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State commissioner congratulates Stanly workplaces

Everyone has someone.

That is the reminder N.C. Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry gave to those gathered at CHS-Stanly this week. Berry came there on Monday to deliver this year’s Department of Labor Safety Awards to the owners of 24 worksites in Stanly County.

“You make sure they get home to that someone,” Berry said. “And that means everything.”

In order to recognize those who put extra effort into keeping their workplaces safe, the DOL gave awards in two categories: silver and gold. The former was given to work sites where employees were out sick/injured 50 percent less than the average business in their industry. The latter was given to workplaces that not only did that, but also kept their job transfer rates 50 percent below the industry average.

In Stanly County, there were five Silver Award recipients and 19 Gold Award recipients. Some have earned that distinction for as many as 11 years in a row now.

“You’ve earned the right to be here today,” Berry said. “That’s why I’m honored to be here today, because I know how hard you’ve worked to get that.”

Not only is that extra effort important to maintain the health of current workers, she noted, but it is also key to attracting new workers.

“As I get to travel across the state I meet so many people… and the one thing I hear over and over and over is that we need more workers,” Berry said.

Particularly in the skilled labor industries, she detailed. Trades like masonry, heating and cooling, and welding find the bulk of their best workers aging out right now, which in turn increases the demand (and the cost) of those services.

“I pay my plumber more than I pay my lawyer sometimes,” Berry said. “We need somebody to go into those trades.”

And as the demand goes up, so does the opportunity for young people. If only they feel safe enough — both physically and financially — to take it, Berry added. By honoring their safety and diligence , she hopes those local industries will become strong and respectable opportunities to the next generation of workers.

“We need to workers… and they need workplaces,” Berry said. “That’s why I’m always happy to recognize local businesses.”

To that end she thanked all of the award recipients for representing their industries so well. In fact, N.C.’s occupational injury and illness rate went down to 2.5 percent in 2017 (about 0.4 points below the national average), putting the state at a record low for the 12th year in a row.

“It is all because of you and what you do every day at your facilities and on your job sites,” Berry said. “So thank you all for making that number… that’s a wonderful trend to have.”

 


 

2018 NC Department of Labor Safety Award Recipients:

Silver Awards

  • Carolina Healthcare System, Stanly (1 year)
  • City of Albemarle – Administration, Development Services and Housing (1 year)
  • City of Albemarle – Parks and Recreation (1 year)
  • Stanly Manor (1 year)
  • City of Albemarle – Police Department (2 years)

Gold Awards

  • CHS Specialty Medical Group, Stanly (1 year)
  • JT Russell & Sons – Albemarle Highway Construction Division (1 year)
  • JT Russell & Sons – Clear Creek Asphalt Plant (1 year)
  • Michelin Aircraft Tire Company, Area OA (1 year)
  • United Protective Technologies (1 year)
  • Duke Energy – Fossil Hydro Generation (2 years)
  • JT Russell & Sons – Riley Quarry (2 years)
  • JT Russell & Sons – N.C. Highway 24-27 Bypass Jobsite (2 years)
  • Stanly Women’s Services (2 years)
  • JT Russell & Sons – Clay Pits Division (3 years)
  • JT Russell & Sons – Healing Springs Terminal (3 years)
  • JT Russell & Sons – Lexington Asphalt Plant (3 years)
  • JT Russell & Sons – New London Asphalt Plant (3 years)
  • CK Earnhardt & Son (4 years)
  • Cap Yarns (4 years)
  • Storm Technologies (4 years)
  • Stanley Engineered Fastening (7 years)
  • HW Culp Lumber (8 years)
  • NC Department of Transportation – Div. 10 (11 years)

Contact Shannon Beamon at 704-982-2121 ext. 24, or shannon@stanlynewspress.com.