprenticeship Coordinator for Catawba Valley Community College since 2015. In this previous role, Kimberly was charged with developing partnerships with business and industry, workforce agencies, and a variety of education and training organizations in order to identify new and emerging employee training opportunities that aligned with industry workforce needs. Most recently, Kimberly was leading a transformation of the program into the Catawba Apprenticeship Network, with the goal of expanding apprenticeship opportunities for both Catawba and Alexander Counties. 

We are very excited for Kimberly to join our team and are also excited that this will enhance our organization’s efforts to serve you and other employers within our community. Even as I transition to a slightly new role at the EDC, I still plan to continue my work of the last nearly 15 years and maintain a continued focus on supporting existing industries in the future; I hope in many respects this “doubles” the EDC’s capacity to support local companies and will allow for an increased level of engagement with you.

Moving ahead, I would encourage you to reach out to either of us any time we might be of assistance:
·       Kimberly Propst; ; Cell: (828) 244-1911
·       Nathan Huret;; Cell: (828) 244-3085
FREE to attend & Lunch provided
Global sales continue to become an important opportunity for business and industry to grow their bottom line. This day's review, featuring export expertise from the Economic Development Partnership of NC & International Business and Technology, will share information that can assist companies that are considering an expansion into international sales/markets or are considering a move in that direction.

This opportunity, the first such offering in North Carolina, will be right here on our "home turf" – please consider participating.  
HKY4Vets is an effort to assist transitioning military/military spouse talent connect with Catawba County companies; the organization has had a very busy last several months working on behalf of our 16 employer partners and the broader community. Here is a quick recap of some of the group's recent work:
  • Virtual Hiring Event: Held the first of three scheduled virtual hiring events on October 13th. One of the most successful hiring events to date, this event featured 21 participating employers and nearly 60 registrants - almost half of which were military or military spouse talent. The event resulted in 9 follow-up interviews and more than 20 individuals at various stages of company recruitment pipelines. We are aware of already 1 hire to date from this recent event. The next event is scheduled for March 22 (10AM-1PM) and is open to Catawba County employers.
  • Regional Networking Group: Held a well-attended, first "HKY4Vets Professional Connections" event in late September - building greater professional and social connections among active and prior military already here within the Hickory Metro. Planning is underway for the next event prior to the end of 2022.
  • DoD Skillbridge Fellow: Our organization assisted a transitioning Airman arrange a Fellowship (during his last months of active duty service) with a local employer. The Fellowship allowed the service member to gain valuable "civilian world" experience as he looks for his next career path post-military.

To learn more about HKY4Vets or ways to potentially partner as an employer, please visit the organization's website or contact Nathan Huret.