Local News

FTCC hosts Youth Entrepreneur Camp for ambitious youngsters

12youthcampFayetteville Technical Community College’s Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, along with Wells Fargo, presents the 2018 Youth Entrepreneurship Camp. It is set for Monday, July 30, through Friday, Aug. 3, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on the campus of FTCC. Friday’s schedule is 8:30 a.m.-noon. The camp is open to rising seventh- through ninthgraders who are interested in future business and entrepreneurship goals.

“This will be the ninth or 10th year of having rising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders for five days – and it is a fun camp – but they actually learn something in the process,” said Kent Hill,  FTCC director of the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business. “We have a lot of simulations and games, and the students come up with a team business plan or an individual project in which they will compete.”

Successful entrepreneurs will speak to the students and share their insights about their journey with their businesses. “We have a lot of young guest entrepreneurs and they will speak to the students,” said Hill. “We have a young man from Athens, Georgia, who is building a really big business, and he is a freshman in high school.”

Hill added they have had young people take hobbies and monetize them into income streams to help pay for things they want or to save for college.

“We have had the most awesome support from Wells Fargo, and it is not just financial support, it is their involvement,” said Hill. “One of the things the kids do in their teams is to pitch their elevator speeches to get funding from Wells Fargo bankers.” Hill added there is a panel of Wells Fargo bankers who gently coach the students. He said it is a blast to watch the students in action.

“Some of the students who are goofing off get in front of the bankers and get really serious and are really focused,” said Hill. “They are pretty good salespeople when money is involved, and that is a pretty good motivator.”

“We also have some fun games and competitions, and they will compete for prizes,” said Hill. “We are doing something different this year in which the students will tie-dye their own camp T-shirt.”

Hill added the students will also tie-dye additional shirts that they can sell. They will have to buy them from FTCC and sell them for a profit.

“We try to feed them a dozen or more potential businesses that they can reasonably operate in school profitably as a student, legally,” said Hill. “We really want this to be meaningful and want these young people to go out and say they have some alternatives.”

Applications can be found online at www.facebook.com/FTCCSmallBusinessCenter or at http://tiny.cc/ftccsbc. The camp fee is $52 and is due by July 20. It includes a camp T-shirt and lunch Monday through Thursday.

For more information, contact Hill at 910-678-8462.

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Highland House hosts open house

09Highland House Outside3When Highland House Rehabilitation & Healthcare, Inc. opened its doors in 1968, it had the same goals it does today – caring for friends and neighbors. The facility originally had 52 beds. It has expanded twice since then, once in 1971 and again in 1991. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Highland House is hosting an open house Friday, July 27. There will be barbecue, door prizes and special guests and speakers.

Samantha Inczauskis is the director of transitional services at Highland House Rehabilitation & Healthcare. One of the many things she loves about working there is the fact that it is a locally owned facility.

“It is not owned by a conglomerate – that is one of the most outstanding things,” she said. “This house that started 50 years ago is still serving the community. It allows the facility to make decisions based on the needs of our patients versus what someone in another city or state thinks is the right thing to do.

“One of the things that impressed me most is the family-oriented nature of the people who work here. We are a very clean facility, and the care that our nurses, CNAs and med techs provide is something that really stands out to me. It is why I took this job.”


In addition to spacious rooms, planned diets and dining options, Highland House offers a quiet environment with amenities guests and residents can enjoy. These include:

• Four patio gardens
• Barber and beauty shop
• Complete pharmacy services
• Private phone hook-up available
• Televisions in every room with cable TV included
• Planned activities and community outings
• Resident and family councils
• Religious, inspirational and educational programs
• Daily housekeeping and laundry services
• Financial services and social services from pre-admission to discharge
• Nutrition and dietary consultation and planning
• Private spaces for resident/family gatherings
• Pet visits

Motivated by compassion and committed to providing the best care possible, the staff at Highland House work hard to meet the needs of their patients and residents. And with the variety of services offered there, that is not always an easy task.

“We have 53 beds for assisted living. We have 16 beds dedicated to short-term transitional rehab, and the rest of the 159 beds are for longterm care and patients requiring skilled nursing,” Inczauskis said.

Knowing that quality of life is also an important part of healing and happiness, the facility works with volunteers to offer activities for residents. The facility also partners with local groups, including the Tokay Rockers, and participates in the community, including partnering in a lot of the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation department senior sponsored activities.

“We do blood pressure checks every month at the senior center right before bingo the first Thursday of the month,” Inczauskis said. “We are always looking for volunteers, too. There are many ways to engage with Highland House.

“We are trying to be more active in the chamber, and we support senior-focused nonprofits like Better Health. Our medical director is part of the Cape Fear Valley Senior Health Service. Just like any other facility, we participate in the referral system.”

The July 27 open house celebration starts at 5 p.m. “We hope people come and see what we are about,” Inczauskis said.

To learn more about Highland House, visit www.highlandhousenc.com or call 910-488-2295. Highland House is located at 1700 Pamalee Dr.

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Commissary seeks to expand options, bring back customers

07Ft Bragg CommissaryCommissary officials are lowering prices on popular items and attacking the problem of poorly stocked shelves as part of a nationwide effort to bring military customers back into their stores. Discounted shopping is the big benefit for qualified shoppers. The Defense Commissary Agency wants to regain its customers’ trust as it deals with a 20 percent decline in sales over the last five years.

Interim Agency Director Robert Bianchi gave an example of customers seeing individual items such as bananas priced higher in a commissary than a civilian store. That leaves the customer with an impression that the rest of the commissary prices are just as high, even though shopping there should, on average, save them 23.7 percent.

“Hopefully ... we’ll tamp down some of that perception (commissary customers) may have about some of our pricing,” Bianchi said.

One change customers will notice right away is bright orange “YES!” labels and signs that highlight reduced prices on about 100 types of items frequently bought by commissary shoppers.  “YES” is short for Your Everyday Savings. With different brands and sizes covered, that means deals on about 500 items such as baby food, pet food, bottled water, toilet tissue, nutritional shakes, potato chips and other snacks, plus flavored iced teas, pasta, cheese, yogurt, cereal, coffee and more.

Plans call for an expanded selection of natural and organic items, and officials are considering offering more meal kits and prepared-food options for shopper convenience.

There’s also another 100 private-label commissary-brand products on the way. The 500 items available now under the year-old “YES” program have accounted for $40 million in sales, Bianchi said.

Over the last year, commissary officials have been implementing a new pricing program that allows them to mark items up or down rather than sell them at cost (plus a 5 percent surcharge for overhead), as they did for decades. Some defense officials have sought for years to reduce the amount of taxpayer dollars that go to commissary operations, about $1.3 billion a year. By law, variable pricing can help defray those dollars so long as the system maintains an overall level of savings of 23.7 percent when compared with civilian grocers.

Coming soon: Beer and wine. “The availability of beer and wine  at military commissary stores will increase customer satisfaction and convenience, and align with common commercial grocery store practices,” said Robert Wilkie, DoD’s undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, in a recent memo quoted by Military Times. Commissary alcohol prices will be comparable to those at military exchanges, he said. Wilkie, a Fayetteville native, was recently named by the president to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

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Update and action plan for homelessness in Cumberland County

06homeless campThe 2018 Point-in-Time Annual Homeless Count estimates 372 people were homeless in Cumberland County during a 24-hour period Jan. 24-25. That’s 70 fewer than in the 2017 report. An estimated 31 percent were under the age of 18. The Point-in-Time count is a 24-hour snapshot of homelessness in the community. The information is used to assess local homeless assistance systems, to plan and structure programs to meet existing needs and to inform the public.

The count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides the city of Fayetteville and county of Cumberland millions of federal dollars annually. The goal of the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Continuum of Care on Homelessness is to significantly reduce homelessness in the community and “to develop and improve communitywide systems so homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring,” said chairwoman Laressa Witt.

Cumberland County is required to prepare and submit a one-year community development action plan that describes projects and activities expected to be implemented and funded with entitlement funds and competitive awards received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Cumberland County Community Development Interim Director Dee Taylor outlined the agency’s 2018 action plan:


• Increase the supply of affordable permanent housing/permanent supportive housing units for households with incomes 30 percent or more below the area median income.
• Increase emergency beds.
• Improve the communitywide centralized intake/coordinated process and/or one-stop day resource center.
• Increase the income (earned and benefits) for those who are in temporary housing.
• Increase services for homeless persons with mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
• Strengthen discharge planning coordination for those coming out of institutions (e.g. correctional, mental, etc.).
• Expand transportation options (work/appts).

The goals and outcomes identified in this action plan are taken from the five-year consolidated strategic plan, which describes how federal funds and other resources will be spent and what other actions must be taken to address the need for affordable housing and other homeless needs over the five-year period. The county will continue efforts to partner with local developers to increase the supply of affordable housing units by encouraging them to designate a percentage of units for extremely lowincome persons.

Community development continues to create expanding affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate-income citizens. However, because the county has a strong military presence, the transitional nature of the military population and the housing market ensures that affordable housing will remain a significant need for years to come. The aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 also contributes to a greater-than-usual housing shortage for the most vulnerable members of the community.

In partnership with other agencies, including the city of Fayetteville, nonprofit organizations, the real estate industry and concerned citizens, officials say they will continue to be creative in efforts to provide decent, safe, affordable housing for families and individuals. Many of these individuals and families will also need long-term comprehensive case management and continued mental health services to maintain self-sufficiency and avoid becoming homeless again.

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FTCC provides military students with convenient options

09vetslinkedin copyPresident John Kennedy stated, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Fayetteville Technical Community College has long been a leader in providing education to military service members of Fort Bragg and surrounding communities. Since the founding of the college in 1961, there has been a special relationship with neighbors from the college’s military and veteran community.

The college’s mission statement is to “Serve our community as a learning-centered institution to build a globally competitive workforce supporting economic development.” The mission of the college provides a clear purpose in ensuring that our local military members and their family members have the necessary education opportunities to meet their career goals.

In 1974, the college opened its Fort Bragg Center to provide better access to numerous technical and vocational programs. The Fort Bragg Center, located on Fort Bragg at the Bragg Training and Education Center, is a one-stop shop for all the services an aspiring student would need to enroll at FTCC. The staff members are either veterans or dependents or have a family member serving. This staffing characteristic provides FTCC’s Fort Bragg office with a unique understanding of the issues facing service members as they pursue their education-related goals. The staff takes extra time to educate students about the process for admissions and class registration.

FTCC repeatedly earns top designation marks as a “Top School” or “Top 10 Gold Category College Award” for best community colleges serving military and veterans. FTCC is a leader in Credit for Prior Service, specializing in converting military training to college-level credit. The CPL effectively jump-starts the service members’ education pursuit, allowing quick completion of educational training in the shortest amount of time possible. The college offers a CPL online tool that provides an estimated credit the student may earn. Paralleling the effort of providing college programs, FTCC opened the Transition Tech Program, which provides tuition-free certifications to veterans. The Transition Tech Program includes courses in collision repair, computer and information technology, logistics, CDL truck driver training, pipe welding, solar technology, EMT Basic, telecommunications and others, providing an intense, shortened training experience with time focused on industry certificates and credentials that prepare the student to enter the civilian workforce.

If you are looking for a way to capitalize on the valuable military training you have earned or would like additional information about FTCC and the more than 250 programs of study available, visit with the Fort Bragg Center inside the Bragg Training and Education Center. FTCC values the hard work and dedication needed to accomplish military training and experiences. FTCC is honored to help service members maximize their military service through programs of study that focus on military occupational specialty areas.

Visit or learn more at www.faytechcc.edu/militaryveterans to discover why FTCC is the smart choice for education.

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