Golden LEAF announces $5.4 million in funding at April meeting

Golden LEAF announces $5.4 million in funding at April meeting

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., (April 6, 2023) – Today, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded a total of $5,417,644 million in funding. The Board awarded $2,359,000 in funding to support projects through the Open Grants Program, $2,060,000 in funding to support scholarships for students to attend North Carolina community colleges, and $748,644 in funding to support a project through the Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Southeast Prosperity Zone. The Golden LEAF Board also awarded $250,000 in funding for projects through the Flood Mitigation Program.

“Today, the Golden LEAF Board made awards to projects that will support the long-term economic advancement of rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities,” said Golden LEAF Board Chair Don Flow. “We look forward to the impact these projects will make for years to come.”

The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded seven projects totaling $2,359,000 in Open Grants Program funding. These projects will support job creation and economic investment, workforce preparedness, and agriculture in Beaufort, Davidson, Randolph, Rockingham, Surry, Wayne, and Wilson counties.

  • $500,000 to the Town of Aurora for infrastructure needs to support the new Industrial Facility Training Center, a collaborative project developed with Beaufort County Community College (BCCC), Nutrien, and the Town of Aurora. BCCC will provide customized training for Nutrien employees and offer courses and the opportunity to earn relevant 3rd-party certifications to at least 60 students from Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington counties.
  • $340,000 to Barton College for equipment and construction costs that will allow the college to accommodate at least 25 more students in its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and also support its new family nurse practitioner (FNP) program, expected to produce 13 new FNPs in each graduating class.
  • $455,000 to Davidson County Schools to support addition of a welding fabrication pathway at South Davidson High School that would double its capacity to 40 for high school students to train and earn a welding certification from Davidson-Davie Community College through the Career and College Promise program.
  • $200,000 to Rockingham Community College for equipment to support expansion of RCC’s welding program to help meet the region’s welder and welding skills shortage. The college will significantly increase the number of students in its curriculum programs and will create new continuing education programs.  
  • $200,000 to Surry Community College to purchase two automatic range trucks with trailers to expand its truck driver training program and to increase the number of students trained by up to 60 students annually.
  • $500,000 to the University of Mount Olive for design and infrastructure costs to support development of a new livestock/forage training facility that will enable expanded content and experiential learning, and additional credentials offered to prepare more students for entry-level and higher positions at regional ag businesses. The facility will also serve as a research and training site for students and faculty, host training opportunities for farmers and events for high school students, and expose high school students to agriculture related career pathways.
  • $164,000 to Uwharrie Charter Academy (UCA) for equipment for UCA’s newly constructed Career Academy facility that will open in August 2023. The Career Academy will train high school students in skills related to construction trades, advanced manufacturing, health sciences, automotive technologies, and other high-demand industries. UCA has also developed a partnership with Randolph Community College to provide program pathways in areas where certification is required.

The Golden LEAF Board awarded $748,644 in Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Southeast Prosperity Zone funding to the Town of Maysville located in Jones County to establish a workforce development training center in collaboration with Lenoir Community College to be located in a vacant building owned by the town. The project is expected to close the skills gap of needed workers in maintenance, construction trades, and other high-demand, local jobs. This project brings the total awarded in the Southeast Prosperity Zone through the Community-Based Grants Initiative to $10,997,459.

The State of North Carolina appropriated the Golden LEAF Foundation $25 million for a Flood Mitigation Program. The Flood Mitigation Program will award funding of up to $250,000 per project. Funds may only be awarded to units of local government. The Golden LEAF Board awarded $250,000 in funding to the Town of Manteo in Dare County to implement design solutions to reduce flow at a connection point and correct other deficiencies in the drainage system at Simon and Agona streets. This area has been identified by the Town of Manteo as a high-priority area due to frequent and often prolonged flooding during significant rainfalls, which submerges roadways and adjacent properties.

The North Carolina Community College System was awarded $2,060,000 by the Golden LEAF Board to support scholarships for students from rural and suburban counties to attend participating North Carolina community colleges. Curriculum students can receive up to $2,250 per year, and continuing education students can receive up to $1,850 per year. The Golden LEAF Foundation has awarded funds for scholarships to students attending North Carolina community colleges since 2000.

“The Golden LEAF Scholarship Program is an important component of the Foundation’s workforce preparedness strategy,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “Our goal is for Golden LEAF scholars to gain the talent, knowledge, and skills necessary to help North Carolina’s employers that are outside our urban areas by growing the workforce and therefore helping these communities to move the economic needle.”

Since 1999, Golden LEAF has funded 2,088 projects totaling $1.2 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 67,000 jobs, more than $720 million in new payrolls, and more than 95,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.

For more information about Golden LEAF and our programs, please visit our website at


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