FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2022
For NC Tech Paths: Kate Vermilyea
For The Masthead: Doren Tripp
NC Tech Paths releases interior renderings for “The Masthead” and announces pre-leasing activity.
North Wilkesboro, NC – NC Tech Paths released digital 3-D renderings of their first Rural Tech Outpost, or “RTO,” at 711 Main Street in North Wilkesboro and announced the beginning of pre-leasing activity.
The building, named “The Masthead” in recognition of the building having served as the longtime home to The Wilkes Journal-Patriot newspaper, is scheduled to open in Fall 2022. It will house more than 80 technology workers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals, as well as provide modern teleconference suites and community meeting space. A significant portion of those individuals will be graduates from technology education programs sponsored by NC Tech Paths to provide economic mobility for residents of Wilkes County.
“The Masthead gives us a flexible space to serve our employer partners and the local technology community, as well as the broader business community in the area,” said Zach Barricklow, Executive Director of NC Tech Paths. Barricklow noted that several graduates of the initial educational programming with Per Scholas and Wilkes Community College will work in the building, reinforcing the NC Tech Paths motto: Live. Train. Remain. “This building gives local talent the opportunity to remain in Wilkes County to work and support a family while collaborating with other professionals.”
The phrase ‘masthead’ refers to the location on the front page of a newspaper where you find out all the information about the publication. Craig DeLucia, President and CFO of NC Tech Paths noted that “Our building will be that front page, first-stop physical space for the technology and entrepreneurial community – the top of the proverbial technology mast. It is a great way to pay homage to what the space has been previously, as a pillar in downtown North Wilkesboro, and announce what it will be going forward.”
A portion of The Masthead facility will be dedicated to larger office suites (“company pods”) for employer partners of NC Tech Paths that hire technology talent out of training programs delivered in partnership with Wilkes Community College, Per Scholas, and four-year institutions. The remainder of the co-working facility will be available to individual professionals, creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs through open and reserved desk memberships and private offices. Two existing tenants, including the Wilkes Journal-Patriot newspaper staff, continue to lease portions of the building under prior agreements.
Additional perks include meeting rooms that will be open for rental to the community; indoor/outdoor event space; a podcast recording studio; a full kitchen with espresso machine; dedicated space for personal wellness; areas to display art and professional photography; and a community portal that links to various local businesses to provide discounts, amenities, and promotions for coworking members to support local shops and restaurants.
Doren Tripp, NC Tech Paths’ Community Manager for the facility, says he relates coworking to a collaborative workspace and events club. “The concept is to have a space for people to work remotely while also getting to see and connect with real people. This allows our members to build community, collaborate on creative and problem-solving endeavors, host events and training, or simply have a space to network and build friendships.”
Tripp continued, “As the community manager, my goal is to create a space that not only facilitates a great work environment and community but also incentivizes those in the space to walk down the streets, pouring into the economy and ‘keeping it local.’ Building up the local retail and restaurant market with members of our space is the ultimate telltale sign that we are being successful. Both Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro have so much to offer, and we want The Masthead to spur more business activity, even inspiring entrepreneurs to add to the thriving downtowns and surrounding area.”
NC Tech Paths has collaborated with Peter Marsh of Workplace Architecture and Design and Flywheel Coworking on design and operational matters.
“We are excited to work with NC Tech Paths to design and set up operations of The Masthead coworking space,” said Peter Marsh. “The Rural Technology Outpost concept and integration with the regional educational systems is a really innovative way to engage the corporate community to benefit smaller cities. Flywheel designs and operates a network of innovation centers in North and South Carolina, and there is nothing like this program currently in the regions we serve. Members of The Masthead will have reciprocal membership with our other locations. We have a suite of program and service offerings in support of entrepreneurship and the startup journey that we will coordinate with The Masthead coworking staff. Working with the NC Tech Paths team, we look forward to serving additional locations in Northwest NC.”
Preliminary architectural drawings can be accessed at themasthead.space.
A special event will be hosted at The Masthead on Friday, August 12, 4-7pm, to celebrate the graduates of a summer IT Support tech training program delivered in partnership with Wilkes Community College and Per Scholas. The event will include food, music, giveaways, and a sneak peek of plans for The Masthead. Kids will enjoy bouncing in inflatables provided by The Block. Join us at 711 Main Street, North Wilkesboro, NC.
For more information or to join The Masthead, please contact Doren Tripp at RTO@NCTechPaths.org or by calling 336-660-6555.