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In this edition of “Golden LEAF News” read about job creation programs in the Triad, Alamance, and Gaston counties. Learn about Golden LEAF Scholars in Stanly County and other educational programs in Transylvania, Lenoir, Jones, Ashe and Surry counties. Find out more about the Community Assistance Initiative grants and process in Wilkes, Beaufort and McDowell counties. Also, read an update on the statewide Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative and news about a health care project in Wilkes County.
Program/ Communications Officer
In this edition of "Golden LEAF News":
Golden LEAF Foundation is doing good work
The grants provided by the Golden LEAF Foundation have generally proved to be effective and successful. They are a strong example of investing in our economic future. Grants from Golden LEAF have served as “the closer” — the deciding factor — in many of the major economic-development projects that have been done in the Triad and Northwest N.C. Since 2002, the foundation has provided $13.4 million to 24 area projects that have been used for production equipment and machinery, infrastructure development and training equipment. Beneficiaries include Caterpillar Inc., Honda Aircraft Co. and Piedmont Triad International Airport. One of the latest beneficiaries is Deere-Hitachi, which will use welders trained by Forsyth Technical Community College, utilizing a Golden LEAF grant of $447,145. For the story, click the link: Golden LEAF Foundation serves as "the closer" in many economic-development projects.
170 jobs coming to Hickory area
Hickory Daily Record
Woodgrain Millwork Inc., a leading producer of wood millwork, will put a new facility in Caldwell County, thanks in part to a $150,000 Golden LEAF Economic Catalyst grant. The company plans to create 170 jobs and invest more than $8 million over the next five years in Lenoir. Woodgrain’s product lines include moulding, doors, and windows. The company currently employs more than 180 people at its facilities in Richmond and Union counties. Woodgrain will take over the former Blue Ridge Panel property, a 216,137-square-foot building on 25.73 acres in the Broyhill Complex at the intersection of NC 18 and Southwest Boulevard in Lenoir. Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $29,981, plus benefits. The Caldwell County average annual wage is $29,640.
Golden LEAF grant will open Burlington land for development
A state grant will pay the majority of Burlington’s cost to extend public water and sewer lines to property along Whites Kennel Road, simultaneously securing utilities for the incoming Sheetz distribution center and future project sites in the area. The Golden LEAF Foundation awarded a $695,000 Economic Catalyst grant to the city of Burlington to help fund the extension of public water and sewer services to the future Sheetz distribution center and surrounding property along Whites Kennel Road. The Economic Catalyst grant was awarded to a project that should not only create 253 new jobs by December 2018, but also lay infrastructure for future industrial development. The extended water line will open up 100 additional acres of vacant industrial-zoned property, and the potential to serve 200 acres of commercial property with water.
New manufacturer promises 83 jobs for Gastonia
Nussbaum Automotive Solutions LP says it will bring 83 jobs to Gastonia over the next three years. The average salary: $51,875, according to incentive agreements with the state. Officials said people who hope to work for the manufacturer can go to Nussbaum-USA.com for more information. A German, family-owned business, Nussbaum expects its plant in West Gastonia’s Delta Business Park to begin rolling out vehicle lifts within six months. Nussbaum is taking over a vacant building at 1932 Jordache Court and investing more than $7 million in the site. State incentives to help lure the project include a promised a $137,000 One North Carolina Fund grant and a $250,000 contract lease from the Golden LEAF Foundation to pay for equipment. Gaston County expects to offer grants totaling approximately $150,000 over five years. The county will also channel the $250,000 from Golden LEAF to Nussbaum for equipment and be paid back over time, said county officials.
3 Stanly students win Golden LEAF scholarships
Stanly News and Press
The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority selected Kelsie Barbee, Kacey Medlin and Dakota Sells as recipients of $12,000 Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarships for the 2012-2013 school year. Barbee and Sells graduated from North Stanly High School; Medlin graduated from Gray Stone Day School. Barbee will attend Wingate University, Medlin will attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Sells will attend N.C. State University. They are among the 215 students selected to receive a $3,000 scholarship each year for up to four years of study at a participating N.C. public university or private non-profit college or university. For more information, visit CFNC.org or call College Foundation of North Carolina, toll-free, at (866) 866-CFNC (2362).
Golden LEAF presents Transylvania County Schools with $200,000 for 21st Century learning devices Transylvania County Schools - website
The Golden LEAF Foundation recently presented Transylvania County Schools with a ceremonial check for the “Mastering the Global World” initiative for students in grades 6-8. Through the “Mastering the Global World” initiative, TCS intends to equip all middle school students in both middle schools with a computer device for the 1:1 initiative over the next year and a half. Middle school administrators and teachers have been planning and pursuing professional development in anticipation of this project’s successful beginning.
Golden LEAF, local businesses pave way for innovative algebra lab at K-8 school. Open house on November 14, 2012, to recognize area businesses, organizations
Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce
Who better to get involved with education than the community businesses that seek to hire the products of the local school system. From Spirit AeroSystems to DEPS Security Systems to the Golden LEAF Foundation and STEM East, Lenoir County Public Schools tapped into all possible resources when seeking funds to purchase an innovative algebra program for Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School. An open house to recognize the businesses and organizations that helped to make the algebra lab a reality will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at the school, 3400 Ferrell Road in Kinston, N.C.
Grant provides laptops to students at Jones Senior High
A $750,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation provided Apple laptops for each of the 300 students at Jones Senior High School in Trenton. The laptops are part of the "One to One Initiative" that gives each student their own computer to use during the school year. Students have only had the laptops since the school year began in August, but their principal says he's already seeing positive results, such as increase in grades and access to the internet at home.
Technology at center of Board of Education meeting
The Ashe County Schools Central office was standing room only when the monthly Board of Education meeting began on Monday, Oct. 1. Highlights of the meeting included a proposal by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation for propane-injected fuel assist mechanism for an activity bus, the recognition of Ashe County Middle School teacher Thelma Kastl as North Carolina’s first WindSenator teacher, and a presentation by Kastl’s students on Project Lead the Way and the Technology Student Association. After recognizing Kastl for becoming a WindSenator teacher, the board heard Kastl’s update on the Project Lead the Way grant provided by the Golden LEAF Foundation. This grant helped support programs that foster students’ interest in science, technology and engineering. Three of Kastl’s students gave presentations demonstrating the positive effects that the Technology Student Association, PLTW programs, and technology classes have had on their lives.
Entrepreneurs of tomorrow are in the schools today
Mount Airy News
Recently, Surry County’s N.C. Cooperative Extension office, Surry Community College and the North Carolina Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning program (REAL) held an entrepreneurship day for young business persons at the Charles H. Stone Memorial Library. The program was held as part of a nationwide celebration recognizing the heritage of entrepreneurial leadership in America. The program is supported through a Golden LEAF Foundation grant. A total of five teams participated in the competition that drew children ages 9- to 18-years from the community and home schools. Childers explained REAL seeks to improve student entrepreneurship skills and increase the students’ knowledge of high school and community college opportunities to learn about starting and running their own businesses.
Wilkes issues, assets listed
Wilkes Journal Patriot
About 50 people, primarily leaders in government, business and other institutions, listed Wilkes County’s key issues and assets Tuesday during the second of six meetings as part of the process of seeking and deciding how to spend a $2 million Golden LEAF Community Assistance Initiative grant. The people at the meeting brainstormed on the county’s key issues. The group also talked about Wilkes County’s assets that could be built upon. The next five meeting priorities were discussed. The process of the local review team was also described. The Golden LEAF board then makes its final funding decisions.
Full recovery ahead for Aurora library
Washington Daily News
Twenty-three inches of water from Hurricane Irene took out 1,673 books from the Hazel W. Guilford Library in Aurora. Library and town staff, along with many guests, gathered recently to jointly celebrate the reopening of the library. While the damage total came to $44,699.95, the library received only half that amount from its flood insurance company — one of the reasons for the slower recovery. Improvements to the library will continue to be made gradually: a small technology center, installation of a videophone for the deaf and hard of hearing, the addition of two more public access computers. Friday, staff was notified the library will receive a Community Assistance Initiative grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation for $23,256.92, which will be used to round out repairs to the facility.
Effort underway in McDowell to match education, people, jobs
The McDowell News
Even though McDowell has a high unemployment rate, good jobs can be found, but many employers are having trouble finding people possessing the right job skills for what is available. Examples of available careers include: International Automotive Components plant in Old Fort needs a computer numerical control (CNC) programmer and a maintenance technician. These jobs, which have a pay range of $16 to $20 an hour, are examples of good careers that can be found at local industries but employers can’t fill jobs with workers that don’t have certain skill sets. Other human resource managers at local manufacturing plants are facing the same problem: the shortage of skilled labor in McDowell. McDowell County is solving part of the problem by using a more than $2 million Golden LEAF Community Assistance Initiative grant to turn an old furniture plant complex into a “Career Pathways Skill Center.” The idea is for the old Universal site to become a place where people can get new education and skills to work in tomorrow’s industries.
NTIA says broadband projects ahead of schedule
WRAL Tech Wire
Recipients of broadband stimulus grants through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are on track to meet progress targets for fiscal year 2012. The North Carolina non-profit MCNC’s $144 million Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI) is expanding the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) into rural and unserved areas of the state and has been previously highlighted as an exemplary project by the NTIA in quarterly reports and in congressional testimony. The GLRBI – supported by a $24 million Golden LEAF grant – remains slightly ahead of schedule, matching the national trend on these projects. As of last week, the second phase of the GLRBI was about 85 percent complete with a total of 1,449.94 conduit miles installed. The first 414 miles engineered for the initial phase of the project were finished earlier this year. According to federal guidelines, the GLRBI and most of the other projects nationwide must be complete by July 31, 2013.
It's an Emergency
The Health Foundation, Inc.
Wilkes Regional Medical Center handles more than 32,000 patient visits per year, making it the busiest emergency department in that region. Increasing patient volumes created issues with being able to see people quickly and efficiently. The emergency department was in need of an expansion and renovation. Phase one of construction was recently completed, adding about 9,500 square feet of space to the department. The expansion and renovation addresses a number of shortcomings of the department, which was last renovated in the mid-eighties to handle a capacity less than half of today’s volumes. The Golden LEAF Foundation has invested $184,000.00 to purchase new equipment for the new heart center in recognition of the hospital’s importance to future economic development.
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