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Surry County News

Read about new business, events and news that effects life and commerce in the western Piedmont Triad.
Northern Regional Hospital wins three awards for excellence

Northern Regional Hospital wins three awards for excellence

Northern Regional Hospital has won top honors in the 2021 Aster Awards competition – earning two Gold Awards and one Silver Award for excellence in its advertising and marketing efforts.

The Aster Awards is one of the largest and most respected national/international competitions of its kind, the hospital said. “For over 20 years, the program has recognized outstanding healthcare professionals for excellence in their advertising and marketing efforts,” the hospital said in a release announcing the awards.

Northern’s winning entries — judged by a panel of industry experts against those of similarly-sized hospitals – included a Gold Award for its “Behind the Mask” billboard campaign; a Gold Award for its patient handbook (“Patient Guide & Discharge Folder”); and a Silver Award for its “Behind the Mask” 30-second TV commercial, which aired locally and regionally. Judging criteria included creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality, and overall appeal and execution.

“We are honored and humbled by the award-winning recognition our efforts have received from our national peers,” said Ashly Lancaster, director of marketing and communications for Northern Regional Hospital. “We were committed to creating a message to remind our patients and community that, behind our now ever-present, protective face masks, we’re still the caring, competent, and friendly healthcare professionals they’ve come to know and trust. Also embedded in our award-winning commercials and patient publication was a gentle reminder of our ongoing commitment to safe, quality, and compassionate care.”

“We are pleased to acknowledge our marketing team’s leadership in bringing home top honors in such an intense competition,” said Chris A. Lumsden, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Northern Regional Hospital. “We are also proud that our ‘Behind the Mask’ submissions included dozens of hospital physicians and staff – each of whom was willing and eager to participate in the development of the commercials. Here at Northern, great teamwork is the hallmark of all our successful efforts.”

For more information about Northern Regional Hospital, visit

Woodgrain, Inc. announces acquisition of Surry County company

On August 16, 2021, the Surry County Board of Commissioners approved an incentive that would aid Woodgrain, Inc. in the acquisition and expansion of the former lumber mill operations owned by Independence Lumber, Inc. located on Wildlife Road, just outside of Elkin, NC. The incentive amount of $11,465 will be paid out over a period of years to the company as it invests new capital in the facility and hires additional employees.

Surry County Board Chairman Mark Marion said, “Surry County is pleased to provide these incentives and is thankful that Woodgrain, Inc. is investing in our community. Their investment will retain and add employees which means good jobs, tax revenue, and economic impact for the citizens of Surry County.”

“We are excited to join the Surry County community and positively impact the local economy while expanding our North Carolina operations. We pride ourselves in being vertically integrated, and this acquisition will allow us to supply lumber to our millwork location in nearby Lenoir, NC to further allow us to provide the best possible service and product in a highly efficient manner,” said Robb Hitch, Woodgrain Eastern Region Millwork Manager.

“I am thankful we had the opportunity to work with Woodgrain, Inc. in the retention and creation of jobs in Surry County,” added Todd Tucker, President of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership. “Woodgrain is an outstanding company in its industry and will be a great addition to our corporate family. I look forward to working with them for years to come.”

Woodgrain is one of the largest millwork operations in the world with operations all over the United States and Chile. With more than 65 years of quality craftsmanship and service, they make the highest quality wood moldings, doors, and windows. Woodgrain’s strength comes from being vertically integrated which allows them to oversee each step of the supply chain. Woodgrain is proud to be family-owned and operated with the third generation leading the way. Woodgrain, Inc. is headquartered in Fruitland, Idaho. For more information on Woodgrain contact Pete Intza at

For more information on this announcement or the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, contact Todd Tucker at 336-401-9900 or

City water plants cited for quality

City water plants cited for quality

The availability of good drinking water is an issue around the globe — but not in Mount Airy, where the municipality’s two water-treatment plants continue to soak up honors for producing quality supplies.

Both F.G. Doggett Water Plant and S.L. Spencer Water Plant have been tapped for the North Carolina Area Wide Optimization Award, given annually by the state Division of Water Resources in Raleigh.

In all, the division’s Public Water Supply Section is honoring 64 water-treatment plants statewide for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2020. This is part of an ongoing effort by North Carolina officials to enhance the performance of existing surface water-treatment facilities.

Last year’s award-winning result for the two city plants was no fluke.

Previously during the past decade, S.L. Spencer Water Plant, located on Orchard Street, received the same recognition for 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

F.G. Doggett Water Plant in the Laurel Bluff area did so for 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Multiple factors involved

This is not happening by accident, according to Mount Airy Public Works Director Mitch Williams. He says two main factors are responsible — the skills/training of water plant personnel and the raw commodity with which they start.

“Mount Airy is blessed with being the first user of our water,” Williams said of the flow coming into town from above.

“There are no municipalities between us and the mountains,” the public works director explained. “We have good ingredients for producing great water.”

Williams also praised the staff under the direction of Water Treatment Supervisor Andy Utt, which closely monitors the local supply for conditions such as turbidity.

The annual state awards are given to water systems that demonstrate outstanding turbidity removal, a key test of drinking water quality.

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by individual particles that can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally but can include harmful bacteria and viruses.

While all drinking water systems must meet strict state and federal standards, the award-winning facilities adhered to performance goals that are significantly more stringent than those standards.

Williams said the dedication of plant personnel in this regard, coupled with the uncompromising natural resource at the city’s doorstep, leads to “an excellent product.”

“The main thing that I would stress is that all of the certified water plant operators at the city are very conscientious and thorough in their job duties,” according to Utt, the water treatment supervisor.

He also commented on Mount Airy’s receiving of the Area Wide Optimization Award:

“The AWOP can be hard for a water plant to obtain,” Utt observed. “But this effort put out by our operators, to provide the highest quality of water for the city, usually makes it easy for us to qualify for the award.”

Dobson and Elkin also are among the award winners for 2020.

Meanwhile, 13 facilities in North Carolina were recognized with the “Gold Star” honor, which goes to systems that have received the Area Wide Optimization Award for 10 straight years.

These include Lincolnton, Marion, Newton, the Kerr Lake Regional Water System, Weaverville-Ivy River, Waynesville-Allens Creek, the Maggie Valley Sanitary District, Wilkesboro, Harnett County, Boone, Burnsville, the Broad River Water Authority and the Cape Fear Public Utility system including Wilmington and Sweeney.

County breaks ground on new jail facility

County breaks ground on new jail facility

While completion of the project is still more than a year away, the long-discussed construction of a new detention center in Surry County took a big step forward Tuesday with a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility.

Sheriff Steve C. Hiatt, county board Chairman Mark Marion, and a host of other county officials were on hand for the groundbreaking of the anticipated $41 million detention center.

Despite the hefty price tag, the facility could save the county operating expenses, according to county officials.

The current jail is comprised of two main segments, the “old jail” as many refer to it that was built in the 1970s, and an addition completed in 2002. Altogether, the present facility is designed for 125 inmates — but the jail population often runs significantly higher. Captain Scott Hudson said on Thursday the jail housed 193 inmates, with another 43 housed at nearby facilities.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, we had 226 inmates in-house, with 50-plus out,” Hudson said.

When the jail is so overcrowded, that means inmates must be moved to another jail that has excess capacity, at an average cost of about $45 a day, according to Hudson. Housing inmates at other facilities also takes time away from deputies, who must transport those inmates to and from the prison facilities in other counties.

Don Mitchell, former county facilities director who is still working part-time for the county on the jail project, said over the years the county has paid out “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to house inmates at other facilities.

Once the new Surry County Detention Center is up and running, its 360-bed capacity will meet present demand and leave additional space should the local prison population expand. He said the facility is built in a manner so that additional space can be added, to eventually push the capacity as high as 450.

He said county officials looked at a variety of plans before deciding upon the present one.

“First, we were talking about building a jail and a sheriff’s office, the office they’re in was built in 1974, it’s very overcrowded,” he said. “The first plans were a detention center and sheriff’s office.” But, he said, the cost was more than the county was comfortable taking on.

Another plan was for a new jail to be built and then connected to the present detention center, but that would eliminate most of the parking for the county judicial center, another no-go.

So plans were drawn up for the facility where the ground-breaking took place, a 45-acre plot of land near Snow Street in Dobson the county owns.

Part of the project also includes a new 911 center, along with a new magistrate’s office. While a decision hasn’t yet been finalized as to what will become of the present 911 center, Mitchell said there are several county departments that can use the space. He also said parts of the present jail — the “old jail” portion of the center, will likely be used for storage, while the newer portion can be used for temporary housing for inmates coming in and out of court hearings.

“We appreciate the county management’s support, the commissioners’ involvement,” Hudson said of the project. “We look forward to having the facility up and running.”

Mitchell said he wasn’t sure of an exact completion date, other than to say it would be sometime in 2023.

Spencer’s redevelopment pact approved

The proposed transformation of former Spencer’s industrial property into a boutique hotel has moved closer to reality through action by city officials — setting the stage for another upcoming vote committing millions in public funds for the venture.

A key move toward that end occurred Thursday night when the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners gave unanimous approval for a redevelopment agreement between the municipality and a private group known as Sunhouse Hospitality, LLC.

“I think this could be a really important step in Mount Airy’s future,” Commissioner Tom Koch said of the pact to develop the hotel in the Sparger Building, a large multi-storied structure fronting Willow Street.

Sunhouse, a business in Cary which now owns and manages Hampton Inn by Hilton on Rockford Street, also is seeking to locate a convention-type market center including meeting space in an old dye house portion of the Cube Building nearby. Sunhouse plans to use historic tax credits available for refurbishing dormant textile mill properties.

The Cary firm has an option to buy former Spencer’s sites now owned by the municipality for $350,000 and will invest at least $10 million in the redevelopment effort, based on its deal with Mount Airy. The agreement calls for the hotel to contain 70 to 80 rooms and operate under a national brand.

Thursday night’s vote approving the arrangement between the city government and Sunhouse did not include appropriating any taxpayer funds — which Mayor Ron Niland said after the meeting will occur during an upcoming council session.

“This will be the actual budget with the actual figures,” Niland said of funding Mount Airy informally has agreed to provide for infrastructure needs at the project site the municipality has owned since 2014, where industrial production ceased in 2007.

Those costs — including an estimated $1.63 million to provide parking spaces there — have been put in the $3 million range altogether, with a public park, lighting and landscaping also proposed.

Niland said the exact figure is unknown at this point. “The (city) staff is fine-tuning numbers,” the mayor explained.

Surry County officials have committed $1.5 million toward the infrastructure needs for the project expected to produce at least $1.6 million in property tax revenues during just the first six years after the hotel/market center emerges.

The mayor said the upcoming vote will formalize what already has been discussed for months with no surprises anticipated once the costs are pinpointed.

Water line, asbestos

Another action was taken Thursday night to aid the project along with the redevelopment agreement decision.

This included a vote to replace a 400-foot municipal water line along Willow Street from Oak to Franklin streets near the Sparger Building.

Although this is projected to cost $140,000 to $170,000, Niland said $180,000 in state funding appropriated for recently completed water-sewer work in the area of Merritt and Maple streets “coincidentally” was leftover.

That surplus money must be used or returned to the state, added Niland, whose idea for delegating it for the line replacement was embraced by the commissioners.

They voted unanimously to authorize Public Works Director Mitch Williams and City Manager Barbara Jones to proceed with soliciting bids from contractors.

“I think they’ve got permission from the state,” Williams said Friday concerning plans by Mount Airy leaders to reallocate the money.

The issue of asbestos in the former Spencer’s structures eyed for the redevelopment project at hand also resurfaced during Thursday night’s meeting. The timely removal of that cancer-causing substance once routinely used in the construction industry is deemed a “critical” first step in the hotel/market center plans.

Niland reminded that the commissioners had set aside $50,000 for such preliminary tasks through project ordinance and budget ordinance amendments OK’d in May.

“The asbestos that was found in the buildings was a little more than we had hoped for,” said the mayor, who mentioned that the private developers “kicked in” extra money for its removal. This will require no additional municipal funding for that purpose, Niland pledged.

City officials pleased

All in all, Mount Airy’s commissioners seem happy about the present state of the Spencer’s reuse effort that has been plagued by various pitfalls over the years.

They highly praised the volunteer assistance from persons associated with the group Mount Airy Downtown Inc. for helping the hotel/market center effort reach this point, namely Bryan Grote and Main Street Coordinator Lizzie Morrison.

Their work included mounting an RFP (request for proposal) process which led to the interest by Sunhouse Hospitality during a pandemic period when such growth plans largely were stifled.

Commissioner Koch delivered a heartfelt thanks to those who moved the project along, with Commissioner Marie Wood offering similar comments.

“I don’t know that we can thank them enough,” Wood said of the Mount Airy Downtown contingent. “I’m really excited about getting approval for the development agreement.”


Wayne Farms parent buying Sanderson, will combine firms

Wayne Farms parent company Continental Grain is part of a joint venture buying the larger Sanderson Farms, with plans to combine Sanderson with Wayne Farms. The new firm will be a privately held company with poultry processing plants and prepared foods plants in North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Wayne Farms spokesperson Frank Singleton said the new deal will have no effect on the firm’s Dobson operations. He said the company has about 1,000 employees there, along with 130 growers.

The deal is a joint venture of Continental Grain and Cargill, a private firm that is one of the world’s largest food companies, with more than 155,000 employees in 70 countries, according to Associated Press reports.

The deal, valued at more than $4.5 billion, will pay Sanderson Farms stockholders $203 per share, 30% higher than the stock was trading on June 14, when the world of the potential deal first became public.

Wayne Farms has more than 9,000 employees at present, while the Laurel, Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms has 17,000 employees and 12 plants. The new firm will be headed by Wayne Farms CEO Clint Rivers.

“Since my grandfather founded Sanderson Farms 75 years ago, our many significant achievements have been driven by our commitment to providing the very best chicken products in a profitable manner that benefits each of the constituents who contribute to our success,” said Joe Sanderson, chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. “This transaction is the culmination of that commitment, as it delivers a significant value to our stockholders, reflecting the dedication of our team, and our best-in-class assets, quality products, efficient and sustainable operations, and respected brand.

“We are very happy to partner with Cargill with whom we have had a decades-long relationship between two family-owned companies. Sanderson Farms’ operations, best-in-class assets, and valuable brand have underscored their success, and we have the highest respect for Joe Sanderson, and the business and team he has built as the third-generation CEO,” said Paul Fribourg, chairman, and CEO of Continental Grain. “Wayne Farms has been one of the most important and successful parts of Continental Grain for almost 60 years, so bringing together two great partners with two great poultry companies will ensure good things for our customers, our grower partners, and our employees.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021 or early 2022, and will be subject to regulatory and Sanderson Farms stockholder approval. Once the deal closes, the firm will be private, and Sanderson Farms will no longer appear on the NASDAQ.

First Community Bank earnings up sharply

BLUEFIELD, VA – First Community Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCBC) reported net income for the quarter ending June 30 grew by nearly two-thirds over the same quarter a year ago, and the year-to-date earnings grew even more.

The company reported net income of $13.40 million, or 76 cents per common share, for the quarter, which was an increase of 30 cents per share, or 65.22%, over the same quarter of 2020. Net income for the six months ending June 30 was $28.01 million, or $1.59 per share, which represents a 76.67% increase in diluted earnings per share compared to the same period of 2020, when that figure stood at 90 cents per share.

The company also declared a quarterly cash dividend to common shareholders of 27 cents per common share, an increase of 8% over last quarter and last year. The quarterly dividend is payable to common shareholders of record on August 9 and is expected to be paid on or about August 23. This marks the 36th consecutive year of regular dividends to common shareholders.


– Net income for the quarter increased $5.17 million to $13.40 million compared to the same quarter of 2020. The increase includes the reversal of $2.23 million in allowance for credit losses for the second quarter of 2021. Net income for the six-month period increased $11.90 million compared to the same period of 2020. Similarly, for the six month period, a reversal of $6.23 million in the allowance for credit losses accounts for a large part of the increase in income over the same period in 2020. The decreases in credit loss provisioning are primarily due to significantly improved economic forecasts and GDP growth in the current year, and prior year provisioning driven by the pandemic.

– During the second quarter, the company repurchased 261,600 common shares for $7.98 million. Year-to-date the company has repurchased 449,300 common shares for $12.96 million.

– Annualized return on average equity increased to 12.55% compared to 7.97% from the same quarter of 2020, and return on average equity for the first six months increased to 13.24% compared to 7.73% from the same period last year.

– Annualized return on average assets increased to 1.70% compared to 1.15% from the same quarter of 2020, while year-to-date return on average assets increased to 1.82% compared to 1.15% for the same period of 2020.

– Non-interest income for the second quarter of 2021 increased $1.88 million, or 27.25%, compared to the prior year. Year-to-date non-interest income increased 13.17% to $16.37 million compared to last year. Both increases are largely attributable to the more vibrant state of local economies with increased customer activity compared with last spring.

– As of June 30 total COVID-19 loan deferrals stood at $4.02 million, down significantly from the peak of $436.11 million on June 30, 2020.

– The SBA had forgiven $48.27 million, or 79.15%, of the company’s first round Paycheck Protection Program loan balances through June 30. Current PPP loan balances at June 30 which include second-round originations, were $41.63 million.

C-Suite Awards 2021: Jeffrey Eidson of G&B Energy

Jeffrey Eidson, president, G&B Energy

Why selected: When Eidson took over as president of G&B Energy in 1991, the business had one Triad location and 20 employees. G&B now has three Triad offices with 65 employees and serves more than 13,500 Triad customers. Eidson also serves as town commissioner in Elkin, and on the board of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership.

If you could have an alternate title, what would it be? Facilitator and empowerer. My primary goal is to empower employees and give them the tools and confidence to demonstrate their talents and grow in their jobs.

How long have you worked at your company? 40 years, including part-time work in summers as a teenager helping in the service and installation department.

Where were you born? Jacksonville, Florida

What is the biggest challenge you face right now as a leader in your company? Maintaining company culture and employee engagement as small family owned business as we have grown to nine locations and over 125 employees. Continuing to foster personal relationships with employees and their families to promote long-term employee commitment, allowing us to deliver thee high level of customer service our customers have come to expect.

What did you learn about your colleagues through Covid? About your community? That they are committed to delivering a high level of customer service even in the face of serious challenges. They showed up for work every day and continued to meet and exceed customer expectations while demonstrating a high degree of care for the health and safety of our customers and their fellow employees. Our community rallied around those most impacted by the pandemic starting an effort, Yadkin Valley Strong, as a partnership between the Yadkin Valley Chamber, The Yadkin Valley United Fund and Explore Elkin, to raise funds to provide food assistance to needy families. Yadkin Valley Strong raised and distributed over $100,000 during the early months of the pandemic.

How do you measure success? By the success and job satisfaction of our employees.

Share one thing about yourself that would surprise people? That I continue to maintain my CPA certification.

What are your hobbies? Golf, travel, snow skiing, fly fishing, hiking.


Duke Energy begins construction on largest solar plant in Surry County, N.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.June 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Duke Energy continues to expand solar power in North Carolina with construction starting on its 22.6-megawatt (MW) Stony Knoll Solar power plant. Once completed, it will be the largest solar plant in Surry County. The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.* The project was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017’s solar legislation in North Carolina. The solar plant will contain 76,600 Trina Solar bifacial modules with single-axis tracking. The plant will be located on 195 acres in Dobson, N.C. – near Rockford Road. The facility will power the equivalent of 5,000 homes. It is targeting commercial operation by the end of 2021. “Duke Energy is bringing more carbon-free, renewable energy to customers in North Carolina. We’re pleased to add Surry County to our ever-growing list of solar locations as we significantly reduce carbon emissions on our path to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. Under North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy, proposed projects must be built where there is a need for energy capacity on the Duke Energy system in North Carolina or South Carolina. The bids can come from any company, including Duke Energy, and can be in the form of power purchase agreements (PPA), utility self-developed facilities, or utility asset acquisitions. “We’re pleased to continue to build upon the renewable energy resources in the state. The Stony Knoll solar project marks the third facility that we have announced in North Carolina this year and demonstrates our continued commitment to increasing clean energy generation in the state,” said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions. During peak construction, Stony Knoll Solar will create about 70 jobs. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Stony Knoll Solar will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing local tax revenues to the county and local school districts, as well as meaningful payments to the participating landowners. Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions also supports the communities where its facilities and team members are based through the efforts of the Duke Energy Foundation. In January, the company awarded $10,000 to Copeland Elementary School in Dobson to fund the purchase of Chromebooks for students. The facility’s design, procurement of inverters, the balance of plant systems, and construction of the project will be performed by Swinerton Renewable Energy. The energy generated by Stony Knoll will be delivered through a 20-year power purchase agreement with Duke Energy Carolinas.

A leader in renewable energy

Duke Energy maintains more than 3,700 MW of solar power on its energy grid in North Carolina, which could power about 700,000 homes and businesses at peak output. The company also operates more than 40 solar facilities in the state. North Carolina currently ranks No. 3 in the nation for overall solar power. With nuclear, hydro, and renewable energy, more than half of North Carolina’s energy mix is carbon-free. As one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers, Duke Energy plans to double its enterprisewide renewable portfolio from 8 gigawatts (GW) of capacity to 16 GW by the end of 2025.

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is a nonregulated commercial brand of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) – a Fortune 150 company and one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. – headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is a leader in sustainable energy, helping large enterprises reduce power costs, lower emissions, and increase resiliency. The team provides wind, solar, resilient backup power, and managed energy services to over 1,000 projects across the U.S., with a total electric capacity of more than 5,100 megawatts of nonregulated renewable energy. Visit Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions and follow on LinkedIn and YouTube for more information. Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to operate or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos, and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics, and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements.

This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by terms and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “expect,” “continue,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “will,” “potential,” “forecast,” “target,” “outlook,” “guidance,” and similar expressions. Various factors may cause actual results to be materially different than the suggested outcomes within forward-looking statements; accordingly, there is no assurance that such results will be realized. These risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in Duke Energy’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and available at the SEC’s website at In light of these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, the events described in the forward-looking statements might not occur or might occur to a different extent or at a different time than Duke Energy has described. Duke Energy expressly disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

* Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is a non-regulated commercial brand of Duke Energy Corporation, which includes the following subsidiaries of Duke Energy Corporation that are registered to transact business in various states and may be branded as Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions for marketing purposes: Duke Energy One, Inc.; Duke Energy Commercial Enterprises, Inc.; Duke Energy Renewables, Inc.; Duke Energy Renewables Commercial, LLC; Duke Energy Renewable Services, LLC.; Duke Energy Renewables Storage, LLC; Duke Energy Renewables Wind, LLC.; Duke Energy Renewables Solar, LLC.; and REC Solar Commercial Corporation.

Altec to add 100 jobs

For the second time since buying a division of Pike Industries in 2016, Altec Industries Inc. has announced expansion plans at its Mount Airy location.

This time, the firm says it will add 100 jobs to its existing operation, as well as invest more than $9 million in both the present facility and a new 100,000 square-foot building it will construct.

The expansion comes about after the company and the Surry County Board of Commissioners put together an agreement that will use state grant funds to help with the extension of a natural gas line to the current Altec site just outside of Mount Airy.

The grant was awarded from the North Carolina Governor’s Office and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Surry County was a recipient of an Industrial Development Fund, Utility Account Grant in the amount of $540,000, and Surry County will contribute $180,000 to help match the grant funds.

This grant will help construct a natural gas line to the current Altec facility where the company will build an additional 100,000 square foot structure to aid in its distribution and manufacturing processes, company officials said.

“Surry County…is excited about this project and is happy to provide incentive funding to make this a reality,” said Mark Marion, chairman of the board of commissioners. “The board of commissioners would like to thank Altec for expanding operations, Frontier Natural Gas for extending the natural gas line, and the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, the state, and all other partners who made this possible.

”Surry County citizens need good jobs and this project will add more to our economy, as well as bring natural gas to an area that could really benefit from its addition. We have a real opportunity here to take advantage of natural gas, which can help grow and expand our economy, increasing jobs in Surry County and providing more income to our hard-working citizens,” he said.

“Altec is grateful to be a part of the continued growth in Surry County and we appreciate the outstanding partnership that has been developed with the leaders in this community,” said Ben Griffin, Altex general manager. “We receive tremendous support from the local economic development group, county leadership, and our state representatives. In particular, we’d like to extend our appreciation to the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, the Surry County Commissioners, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina for granting the funding to bring the much-needed natural gas line to Altec’s Mount Airy facility. It is a critical element to our growth plans for the plant and will allow us to continue to create new job opportunities within the community.”

This is the second significant expansion Altec has undertaken over the past five years. In 2016 the company bought a division of Pike Electric, establishing a presence in the community. Less than a year-and-a-half later, the firm announced its first expansion, adding 50 jobs with a total investment of more than $5 million, coming from a combination of state and local grants and company resources.

“We are very excited that Altec is growing its presence here in Surry County,” said Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership. “We have worked with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Surry County, Frontier Natural Gas, and others to help them expand and create more good-paying jobs.

Altec’s Griffin said as part of the expansion, the firm is seeking qualified applicants for numerous positions including assemblers, welders, material handlers, CDL drivers, engineers, and technical salesmen.

“The resources and assistance provided by the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, the City of Mount Airy, the Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce and Surry Community College were essential to the success of our start up venture.”
Andrew Clabough

President, Willow Tex

Contact Us

Surry County Economic Development Partnership, Inc.
1218 State St.,
Mt. Airy NC 27030
PO BOX 7128

Contact Us

Surry County Economic Development Partnership Inc. 1218 State St., Mt. Airy NC 27030
PO BOX 7128

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