In fiscal year 2022-23, the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded a total of $55,670,651.84 to support 102 projects across 53 counties. Of those, 67 projects were focused in its priority areas of agriculture; workforce preparedness; job creation and economic investment; and community capacity and competitiveness. Projects were awarded through Golden LEAF’s Open Grants Program, Economic Catalyst Program, SITE Program, and the Community-Based Grants Initiative. The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded 35 projects in the Flood Mitigation Grant Program.
The Golden LEAF Foundation partners with the N.C. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and local governments and economic development organizations to provide gap funding to assist with job creation in rural, economically distressed and/or tobacco-dependent communities. Funding awarded to local government entities and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations through Golden LEAF’s Economic Catalyst Program for projects announced over the past fiscal year are projected to support the creation of at least 2,379 jobs and create a capital investment of more than $4.9 billion over the next few years. During fiscal year 2022-23, previously awarded projects created 873 jobs, more than $60 million in new payroll, and more than $945 million in capital investment.
One of Golden LEAF’s newest programs is the SITE Program. For Fiscal Year 2022-23, the Golden LEAF Board awarded 21 projects totaling $10.2 million. Through the SITE Program, Golden LEAF provides support to communities to identify potential sites for economic development, enable completion of due diligence on sites already identified, or extend public utilities to or conduct grading and clearing of sites for which due diligence has been completed.
Golden LEAF supports workforce projects that help close the skills gap and increase the pool of highly qualified individuals with skills aligned to North Carolina businesses’ current and future needs. The Golden LEAF Board funds projects that demonstrate a market demand for skilled workers and aims to develop skill sets required by businesses looking to locate or expand in rural communities. Last fiscal year, the Golden LEAF Board awarded 26 projects totaling $12,859,535.78 in workforce preparedness projects. Over the same fiscal year, previously funded workforce preparedness projects helped train 3,844 people, including 1,047 who earned third party credentials and 725 who earned a degree, diploma or certificate.
Golden LEAF supports agriculture as an economic engine in rural communities. Projects include education or training opportunities to enable transition to a career in agriculture or technical assistance and research projects to support existing farmers. Eligible uses of Golden LEAF funds include salary, equipment, and other program costs. Over the last fiscal year, the Golden LEAF Board awarded three agriculture projects totaling $1.25 million.
To learn more about Golden LEAF’s funding programs, visit our website www.goldenleaf.org/programs.