The Piedmont-Triad Prosperity Zone has a unique opportunity this fall to leverage an available $11 million to be awarded by the Golden LEAF Foundation for projects that will boost job creation and economic investment, workforce preparedness, and agriculture. The Community-Based Grants Initiative (CBGI) targets one Prosperity Zone per year and is designed to advance local projects ready for implementation.
Organizations located in or serving Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties are invited to register for the official kick off meeting planned for April 27, 2023.
Identifying the right projects that will significantly benefit the region and have a long-lasting economic impact is a foundational first step in maximizing these awards. CBGI focuses on projects that bring local economic development, workforce and education, agriculture and industry leaders around the common cause of creating jobs. Most successful projects are collaborative, strategic, scale up to benefit more than one community, and provide a clear path to employment opportunities.
The Piedmont-Triad Prosperity Zone last participated in the CBGI process in 2017. The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $10.9 million in funding to support 16 projects in the priority areas of job creation and economic investment and workforce preparedness.
In 2017, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $254,347 through the CBGI to Surry County Schools to establish a college and career academy serving 30 local high school students over the grant term. This was designed to provide students access to career pathways targeting advanced manufacturing, health sciences, agriculture and other trade/industry employment sectors.
Under the Next Generation program 93 students obtained a minimum of 12 credit hours of college credit or an associate degree; 563 industry-recognized/ third-party credentials were earned, 130 students completed a minimum of 100 hours of work experience through internships or other work-based learning, and 93% of the students either obtained employment in field of study within six months or continue training in their field of study. The Next Generation Program began in January 2018 and continued through October 2021 before evolving into the expanded Surry-Yadkin Works.
The Golden LEAF Board awarded the Town of Madison $500,000 to upgrade its water treatment plant, increasing water supply available for growth along the US 220 corridor. The increase in water supply was needed to serve businesses locating and expanding in Madison and also supplies water for the state-funded infrastructure expansion in southern Rockingham County and northwestern Guilford County.
The Town of Madison completed the water treatment plant improvements. The project has also enabled the town to approve development of a 200 plus lot subdivision and the potential to approve development of another 85 residential lots in the same area. Ontex, a leading international personal hygiene group, decided to locate in Madison in part because of the access to water which is purchased from the Town of Madison. So far, Ontex has created an additional 150 jobs. Total job creation as a result of this project is 226 from an array of surrounding business and industry.
These success stories are the result of collaboration, planning, and rallying together around the challenging work needed to help regions make significant strides toward economic growth.
CBGI’s focused process culminates with grants targeted toward investments to grow economic development. Awards are typically limited to 1-3 projects per county and total no more than $1.5 million per county. Not all counties in the region are guaranteed to receive funds. Click here for more information and to sign up for email updates for the CBIG process in the Piedmont-Triad Prosperity Zone.