The Golden LEAF Foundation Board recently adopted a long-term strategic plan to serve as a roadmap for the next few years. During the process, Golden LEAF fine-tuned its priority areas and created goals for each of these areas. Golden LEAF’s five strategic priority areas are:
- Job Creation and Economic Investment
- Workforce Preparedness
- Community Competitiveness, Capacity, and Vitality
- Organizational Excellence
The mission of Golden LEAF is to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural, economically distressed, and tobacco-dependent communities. Golden LEAF seeks to improve community competitiveness, capacity, and vitality in communities by promoting economic development through critical infrastructure, capacity building, and needs to enable employment of health care professionals.
Some of the ways Golden LEAF measures the success of a community competitiveness, capacity, and vitality project is through tracking investment in public infrastructure; number entities served by new broadband access; number of rural leaders receiving training or coaching, or number of people employed in targeted fields. Other outcomes under this priority include private investment, new fiber miles, new connections to infrastructure, business start-ups or expansions, number of patient visits, or improved financial position of rural healthcare facilities.
Learn about some of the community competitiveness, capacity, and vitality projects support by Golden LEAF below:
Through the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative, Golden LEAF played a critical role in providing needed matching funding to help MCNC build a network of more than 1,696 miles of high-speed broadband, especially in rural communities.
Each year, Golden LEAF invites one Prosperity Zone to participate in the Community-Based Grants Initiative (CBGI). As part of the CBGI, Golden LEAF partnered with the N.C. Rural Center to provide training and coaching for project teams.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was awarded funding for the Golden LEAF Local Government Training Initiative to provide financial support in the form of scholarships to assist mid- and entry-level local government professionals, which includes professionals up to the department director level.
The Town of Pembroke extended a sewer line to serve development along Prospect Road to the east and northeast of UNC-Pembroke, where the UNC-P School of Business is now located and additional commercial development has begun. This sewer work was able to be completed while DOT work on Prospect Road was underway.