ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., (August 4, 2022) – Today, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $445,582 in funding to support projects through the Open Grants Program and $1,382,782.18 to support rural broadband to community anchor institutions through MCNC. The Golden LEAF Board approved $127,534 in funding for the NC Rural Center to administer the Rural Internship Initiative as part of the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program. The Golden LEAF Board also awarded $1,365,000 in funding for projects through the Flood Mitigation Program.
Nash Community College President Lew Hunnicutt led the Golden LEAF Board on a tour of the college’s Advanced Manufacturing facility. Since 2006, Golden LEAF has invested more than $1 million at Nash Community College to support growth of the advanced manufacturing programs to meet the needs of local employers.
“The Board extends its sincere thanks to Lew and the staff at Nash Community College for providing the Board with the tour of the college’s Advanced Manufacturing facility,” said Don Flow, Golden LEAF Board Chair. “We are excited about the programs offered, the high-tech equipment used, and the future of advanced manufacturing in Nash and surrounding counties. The number of employer partnerships is a testament to the program.”
The Golden LEAF Board awarded three projects totaling $445,582 in Open Grants Program funding. These projects will support workforce preparedness and job creation and economic investment in Carteret, Beaufort, and Wayne counties.
- $199,300 to North Carolina Coastal Federation to support the creation of a shared use aquaculture hub facility in Carteret County that would provide new and existing oyster and clam growers improved access to the water, product refrigeration, storage, grading, and loading equipment, and an aggregation site for distributors, with the goals of creating high-quality jobs and increasing income for shellfish growers.
- $46,575 to Pungo Christian Academy to support equipment and supplies to expand PCA’s FFA program to include welding and auto mechanics in addition to its existing horticulture and carpentry offerings. PCA students can participate in the Career and College Promise program at Beaufort County Community College, which has indicated its support for the project.
- $199,706.78 to University of Mount Olive for simulation equipment to support development of a BSN program that will train 100 RNs each year for positions within Wayne and surrounding counties.
The Golden LEAF Board awarded $1,382,782.18 to MCNC to be used as matching funds in an application MCNC will make for federal broadband funding. If federal funds are secured, MCNC plans to build 127 miles of broadband fiber between Sanford and Jacksonville—including Harnett, Lee, Onslow, Duplin, Cumberland, and Sampson counties—that would directly serve 20 community anchor institutions and pass within three miles of 195 additional community anchor institutions.
Additionally, the N.C. Rural Center was awarded $127,534 by the Golden LEAF Board to administer the Rural Internship Initiative for the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program. The N.C. Rural Center assists with the outreach and promotion, manages selection of the interns, reviews internship sites to ensure alignment with the student’s course of study and the student’s intent to return to rural N.C., and provides oversight and engagement with the interns and internship sites during the summer.
“These awards support job creation, workforce preparedness, internships, and expanding middle-mile broadband in rural North Carolina,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “As a long-term economic advancement foundation, we look forward to the returns on these investments for years to come.”
The Golden LEAF Foundation was appropriated $25 million from the State of North Carolina for a Flood Mitigation Program. The Flood Mitigation Program will award funding up to $250,000 per project. Funds may only be awarded to units of local government.
The Golden LEAF Board awarded $1,365,000 in funding to seven projects through the Flood Mitigation Program in Beaufort, Brunswick, Sampson, Perquimans, Lenoir, Granville, and Columbus counties.
- $225,000 to the Town of Aurora to create a maintenance plan and schedule for all the ditches and tributaries within the town’s jurisdiction, in an effort to mitigate areas of frequent flooding during heavy rainfall events.
- $250,000 to the City of Boiling Spring Lakes to install stormwater infrastructure along the areas of Holly, Walnut, and Redwood roads in an effort to mitigate flooding the city experiences several times a year along those roads. In 2014, A 2014 preliminary engineering report determined optimal solutions to reduce flooding in the area and a 2021 stormwater management master plan determined this project as a priority.
- $250,000 to the City of Clinton to reroute the existing drainage system along Weeks Street to mitigate frequent flooding along the road and nearby Highway 24.
- $90,000 to the Town of Hertford to collect field data, perform modeling of existing watersheds, map the location and condition of stormwater assets, and develop and prioritize concept plans to address flooded streets that occur during heavy rain events that prevent access to public and private property and create high inflows at the wastewater treatment facility due to inflow and infiltration.
- $250,000 to the City of Kinston to develop a plan for flood mitigation solutions through review of existing data sources, collection of additional data from field surveys, update of existing models, etc. to address flooding along Adkin Branch which restricts residents from accessing emergency services and nearby medical offices.
- $125,000 to the City of Oxford to develop concept plans—from mapping stormwater infrastructure and modeling existing watersheds along sub-basins west and parallel to College Street and MLK Jr. Avenue—to address flooding that occurs throughout the city during heavy, unnamed, non-tropical rain events and that restricts public works staff from accessing critical infrastructure, specifically at the wastewater treatment plant.
- $175,000 to the Town of Tabor City to install infrastructure to enclose the ditch that runs perpendicular to Hickman Road that will improve drainage to eliminate frequent and prolonged flooding that occurs in the southern part of town during heavy rain events.
Since 1999, Golden LEAF has funded 2,027 projects totaling $1.19 billion supporting the mission of advancing economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities.
About Golden LEAF
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For more than 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.
The Foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and rural areas of the state by helping create 66,000 jobs, more than $700 million in new payrolls, and more than 90,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.
For more information about Golden LEAF and our programs, please visit our website at www.goldenleaf.org.
Communications & External Affairs Manager