ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., (April 7, 2022) – Today, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $10,108,307 in funding to support projects through the Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Western Prosperity Zone, $1.1 million in funding through the Economic Catalyst Program and $998,924.36 in funding through the Open Grants Program. The Golden LEAF Board also approved $428,976 in funding for the Center for Creative Leadership to provide leadership training for Golden LEAF Scholars.
“Today, the Golden LEAF Board awarded projects that represent all three funding priorities of the foundation: job creation and economic investment, workforce preparedness, and agriculture,” said Golden LEAF Board Chair Don Flow. “These projects will support the long-term economic advancement of rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities. We look forward to the impact these projects will make for years to come.”
The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded 14 Community-Based Grants Initiative projects totaling $10,1008,307 in the Western Prosperity Zone. These projects will support workforce preparedness, job creation and economic investment, and agriculture in Buncombe, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, and Transylvania counties. Click here to read more about the projects awarded through the Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Western Prosperity Zone.
“Through the Community-Based Grants Initiative, Golden LEAF works directly in one Prosperity Zone annually to identify projects with the greatest potential to have a significant impact,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “This competitive process focuses on projects that invest in the building blocks of economic growth with the ultimate goal of moving the economic needle in a community.”
The Golden LEAF Board awarded $1.1 million through the Economic Catalyst Program to the City of Thomasville to help extend public sewer to serve Nucor, a manufacturing company that announced it will locate a new facility at an industrial site on US 64 in Davidson County. The project will create 180 jobs that pay, on average, $99,660 in annual salaries, with a total capital investment of $310 million by the company.
Under the Open Grants Program, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $998,924.36 for two projects that will support workforce preparedness.
- Central Carolina Community College in Lee County was awarded $498,924.36 for training equipment for a regional truck driving and logistics program providing CDL and short-term logistics courses. This award is part of a collaborative effort by Central Carolina, Sandhills, and Randolph community colleges which will be using a scaled shared-resources model to incentivize collaboration. This project will serve Chatham, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore, and Randolph counties.
- Wayne Community College in Wayne County was awarded $500,000.00 to purchase and install equipment for a new workforce training facility at WCC that would expand the capacity of college’s applied technology curriculum programs and continuing education courses in response to the need for skilled workers in manufacturing and related industries in the region. The total project budget is $12.8 million with other funding from the State of North Carolina, Wayne County, and the Wayne Community College Foundation.
The Board also awarded $428,976 in funding to the Center for Creative Leadership to provide leadership training for Golden LEAF Scholars attending North Carolina colleges and universities. In addition, the Board approved issuing a request for proposals for an organization or organizations to offer leadership training and mentors for Golden LEAF Scholars beginning in the summer of 2023. The RFP is available at this link.
Over two decades, Golden LEAF has funded 1,989 projects totaling $1.18 billion.
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, over half a billion dollars in new payrolls and more than 90,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.