For immediate release (4/25/13)

Contact: Matt Ehlers, 919-250-4314


RALEIGH -- The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center announces $5.5 million in grants to create jobs, provide clean water and assist with economic development in rural counties. The 36 grants will create 660 jobs and assist projects benefiting more than 32 counties.


The grants were approved by the center’s board of directors April 24 and made possible by appropriations of the N.C. General Assembly and state Clean Water Bonds.

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 certain types of occupied buildings if that work leads to new, permanent jobs. 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.

Economic infrastructure

Cherokee County, $209,820 for water system improvements and installation of fiber optic cable to an expanding tool manufacturer. The project will create 21 jobs.

City of Dunn, $1 million for water and sewer improvements to a planned retail distribution facility. The project will create 100 jobs in the Harnett County town.

Hoke County, $150,000 for water and sewer improvements for a dental practice. The project will create 15 jobs.

Town of Troy, $800,000 for wastewater improvements for a manufacturing expansion. The project will create 160 jobs in the Montgomery County town. A building reuse grant also was approved for this project; together the grants will create 260 jobs.

Building reuse

Burke County, $500,000 to renovate a building so a wiring manufacturer can expand. The project will create 100 jobs.

Elizabeth City, $30,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a restaurant. The project will create six jobs in the Pasquotank County town.

Granville County, $200,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by two manufacturers. The project will create 20 jobs.

Martin County, $20,655 for building improvements that allow a food company to expand. The project will create five jobs.

Montgomery County, $155,000 for building improvements that allow a lumber company to expand. The project will create 31 jobs.

Town of Troy, $500,000 for building improvements for a manufacturing expansion. The project will create 100 jobs in the Montgomery County town. An economic infrastructure grant also was approved for this project; together the grants will create 260 jobs.

Town of Wilkesboro, $40,000 for building improvements that allow a furniture company to expand. The project will create eight jobs in the Wilkes County town.

Rural Hope

Randolph County, $15,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a senior adult center. The project will create three jobs.

ECONOMIC INNOVATION
The Economic Innovation Grants Program spurs business activity, job creation and public/private investment in North Carolina's rural communities.

Area L Area Health Education Center, $100,000 to provide training, educational support, career counseling and placement services to at least 100 unemployed workers who desire to enter the allied health care field. The project, which is expected to create 25 jobs, will provide services in Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton and Wilson counties.

Central Carolina Community College, $100,000 to provide training in industrial equipment maintenance. The program, which is expected to create 50 jobs, will assist workers in Chatham, Lee and Harnett counties.

McDowell Economic Development Association, $46,000 to support the Foothills Pilot Plant, a USDA inspected animal processing facility that serves independent farmers. The project is expected to create eight jobs.

Mountain Area Health Education Center, $100,000 to construct and equip the Lake Lure Family Health Center in Rutherford County. The center will employ new models for health care delivery and office efficiency. The project is expected to create eight jobs.

COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION
This program funds projects that connect unemployed and underemployed workers to full-time jobs. Grant recipients collaborate with other workforce and economic development agencies. The projects will result in 408 job placements.

Center for Community Action/Robeson Community College, $90,000; Forsyth Technical Community College/Winston-Salem Urban League, $90,000; Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity Inc., $75,000; Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County, $45,000; Lenoir Community College, $35,000; Mitchell Community College in Iredell County, $90,000; Opportunities Industrialization Center of Wilson, $75,000; Regeneration Development Group in Halifax County, $40,000; RFD Community Development Corporation of Yadkin and Wilkes counties, $75,000.

CLEAN WATER
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.

Towns of Forest City, Lake Lure, Rutherfordton and Spindale, $17,500 each for a total of $87,500, to create a regional plan to consolidate wastewater services in Rutherford County.

Town of Liberty, $483,000 to construct new wells for the Randolph County town.

Town of Marshville, $23,000 to improve maps and plans for the water and wastewater systems in the Union County town.

Town of Maxton, $252,430 for wastewater system improvements in the Robeson County town.

Town of Oakboro, $12,500 to devise a water and wastewater asset management plan for the Stanly County town.

Pamlico County, $20,000 to study water pressure issues.

Town of Pilot Mountain, $40,000 to map the wastewater system in the Surry County town.

Town of Smithfield, $30,000 to study water-intake issues in the Johnston 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.