Today, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $1,080,800 in funding to support projects through the Open Grants Program and $562,678 in increased Disaster Recovery Grant Program funding. The Golden LEAF Board also approved $71,379 in funding for the NC Rural Center to support the Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Southeast Prosperity Zone. The Board was presented information regarding the use of federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds from the N.C. League of Municipalities and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.
“We would like to thank leaders from the League of Municipalities and the UNC School of Government for taking time to speak with the Board,” said Golden LEAF Board Chair Don Flow. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for North Carolina to leverage billions of dollars in federal funding. Golden LEAF will take this knowledge and find ways to capitalize on these funds to help grow the economies of our rural, tobacco-dependent and economically distressed communities.”
The Golden LEAF Board approved $71,379 in funding to the NC Rural Center to support Golden LEAF’s $11 million Community-Based Grants Initiative (CBGI), launching in March 2022 in the Southeast Prosperity Zone. The NC Rural Center will present information regarding economic trends in the region and strategies for effective project development at kick-off meetings. They will also be available to provide coaching for project teams in the Southeast Prosperity Zone. This available resource will help broaden the region’s leadership base, enhance community and regional collaborations, and develop strategic, innovative projects to transform the economy.
“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. We look forward to beginning our work in the Southeast Prosperity Zone.”
Under the Open Grants Program, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $1,080,800 for four projects that will support job creation and workforce preparedness in Craven, Jones, Guilford, and Pitt counties.
In Pitt County, the Golden LEAF Board awarded Aces for Autism (ACS) $500,000 to support pre-construction activities and site prep for the expansion of onsite healthcare services for individuals impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder in eastern North Carolina. The organization will create 90 new, full-time healthcare jobs.
The Golden LEAF Board awarded the Center for Science Technology and Leadership Development, Inc. in Pitt County $180,800 to establish a regional employment skills training center in Bethel that would serve as a satellite resource hub, making workforce skills training, career exploration, and job placements more accessible to residents of rural eastern North Carolina.
The Golden LEAF Board awarded $200,000 for Goshen Medical Center to fund construction costs of a new Federally Qualified Health Center that will provide integrated primary and medical healthcare, replace two community health center sites, and expand services that will serve both Craven and Jones counties. The new facility will create 9 new full-time positions, totaling $785,000 in new payroll annually.
In Guilford County, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $200,000 to the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship for the installation of a $1.2 million sprinkler and fire suppression system that is required for implementation of a multi-phase project that will create 100 jobs in Greensboro.
The Golden LEAF Board approved $562,678 in additional Disaster Recovery Grant Program funding to existing projects in Pender and Scotland counties. The Disaster Recovery Grant Program is funded through appropriations by the State of North Carolina to the Golden LEAF Foundation to award funds to governmental entities and 501(c)(3) nonprofits to repair or replace infrastructure and equipment damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, Michael, and Dorian.
The Golden LEAF Board approved an increase of $375,000 to the City of Laurinburg in Scotland County for cost increases related to the construction of the City of Laurinburg North Fire Station.
In Pender County, the Golden LEAF Board approved an increase of $187,678 to the Town of North Topsail Beach for cost increases related to the renovation of the Town Hall.
Over two decades, Golden LEAF has funded 1,970 projects totaling $1.1 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 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.