For immediate release (6/22/12)
Contact: Garnet Bass, 919-250-4314
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center has awarded 25 New Generation Initiative grants to train rural young people for skilled jobs in high-demand fields and engage others in leadership and community development.
The center launched the four-part New Generation Initiative last fall in recognition that communities will flourish only to the extent that they fully involve youth and young adults in economic and civic life. Center research has documented that over the past two decades, 54 rural counties lost young adult population and 22 lost population under 18.
Awards Wednesday are the first under the New Generation Careers and New Generation Leaders programs. The New Generation Ventures program, launched earlier this year, already has more than 70 young adults working toward starting businesses in rural communities. This fall a fourth program will begin offering workshops in how communities can improve youth engagement efforts.
New Generation Careers
The New Generation Careers program assists the development of locally based strategies to train and place rural young people, ages 18 to 30, in high-demand career fields. The 14 projects that received grants are expected to result in job placements for 519 young adults. All build on collaborations among workforce development agencies, the business community and nonprofits. Many target disadvantaged young people, including those who have dropped out of school or have other barriers to employment.
Brunswick Community College,$100,000 to train more than 50 young adults and place 40 in jobs in Brunswick County. This project will establish a collaboration between Brunswick Community College and Brunswick Housing Opportunities Inc. to focus on career development in such fields as health care, industrial and vehicle maintenance, and green housing construction.
Central Carolina Community College, $100,000 to train 75 young adults and place 40 in jobs. The project will help meet the needs of health care employers in Harnett County.
City of Wilson, $50,000 to train 36 young adults and place 20 in jobs. The project will involve on-the-job training in the repair and conservation of sculptures in Wilson County.
Halifax Community College, $100,000 to train 52 young people and place 44 in jobs in Halifax and Northampton counties. A training program will prepare participants to enroll in nursing, maintenance or computer courses.
Haywood County Schools, $100,000 to serve at least 75 young adults and place 40 in jobs. The grant will expand an existing program through which participants earn high school diplomas, explore job possibilities and design career paths.
Isothermal Community College, $63,900 to train 120 young adults and place 60 in jobs. The grant will enable the school's welding program to become accredited through the American Welding Society, enhancing the credentials of its graduates. The project will serve students from Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties.
Johnston Community College, $46,123 to train 45 young adults and place 30 in jobs. The grant will support training for Johnston County students who are preparing for manufacturing jobs.
Land-of-Sky Regional Council, working with My Place Inc., $100,000 to serve 80 young adults and place 30 in jobs. The participants will receive on-the-job bakery training, culinary classroom instruction, life-skills coaching and job-placement assistance in Henderson County. The project is one of the first pre-apprenticeship programs under an initiative of the N.C. Department of Labor.
Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce, $75,000 to train 50 young adults and place 35 in jobs. The Scotland County project will blend on-the-job experience with other training to assist unemployed and underemployed workers.
Lee County Industries, $75,000 to train 60 young adults and place 30 in jobs. The project will target those with disabilities or other barriers to employment in Chatham and Lee counties. It will provide manufacturing skills training, work readiness preparation, work experience and job placement.
N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development, $75,000 to train 50 young adults and place 10 in jobs. During the 10-month program, participants will work full-time for nonprofit organizations in Robeson County.
The Pisgah Center, $79,620 to train 40 young people and place 40 in jobs. The project will target young people in Madison and Transylvania counties who have dropped out of school, lack appropriate workplace and life skills and have a history of court involvement. Participants will receive career development and leadership training, work experience and counseling.
Stanly Community College, $100,000 to train 50 young adults and place 40 in jobs. The project will provide young adults in Anson, Montgomery, Stanly and Union counties with instruction in how to install and repair power lines.
Yadkin County, working with the Town of Elkin, $100,000 to train 120 young adults and place 60 in jobs. Working with unemployed and underemployed young people in Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, the initiative will address employability and job turnover issues, implement workforce recruitment strategies and provide on-the-job work experience.
New Generation Leaders
This program encourages young people, ages 16 to 30, to become more active in civic and economic affairs, in part by tackling community improvement projects of their own creation. In the 11 selected communities, teams of young people will work with established leaders to design and implement a project while also immersing themselves in the community's history, culture and economy.
Grants require collaboration by local organizations. Each grant is worth $20,000. Lead organizations and the areas their projects will serve are:
Brunswick Housing Opportunities, Brunswick County; Caswell County Partnership for Children, Caswell County; Communities in Schools, Cleveland County; Duplin County Center for Leadership Development, Duplin County; Gates County Cooperative Extension, Gates County; Graham County Cooperative Extension, Graham County; Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce, Halifax and Northampton counties; Rural School and Community Trust, Warren County; Town of Mars Hill, Madison County; United Way, Onslow County; Wilkes County Schools, Wilkes County.
The board awarded 22 grants worth $3.96 million for projects that directly lead to job creation. Economic infrastructure grants enable new business locations or expansions through water and sewer improvements, broadband expansion, natural gas line extensions, construction of access roads and other infrastructure improvements. Building reuse grants prepare vacant buildings for use by job-generating businesses and support the expansion and renovation of occupied buildings if that work leads to new, permanent jobs in the manufacturing sector. The Rural Hope Initiative spurs job creation in the health care sector while improving the availability and quality of health care services in rural communities.
Town of Blowing Rock, $585,495 for water and sewer improvements for a new hospital. The project will create 59 jobs in the Watauga County town.
Pender County, $150,000 for access road improvements for a new company that manufactures energy-saving refrigeration products. The project will create 30 jobs.
Town of Selma, $40,000 for rail improvements for a new fertilizer manufacturer. The project will create eight jobs in the Johnston County town.
Town of Troy, $130,455 for sewer, stormwater drainage and road improvements for a new food processing company. The project will create 27 jobs in the Montgomery County town.
Caldwell County, $53,796 to support the renovation of a Lenoir building used by a company that prints labels for apparel. The renovation will allow the company to expand its operations. The project will create 15 jobs.
Davie County, $480,000 to renovate a vacant Mocksville building for use by a furniture manufacturer. The project will create 40 jobs.
City of Lenoir, $120,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a trucking company. The project will create 10 jobs in the Caldwell County town.
Martin County, $426,500 to renovate a vacant Jamesville building for use by a company that makes merchandise displays. The project will create 55 jobs.
McDowell County, $157,700 to renovate a vacant Old Fort building for use by a furniture accessory company. The project will create 15 jobs.
Pender County, $480,000 to renovate a vacant Rocky Point building for use by a company that manufactures energy-saving refrigeration products. The project will create 40 jobs.
Robeson County, $64,000 to renovate a vacant Lumberton building for use by a child care center. The project will create eight jobs.
Rutherford County, $288,000 to renovate a vacant Forest City building for use by a package manufacturer. The project will create 24 jobs.
Town of Scotland Neck, $24,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by an automotive repair center. The project will create three jobs in the Halifax County town.
Town of Smithfield, $64,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a pet care business. The project will create eight jobs in the Johnston County town.
City of Statesville, $176,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a gear manufacturer. The project will create 22 jobs in the Iredell County town.
Town of Valdese, $270,000 to support the renovation of a building used by a battery manufacturer. The renovation will allow the company to expand its operations. The project will create 54 jobs in the Burke County town.
Wilkes County, $75,000 to support the renovation of a Wilkesboro building used by a company that manufactures retail displays and fixtures. The renovation will allow the company to expand its operations. The project will create 15 jobs.
Town of Edenton, $16,000 to expand an optometrist's office. The project will create two jobs in the Chowan County town.
City of Dunn, $80,000 for building improvements for a new Harnett Health System wound care center. The project will create 10 jobs in the Harnett County town.
Hertford County, $41,520 for improvements to Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center's building in Ahoskie. This grant supplements an earlier award. The project will create five jobs.
These grants seek to ensure a clean, abundant supply of drinking water and the safe treatment and disposal of wastewater. The grants also help rural governments plan for water and sewer improvements.
Town of Madison, $380,000 to upgrade the community's water treatment system. Madison is in Rockingham County.
Town of Valdese, $30,000 to inspect the community's sewer system and recommend improvements to the Burke County town.
Wilkes County, $300,000 to extend water from the Town of Ronda to serve homes with contaminated wells.
INFRASTRUCTURE & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
This program funds worthy projects that might otherwise be outside the timeline or geographic area of a specific grant program.
City of Asheboro, $50,000 to renovate a theater in the Randolph County town.
The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop sound economic strategies that improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources. The center operates a multifaceted program that includes conducting research into rural issues; testing promising rural development strategies; advocating for policy and program innovations; and building the productive capacity of rural leaders, entrepreneurs and community organizations.