New facilities expanding workforce preparedness in North Carolina

New facilities expanding workforce preparedness in North Carolina

June 16, 2022

North Carolina’s workforce preparedness programs are growing. 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. Golden LEAF Foundation Board and staff recently attended celebrations for new workforce preparedness programs throughout the state.

In April 2022, the N.C. State Plant Sciences Initiative held a building dedication ceremony. The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded a total of $48.5 million to support the initiative, which will create opportunities to grow the state’s thriving agricultural industry into a global leader – by developing new products, conducting research, and educating our next generations of agriculture industry employees for the jobs of the future. This public-private initiative had a total of 44 statewide commodity groups raise $6 million for the Plant Sciences Initiative. Other partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Plant Sciences Initiative already has more than 100 industry sponsored research projects.

In April 2022, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the James A. Thomas Hall Business School. In February 2017, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $1,893,900 through a special initiative to be used for classroom learning technology equipment for the new business school. State-of-the-art improvements are helping to expand existing programs and create new ones that are necessary for contemporary professional preparedness. 

In April 2022, Southwestern Community College held an open house for its new Health Sciences Center. In August 2020, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $198,400 through the Open Grants Program to SCC to purchase simulation training equipment needed for the expansion of its health sciences programs. The Golden LEAF Board also awarded $777,337 through the Community-Based Grants Initiative to support the expansion of Southwestern Community College’s Health Sciences programs, adding new clinic opportunities in respiratory therapy, medical laboratory technology and radiography.

In March 2022, Wayne Community College held a ribbon cutting for its new welding facilities. In June 2016, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $500,000 through the Community-Based Grants Initiative to WCC to expand its welding program to increase enrollment and provide training using modern instructional equipment. Local employers have indicated demand for approximately 250 welders over the next five years. Golden LEAF funds were used for costs related to the renovation of training space and to purchase welding equipment, including 20 self-contained welding booths and four downdraft tables.

Learn more about Golden LEAF’s different workforce preparedness funding opportunities through the Open Grants Program, Community-Based Grants Initiative, and the Economic Catalyst Program.

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