Golden LEAF launches new Community Based Grants Initiative Initiative underway in northeastern NC
In August and September, Golden LEAF held several meetings throughout the Northeast Prosperity Zone to explain the Foundation's newest initiative, the Community Based Grants Initiative (CBGI). Underway in northeastern NC, the CBGI is a competitive regional process that will eventually reach all of the state's regions.
Pictured is Dan Gerlach at Nash Community College speaking to county managers in NC's Northeast Region and other officials at a learning session about the Community Based Grants Initiative.
At the meetings, Golden LEAF explained the process which begins with county managers compiling a slate of projects and submitting them to the Foundation for review. Each county in the Northeast Prosperity Zone could submit up to three project ideas totaling no more than $1.5 million.
Golden LEAF has invited 12 of the 18 counties that submitted projects to move forward. The Golden LEAF Board will review their project ideas and decide which projects will be invited to submit a full application. Final funding for projects in these counties will total approximately $10 million. Grants are expected to be awarded in June.
"The Community Based Grants Initiative is a competitive process that will allow for timely consideration on move-the-needle projects in the areas of education, workforce, infrastructure and agriculture to build the foundation for long-term economic advancement and growth," said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President. "It is expected that we will work through the state's eight Prosperity Zones in five years."
Golden LEAF Board tours first osteopathic medical school in NC $2 million grant supports Campbell University's mission to create rural doctors
Golden LEAF Board and staff toured the new osteopathic medical school at Campbell University on October 2, 2013.
During its October board meeting, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors toured the state's first osteopathic medical school, which is located at Campbell University. In June 2012, Golden LEAF awarded a $2 million grant to support the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine's mission of educating and preparing community-based osteopathic physicians to care for rural and underserved populations.
In addition to increasing the number of primary care physicians in rural NC, the university has committed to creating 100 jobs over four years at the medical school. So far, Campbell has hired 45 full-time employees. This fall Campbell University enrolled its first class of 150 medical students.
"The Golden LEAF Foundation's investment in the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine was a huge endorsement in a new school of medicine in North Carolina," said Britt Davis, Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Marketing at Campbell University. "The grant was transformational for the school. It covered 50 percent of the simulation and anatomy labs."
Campbell University officials toured several top medical schools and to identify national best practices in training physicians to be designed and establish the high-quality, interactive simulation labs. Medical schools are using simulation technology to replicate surgical and other health complications to train students and for continuing education requirements of practicing physicians that mimic real-life experiences in delivering care to patients.
First year Campbell University medical students learn from simulation equipment, funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation.
While touring the new school, the Golden LEAF Board learned about osteopathic medicine and preparation and training that students are required to complete. There are two kinds of practicing physicians in the United States: allopathic physicians and osteopathic physicians, said Davis. Both are fully licensed physicians, trained in diagnosing and treating illnesses and disorders, and in providing preventive care.
Osteopathic physicians (DO's) are trained to examine and place additional emphasis on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. About 60 percent of all DO's are primary care providers. DO's focus on the comprehensive maintenance of health as opposed to treating disease.
The School of Medicine, in an effort to support its mission, is partnering with 15 community hospital systems in eastern North Carolina to provide third and fourth year medical students training as well as residency programs post-graduation.
According to Davis, 80 percent of physicians tend to work where they complete their residency.
Campbell University's Osteopathic Medical school and Southeastern Health System in Lumberton recently announced a partnership to create two residency programs. Students and residents would have the opportunity to train alongside primary care physicians at Southeastern Regional Medical Center as well as primary care physicians and specialists.
The first class of DO's will graduate and begin practicing residency programs in 2017.
Golden LEAF grant supports
airport project to create 305 jobs Smith Reynolds Airport tenant
creating jobs ahead of schedule
In December 2010, Golden LEAF awarded a $500,000 grant to the Forsyth County Airport Commission to finance equipment and tooling for North State Aviation (NSA), a company that performs aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul for commercial and private aviation. In addition to repaying the funds used to finance the equipment plus interest, the company committed to creating 305 jobs over four years. North State Aviation is well ahead of schedule in meeting job creation commitments due to a new contract with one of its current customers.
Pictured is NSA employee, Craig Shabdue, working a metal lathe. Behind him is a Bridgeport milling machine. Both items were financed through the Golden LEAF grant.
NSA has already hired 241 new, full-time employees. The company expects to be fully staffed at 300 employees by the second quarter of 2014, said Charlie Creech, President of NSA. NSA mechanics have an average of 23 years of experience.
On December 13, the company celebrated its three-year anniversary of receiving their FAA certification, an essential federal certification for operations. The company performs heavy maintenance and modifications to aircraft, including installing Wi-Fi and nitrogen generation systems and repositioning seats for more room.
"The Golden LEAF grant to the airport commission helped us have validity in the market place," said Creech. "We had FAA approval as well as foundation and state grant support that helped prove our legitimacy as a start-up business."
Large tenants like NSA help the Smith Reynolds Airport thrive. After the economic downturn in 2008 and loss of the airport's major tenant Pace Airlines in 2009, the airport was operating at a loss, said Mark Davidson Director of the Forsyth County Airport Commission. Thanks in part to the Golden LEAF grant, which supported the growth of NSA, the airport is now operating at a profit. The increased activity at North State Aviation has helped provide other revenue for the airport such as increased flights in and out of the airport.
As part of the grant and lease terms, NSA will pay back in full the cost of the equipment to the Airport Commission of Forsyth County. The airport commission in turn can use the returned funds to help pay for infrastructure improvements at Smith Reynolds Airport. The airport commission receives federal and state funds for such improvements but must come up with at least a 10 percent match to receive those funds, said Davidson.
The airport, since making a few upgrades to its facilities, has secured another tenant. Piedmont Propulsion is a maintenance and overhaul facility for the commercial, regional, corporate and general aviation industry that specializes in propellers.
Northampton County lands 79 manufacturing jobs Golden LEAF provides funding
for public access road
Golden LEAF awarded a $200,000 grant to Northampton County to support 62 new manufacturing jobs at Enviva, a manufacturer of wood pellets. Enviva celebrated its grand opening in May 2013 and has already surpassed its job creation target with 79 new hires. The Northampton Enviva operation is estimated to support 130 additional local jobs in the forestry supply chain through increased activity by other transportation and logistics companies.
"Golden LEAF support was essential to the project," said Gary Brown, Director of Northampton County Economic Development. "Golden LEAF provided gap financing that was critical for us to complete construction of the industrial access road in a timely fashion at a time when Enviva was waiting on decisions for site improvements at other locations under consideration, which was having an adverse impact on the project schedule."
Enviva turns raw wood into wood pellets used for energy, mostly overseas.
The Northampton County facility is Enviva's second wood pellet operation in the state. The facility has a production capacity of 500,000 metric tons per year which will be manufactured from a mix of sustainably harvested and untreated raw wood, waste wood and residuals, according to the company website.
"Northeastern North Carolina is located in a robust 'wood basket,' a large timber producing region with lots of natural resources," said Brown. "As a consequence of the economic declines that have occurred over the last decade, the industry had suffered. The location of Enviva in Northeastern NC will help area producers to rebound."
Anson college reaching out to residents for job readiness training Golden LEAF funds mobile lab through Community Assistance Initiative
In June 2009, South Piedmont Community College was awarded a slightly more than $550,000 Community Assistance Initiative grant for the "Anson Guaranteed Job Ready Workforce" project. The purpose of the grant was to create 100 certified job ready citizens to help increase the number of qualified workers in Anson County. The college created a targeted workforce outreach strategy that included the use of a mobile career lab, dubbed the Career Cruiser.
Pictured is Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President entering the SPCC Career Cruiser.
The original goals of the grant were to recruit and register 300 unemployed Anson County residents, with 100 of those achieving a guaranteed job ready certification within the first two years through the nationally recognized Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) program. By the second year of the grant, the program had registered 774 participants and certified 234 residents with CRC credentials, more than doubling the expected number of participants and certifications. Additionally, 63 of the participants had gained employment.
"The Golden LEAF Foundation grant has been the most successful grant project we have implemented at the college within the past 10 years," said Hayne White, VP of Institutional Advancement and the SPCC Foundation.
The numbers keep growing. As of November 2013, SPCC has registered 2,700 participants and had 316 people certified as guaranteed "job ready" candidates.
Toby Carpenter, Job Ready Career Coach, runs the Career Cruiser. He takes the mobile lab into the outlying communities of Anson County to complete assessments and provide skill development training, workshops, and other career-related services to unemployed residents.
"The Career Cruiser plays a significant role in helping to build a job-ready work force in Anson County, by making the resources and tools needed more accessible to unemployed populations who have transportation limitations and experience other barriers to attending classes on a college campus," said Carpenter. "The ultimate goal is to help create a substantial job-ready work force in Anson County to encourage employers to invest and create new jobs within the county."
Billy Harris was an unemployed fabricator when he stepped on the Career Cruiser to get his CRC. Since taking and passing the credential exam, he has decided to enroll in additional Computer Integrated Machining classes on the SPCC campus. Harris is now about 7 classes away from finishing his Associates in Applied Sciences degree in mechanical engineering.
"I appreciate what the Golden LEAF Foundation and South Piedmont Community College have done to help me be ready for new employment opportunities," said Harris.
Because of his classroom performance, Harris has been asked to teach some classes at the college in metrology, the science of measurement. He says that if he gets the teaching job, he will continue to take classes because he wants to be a lifelong learner.
During a time when we are all grateful for the many gifts we receive, we must be mindful that the economy has not healed for many of our fellow North Carolinians and their communities. Our state leaders have taken steps aimed at improving the conditions through tax, budget and regulatory changes. The Golden LEAF Foundation will continue to work collaboratively with new structures and partners to do our part as well.
One singular attribute about the Foundation is our long-term focus. The "LEAF" in Golden LEAF, after all, stands for "Long-Term Economic Advancement Foundation." Read in this issue of LEAF Lines about our recently completed efforts to build the human and physical infrastructure of North Carolina communities through the Community Assistance Initiative, as we highlight successful projects across the state.
Those efforts have helped us learn about what works. To the left, read about our second round of efforts to build long-term capacity through the Community-Based Grants Initiative. This initiative will move faster, be more nimble and agile, focus more directly on large projects, and offer opportunity to all of our counties to compete within the context of our mission.
Opportunities continue to arise. Read about the new medical school at Campbell University, the first in North Carolina in decades. The Foundation provided support for the equipment in its state-of-the-art facility, and we believe and hope that many of its graduates will work in rural North Carolina, helping to address the primary care crisis that affects so many.
While the Foundation is uniquely positioned to aid with the long-term development of the state, we too are working to fill gaps to allow for job creation today. North State Aviation in Winston-Salem and Enviva in Northampton County represent two of the many companies that partner with our grantees to grow jobs and give opportunity to North Carolinians.
The Foundation's funds all come from the Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers, not taxpayer dollars. We will continue to supplement and complement what government and other private sector partners do to create a more widely prosperous North Carolina.
Golden LEAF awards 201 grants totaling $89 million Community Assistance Initiative grants awarded in 46 Tier 1 Counties
The Golden LEAF Foundation's Community Assistance Initiative (CAI) recently finished its funding cycle, awarding 201 grants totaling $89 million over a six-year span. CAI grants were awarded in 46 Tier 1 counties across the state.
The Initiative targeted the state's most economically distressed counties in an effort to make a direct impact by improving the economic competitiveness of these communities. Foundation staff, led by VP of Programs/ Community Assistance and Outreach Patricia Cabe, met with over 7,400 individuals at more than 400 meetings held in community forums across the state, from Cherokee to Hyde counties.
The CAI process consisted of open forums which allowed for participation by all residents in each county. The forums included discussions of community assets and economic challenges, consensus building around priorities of the county, establishing local review committees, identification of projects for submission by 501(c)(3) nonprofits and governmental entities, review and prioritization of the projects by the local review committee, and a final slate of proposals sent to the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors for final decisions on grants.
The CAI process also gave residents a chance to engage with the Foundation officials and learn more about how Golden LEAF can assist their communities.
Below is a sampling of projects funded under the Community Assistance Initiative:
Graham County Town of Robbinsville "Town of Robbinsville Project to Relocate/ Replace Wastewater Treatment Plant and Rehabilitate Sewer System"
Awarded June 2011
In November 2013, Golden LEAF officials attended a ribbon cutting for the Town of Robbinsville wastewater treatment project.
"The Golden LEAF Community Assistance Initiative (CAI) has supported projects critical to the economic future of Robbinsville and Graham County," said the Robbinsville Town Aldermen in a letter to the Foundation. "With this funding, infrastructure projects have been completed that will have positive, long-term economic impacts. Probably, the most critical of these, was the Robbinsville Wastewater Treatment Plant Relocation."
"As a result of the new capacity of the wastewater treatment plant, a new restaurant has opened in Robbinsville, a new management company is opening an office, and a new motel is in the planning stages," said the aldermen. "None of this could have happened without the new wastewater treatment plant and the million dollar contribution from the CAI. As a result of this project Robbinsville and Graham County have a better opportunity to grow and prosper."
Cleveland County City of Shelby "Foothills Commerce Center Job Ready Building"
Awarded June 2010
The Foothills Commerce Center Job Ready Building #1 was sold to and is now operated by the North American Headquarters of Schletter, a German-based company.
"The Golden LEAF Community Assistance Initiative helped our community to clearly identify that job creation is the highest priority of our citizens," said Rick Howell, City Manager for the City of Shelby. "The City and County could not have built the Job Ready Shell Building #1 without the grant funding provided by Community Assistance Initiative. This investment by the city, county and Golden LEAF has paid off with over 100 above average paying jobs for our citizens. The City Council and County Commissioners agreed to use the sale proceeds to build another 100,000 sf shell building in the Foothills Commerce Center."
Jones County Public Schools "Jones Senior High Technology Accessibility and Utilization"
Awarded October 2011
"The Digital Utilization project has changed the way teachers teach and students learn in Jones County," said Otis Smallwood, Assistant Superintendent for Jones County Schools. "It is bringing global learning into rural Jones County by helping students explore realms outside of Jones County."
Pictured are Jones Senior High School students at work on laptops funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation.
"The teachers use the laptops to enhance classroom instruction," said Chris Meadows, Jones Senior High School Principal. "Students use them at school and at home. I have even had parents tell me that they have used the computers to further their education through online classes. Being from Jones County, I am proud to see the kids receive the Macbooks. It even has the elementary kids excited to get into high school."
Hyde County Engelhard Medical Center, Inc. "Engelhard Medical Center Expansion"
Awarded June 2008
Dan Gerlach attended the 2009 ribbon cutting of the Engelhard Medical Center.
"The funding from Golden LEAF has enabled the Engelhard Medical Center to complete construction and equip the new center which we moved into in 2009, said Cheryl L. Ballance, Administrative Director Ocracoke Health Center. "The new facility has been able to provide primary medical care to nearly one thousand patients in our community as well as provide patient health education, urgent medical care and chronic disease management. We are developing a telemedicine program to enable specialty care and patient education through telemedicine and teleconferencing technology, and we continue to integrate our electronic medical record to become a patient centered medical home for our community."
Surry County Surry Community College "Creating Opportunities for Real Employment -- Partnership with Pilot Mountain Entrepreneurial Center-Elkin Workforce Training Center"
Awarded March 2009
Pictured is the Elkin Center, one of the two CLEAR Sites (Center for Learning, Education, And Retraining) funded through a CAI grant. This location offers basic skills, continuing education and core curriculum classes.
"With the support of the Golden LEAF grant, Surry Community College was able to increase its impact on two rural communities by providing centers with unique educational opportunities," said Anne R. Hennis, Vice President-Institutional Effectiveness at Surry Community College. "The Elkin Center houses Surry's customized training program and a criminal justice program. The Pilot Center is focused on horticulture and enables the college to closely collaborate with a local farmers' co-op and offer other workforce development programs."
Pictured is the Pilot Center, which offers corporate and continuing education classes and college credit curriculum classes.
Warren County "Warren County National Guard Armory Renovation Project"
Awarded September 2008
Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach and past President Valeria Lee attended the Warren County Armory Civic Center ribbon cutting.
"The Warren County Armory Civic Center, formerly a National Guard Armory, has become a hub of activity in the county," said Linda T. Worth, Warren County Manager. "The facility which houses the County's Economic Development Commission Offices also serves citizens across the region as a meeting and rental venue. The fully renovated facility, partially funded through Golden LEAF's Community Assistance Initiative, has become a tourism economic driver by bringing many into the county for various meetings and gatherings."