With Congress out of session for the August work period, I was pleased to spend another week back home in western North Carolina. On Monday I started the week off by participating in an event in Ellenboro celebrating the launch of AT&T’s fixed wireless internet. This is an important first step towards providing wireless internet in Rutherford County and other rural parts of NC.
Next I had my eclipse glasses ready in Forest City where I joined with Americans throughout the country in watching the Great American Solar Eclipse.
Afterwards I went to Outdoor Colors in Rutherfordton where I met with employees and learned about the hydrographic finishing work they do.
Tuesday morning I started the day in Rutherford County where Mayor Bob Keith and the Town of Lake Lure invited me to attend a Lake Lure Breakfast Forum where I had the chance to provide an update on all that has been happening in Washington.
My next stop was in Buncombe County where I visited Montreat College and learned about their cybersecurity program and major. It was fascinating talking to students about this innovative new program aimed at confronting one of the great threats of this generation.
Afterwards I headed over to the Lakeview Center for Active Aging in Black Mountain where I had the opportunity to meet with constituents and learn more about the great services the Center provides to our area.
Wednesday, I started the day in Lincoln County by visiting the Rock Springs Campground in Denver before going to Iredell County to see the Lake Norman State Park in Troutman.
In the afternoon I toured Trilogy Lake Norman a new development in Denver aimed at seniors that will be completed soon.
I wrapped up my afternoon with a visit to Blum, Inc. where I learned about the Apprenticeship 2000 program. The program, which began in 1995, provides four year technical training apprentice programs through which graduates are guaranteed jobs after graduation.
Thursday I began the day in Gaston County where I was honored to present the Bessemer City Fire Department with their Homeland Security AFG and SAFER grant checks, which will allow them to purchase new rescue and extraction equipment as well as provide recruitment incentives and reimbursements to volunteers.
Thursday afternoon, I headed west to Cleveland County where I joined with the Internet Association to host a Small Business Crawl in downtown Shelby. On the crawl, I visited four small businesses whose use of the internet has transformed the way they do business.
I ended Thursday getting to see what it takes to be a Duke Energy lineman. It was a unique experience that included the opportunity to put on all the required safety equipment and go up in a bucket with an actual Duke Energy lineman to see firsthand the hard work they do each day.
On Friday, I was in Hickory on the campus of Catawba Valley Community College. While there, I was honored to be presented the PhRMA/ We Work For Health NC award. I was one of two North Carolina members of Congress to receive this prestigious award.
After the award presentation, I joined the CVCC Small Business Entrepreneur Exchange Podcast as a guest. On the podcast, I had the opportunity to discuss the importance of small businesses to the economy of western North Carolina.
My next stop was Conover Station where I participated in a lunch and round table discussion with some of Catawba County's CEOs.
I finished my packed week with a tour of the Blue Ridge Molding Company in Conover. While there, I learned about Blue Ridge Molding which provides injection molding and assembly services to manufacturing companies up and down the east coast.
For additional photos from visits throughout the Tenth District, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter and like my Facebook page.