Local government meetings this week (Thursday, June 6, through Thursday, June 13):
• 11 a.m., Thursday, June 6, Western Carolina University Board of Trustees, discussion of Highlands Biological Station.
• 1 p.m., Thursday, June 6, Jackson County Board of Commissioners budget work session, Room A-227, Justice Center.
• 2 p.m., Thursday, June 6, WCU Board of Trustees committee meetings, trustees’ board room, Robinson Administration Building, WCU.
• 5:30 p.m., Monday, June 10, Dillsboro town board meeting, Dillsboro Town Hall.
• 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority work session, TWSA board room.
• 5:30 p.m., Thursday, June 13, Sylva town board meeting, Town Hall.
Grant workshop to be offered at WCU
Western Carolina University’s Office of Professional Growth and Enrichment will be offering a Grant Writing Certificate program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 18-21 at WCU’s campus.
Participants will attend two and a half days of grant writing instruction with Jack Smith, a nationally-recognized grant writing trainer, who will review the many different categories of grants and teach time-saving shortcuts in the grant writing process including abstract writing.
A panel discussion will take place on the second day with representatives from several local foundations and organizations discussing grant opportunities and the funding process for these projects.
The panel includes: Michele Garashi-Ellick, executive director of Great Smokies Health Foundation; Terri Bryant Adou-Dy, director of programs/program administration at the Golden LEAF Foundation; Kara Addy, senior director, advancement communication at WCU; and Susan Jenkins, treasurer, First Nations Development Institute.
“Our participants benefit so much from the panel,” said Jill Thompson, WCU’s associate director of professional development. “It is important for nonprofits to learn about the types of grants that are available, and how to approach the application and reporting process more successfully.”
On the fourth day, Susan Fouts, WCU’s executive director of educational outreach, will talk about the aspects of the proposal budgeting process including indirect costs, allowable versus non-allowable costs, in-kind donations, government grants and time reporting scenarios.
This program is designed to meet the needs of three different categories of participants, including staff and officials who are new to grant writing and need a basic understand of the process; those who are currently working on a grant writing project and are facing specific problems and issues; or successful practitioners in the field who are seeking specialized information and advanced insights into grant project development.
The registration fee for the program is $449 and includes lunch each day.
For more information and to register, visit www.pdp.wcu.edu or call 227-7397.
State, county unemployment rates down
N.C. Department of Commerce data show Jackson County’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in April, down .07 percent from 4.6 percent in March. The 3.8 percent rate is down slightly from 3.9 percent in April 2018.
Of a labor force of 19,887 people, 752 county residents are unemployed, ranking the county 56th in the state.
Rates decreased in surrounding counties as well.
Haywood was at 3.1 percent in April, down 0.6 from its 3.7 in March. Compared with a year ago, Haywood’s rate went unchanged at 3.1 percent in April 2018.
Macon stood at 3.8 percent in April after recording a rate of 4.5 in March. Macon’s rate also remained flat compared to last year, when it stood at 3.8 percent.
Transylvania’s rate of 3.5 was down 0.7 from March’s 4.2, but went unchanged from April 2018’s 3.5 percent.
Swain recorded a rate of 4.1 percent, down 0.9 points from its 5 percent in March, and down 0.2 points from its 4.3 percent in April 2018.
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in April. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.1 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 2.7 percent.
All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas,
Rocky Mount at 4.9 percent had the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 2.8 percent.
The April not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 3.6 percent. When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 41 counties, increased in 28 and remained unchanged in 31. Eight metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year, three increased and four remained unchanged.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in April by 25,602 to 4,884,935, while those unemployed decreased 26,548 to 179,910.
Since April 2018, the number of workers employed statewide increased 90,162, while those unemployed decreased 327.
It is important to note that employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns; therefore, it is advisable to focus on over-the-year changes in the not seasonally adjusted estimates, state officials say.