Golden LEAF awards $10 million in Community-Based Grants Initiative projects in the Southeast Prosperity Zone

Golden LEAF awards $10 million in Community-Based Grants Initiative projects in the Southeast Prosperity Zone

February 9, 2023

At the February 2023 meeting, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded 13 Community-Based Grants Initiative projects totaling $10,248,815 in the Southeast Prosperity Zone. These projects will support workforce preparedness and job creation and economic investment in Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Pamlico, and Wayne counties.

Brunswick County

  • $1,000,000 to Brunswick Community College to purchase training equipment in support of a new public safety training facility and burn village, where the college will train an additional 153 new emergency responders within three years.

Carteret County

  • $750,000 to Carteret Community College for personnel and simulation equipment to support the expansion of the nursing program at Carteret Community College by 25 additional students annually.

Craven County

  • $753,700 to the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport Authority for clearing, grubbing, and extension of public utilities to serve a 90-acre site at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport Business Park. The project could result in the creation of 100 new jobs with an average annual wage of $43,435.
  • $495,115 to Craven Community College to renovate two additional structures at the Volt Center in New Bern to house the new heavy equipment operator program and the small business incubator for construction trades and light manufacturing. The college expects that 88 students will earn a credential annually.

Duplin County

  • $1,075,000 to James Sprunt Community College for personnel, equipment, and building renovations at the WestPark Industry Training Center to establish a new machining program to increase the pool of industrial maintenance mechanics in Duplin County by graduating 20 curriculum students and 60 continuing education students, with 60 students earning at least one third-party credential.

Greene County

  • $50,000 to the County of Greene for funding to conduct due diligence on property to be developed for commercial and industrial purposes.

Lenoir County

  • $1,500,000 to the County of Lenoir to extend water and sewer infrastructure for the Highway 70 Industrial Park. The project is anticipated to result in up to $140 million in private capital investment, and creation of 500 new jobs with an average annual salary of $50,000.

New Hanover and Pender counties

  • $900,000 to Cape Fear Community College for instructors, construction, instructional equipment, and technology to support workforce training in the electrical trades to address the current shortage of trained electricians in New Hanover and Pender counties. The college anticipates training 99 students who will become U.S. Department of Labor journeyman electricians.

Onslow County

  • $500,000 to Coastal Carolina Community College for renovations, equipment, supplies, program outreach, participant support, and initial personnel costs to support expansion of the welding program that is expected to result in an additional 180 students earning third­ party/industry credentials over a two-year period, to help meet industry demand.

Pamlico County

  • $500,000 to Pamlico Community College for renovations to provide additional lab and classroom space and for instructional equipment, supplies, and technology to support the expansion of continuing education and curriculum healthcare course offerings

Wayne County

  • $225,000 to Wayne Community College to renovate training space and for equipment, personnel, and supplies at Southern Wayne High School to expand the college’s workforce training in welding, equipment repair, and safety programs. The project anticipates increasing the number of high school students completing career pathways and the number of adults completing training and earning industry credentials or micro-credentials.

Regional Projects

  • $1,000,000 to Lenoir Community College, serving Lenoir, Jones, and Greene counties, for training equipment and professional development to support a new regional Aviation Center for Excellence at the Global TransPark that will house aviation, aircraft maintenance, and advanced manufacturing programs. Golden LEAF funding will leverage a $25 million state appropriation for the facility. The college anticipates recruiting 80 students annually to be trained, earn industry credentials, and be eligible for jobs with aviation employers in the region. Project implemented in Lenoir, Jones, and Greene county schools. 
  • $1,500,000 to Novant Health Pender Medical Center, serving Brunswick, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, and Pender counties, to expand the Black River Health Services clinic located in Burgaw, N.C., to support a newly created rural track for a Family Medicine residency program in collaboration with Novant Health Pender Medical Center. It is anticipated that this project will add over thirty new jobs including physicians, health professionals, and allied health positions among the residency program, Pender Medical Center, and Black River Family Medicine, and will involve several clinical sites in the region.

Golden LEAF will be kicking off the Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Piedmont-Triad Prosperity Zone in April 2023. To learn more about the Golden LEAF Community-Based Grants Initiative, visit

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