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Press Release

Golden LEAF announces over $4.2 million in aerospace industry workforce grants

Foundation awards 6 grants to community colleges to provide training, jobs

November 19, 2009

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- November 19, 2009 -- At its November Board meeting, the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded over $4.2 million to address some of North Carolina's urgent workforce needs in the aerospace industry through its Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work in Aerospace Manufacturing (GLOW-AM) Initiative.

"The Golden LEAF Board of Directors established the GLOW-AM Initiative to connect the aerospace industry's workforce needs with viable and sustainable job opportunities for North Carolinians," said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. "The Foundation is interested in building the talent, knowledge and skill of citizens, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural communities, to take full advantage of available job opportunities like those in the aerospace industry."

Recently, Golden LEAF provided support to the North Carolina's Eastern Region to complete a statewide workforce needs assessment for the emerging aerospace industry in North Carolina. In response to the findings, the Foundation created the GLOW-AM initiative and requested proposals from training providers that address the workforce development challenges identified in the report. The projects funded in the Initiative are designed to strengthen training capacities in regions of the state that have high concentrations of aerospace manufacturing companies and maintenance, repair and overhaul operations.

"North Carolina is gaining momentum in becoming a national leader in aerospace and aviation," said Dr. R. Scott Ralls, president of the NC Community College System. "The grants from our partners at Golden LEAF mark a real step forward in reaching that goal and in providing the resources our selected colleges need to continue to create a high-quality aerospace workforce."

About the Golden LEAF Foundation:
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina's economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina's funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 847 grants totaling more than $399 million since its inception. For more information, or to learn more about applying for a grant, visit or call (888) 684-8404.

Golden LEAF GLOW-AM Awards


Project Title

Grant Amount

Project Summary

College of the Albemarle

Airframe and Power Plant Project



The grant will provide enhancements to COA's aerospace industry training capabilities and create training modules for programs that target jobs in local aerospace companies. The modules will assist with establishing an FAA Certified Airframe and Power Plant Training program in the future. Area industry estimates job requirements for the next 4 years will exceed 700 positions.

Craven Community College Foundation

AERO - CCC Program



The grant will assist CCC to a) expand the Aerospace Systems Technology program, increasing student through-put, b) purchase equipment and provide instructional support for the newly established Manufacturing/ Composites program and c) partner with Craven County Schools to establish Early College EAST on the Havelock campus of Craven CC, which will provide technical training in STEM and basic skills related to the aerospace industry.

Guilford Technical Community College Foundation

Triad Region GLOW - AM and MRO Workforce Development Initiative



The grant will support the creation of a collaborative Triad area education and training partnership that will develop and sustain a career pipeline to quickly produce skilled workers to meet the needs of the aerospace industry locally and across the state. The grant will help aerospace industry training by implementing a pre-employment assessment program at Job Link, enhancing training capabilities at GTCC, supporting curriculum development at Guilford and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and assisting NC A&T State University with a Summer Engineering Academy.

Lenoir Community College

LCC Aerospace Advanced Machining Center



The grant will assist LCC with developing an Aerostructure Manufacturing and Repair Technology Program and enhance LCC's training capabilities for employment opportunities at Spirit and other composite and advanced manufacturing industries in the area. Funds will be used to purchase software, simulation equipment, a CNC router, and instructional supplies. A portion of the grant will be used for a part-time instructional position and operating expenses for the mobile machining lab for the delivery of educational outreach programs for area public schools.

South Piedmont Community College

Aerospace & Precision Manufacturing



The grant will assist SPCC with implementing the Aerospace and Precision Manufacturing Project, which will incorporate modules specific to the aerospace industry and provide technical training in integrated systems technology /mechatronics and machining. Funds will be used for personnel and equipment for the integrated systems and Programmable Logic Controller training. Area industry has identified an immediate need for 26 positions with additional growth occurring in future years.

Wayne Community College

Alliance of Eastern Region Organizations (AERO) - Wayne



The grant will enhance existing training capacities in the Aviation Systems Technology Program at Wayne Community College. The program will receive equipment necessary to support current industry practices and technology used in aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul industries. The additional training capacities will allow the college to increase student through-put.

Total award amount = $4,272,550


Media Relations

Jenny Tinklepaugh

The Golden LEAF Foundation   301 N. Winstead Avenue   Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone 252-442-7474   Toll-free 888-684-8404   Fax 252-442-7404   Email

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