Business Success Stories

Bluewater Restoration employees earn certifications

Bluewater Restoration, a Currituck-based company, announced that a number of their employees have recently graduated from courses related to their primary function of restoration of damaged residential and commercial structures, especially those damaged by fire and water.

In announcing the awards Bluewater thanked federal, state and local agencies, including the Small Business & Technology Development Corporation (which has a local office at Elizabeth City State) and the Northeastern Workforce Development Board. The Northeastern Workforce Development Board helped the company facilitate training, education and hiring of employees for the company from local and statewide sources.

The certifications were issues by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration and Certification (IICRC).

Pictured are just a few of Bluewater’s employees who have completed recent courses.

Coastal Plain Conservation Nursery

In 1999 Ellen Colodney decided to leave her career as a physician and open her own business. Pursuing her dream, she opened Coastal Plain Conservation Nursery in Chowan County, North Carolina. Like other businesses in the region at that time, she saw her business grow and prosper. However, she could not have anticipated the economic changes that would occur within the next 10 years. As a small business owner with no formal training in business management, Ellen soon realized that in order to remain competitive, she would need to seek high quality professional development trainings.

In 2010 Ellen was referred to a training called SymmeTree™ by an Edenton business manager who highly recommended the 2-day business simulation course. Ellen soon learned that this training was part of the NWDB Business Training Series – a series of subsidized trainings created through a partnership between Northeastern Workforce Development Board (NWDB), NC State’s Industrial Extension Service (IES) and North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). As this was the first year of the training series, she was not previously aware of it but was excited to learn about the support for local businesses.

While participating in SymmeTree™ Ellen realized that this training was exactly what she needed – a simple, standard approach to business planning and problem solving. As a result, her management team now meets weekly to brainstorm through challenges and have narrowed their focus to the most profitable sectors of the business.

After attending SymmeTree™ in Columbia, Ellen and some of her staff members participated in three other trainings offered through the NWDB Business Training Series: Essential Selling in Swan Quarter, Lean Office in Currituck and Project Management in Edenton. According to Ellen, “All of the information was practical, straightforward and essential to a well-run business – no filler or fluff.” Furthermore Ellen stated, “As a result of these trainings I expect that we will continue to streamline our production practices, improve sales efficiency and complete facilities repairs and construction projects on time.”

In 2011 multiple agencies throughout the Northeast region have supported and partnered with the training series. According to Dave Whitmer, NWDB Business Services Representative, “This has truly been a regional approach to business retention and expansion. It is encouraging to have many different Chambers, Economic Developers and Counties as partners in our efforts to support local businesses.” In particular the Edenton-Chowan Chamber partnered with the NWDB Business Training Series to bring Project Management to Chowan County. According to Chamber Director, Richard Bunch, “This training series has proven to be a great opportunity for businesses to receive high quality training without having to travel outside of our region. We are excited to see the positive impact it has had on Coastal Plain Conservation Nursery as well as other businesses who have participated.”