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Rural Communities Receive State Grants Attracting 342 New Jobs and $74.3 Million in Private Investment

North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority awards $7.2 million in grants to support jobs and infrastructure and property upgrades


Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: 12/14/2017

Contact: David Rhoades
Phone: 919 814-4611


Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 21 grant requests totaling $7,159,350, N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 342 jobs. Secretary Copeland previously announced an additional 182 new jobs associated with these grants. The public investment in these projects is attracting $74.3 million in private investment.

“Businesses expect a certain amount of basic infrastructure to be in place before they will even consider a community for an expansion or re-location,” said Secretary Copeland. “The Rural Infrastructure Authority, supported by the Rural Economic Development team at Commerce, helps communities prepare these necessary tools so they can compete for the business they deserve.”

A team of rural economic development specialists at the North Carolina Department of Commerce support the Authority’s work. Authority members review and approve funding requests from local communities. Funding comes from a variety of specialized grant and loan programs offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, led by Deputy Secretary for Workforce and Rural Development Napoleon Wallace and Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Kenny Flowers. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.

“In my first weeks with the Department, it’s been gratifying to dig into the details of these projects and see how we can make a real difference in local communities,” said Assistant Secretary Flowers. Flowers assumed his duties with the Department on November 1.

Included in the grants awarded today, the RIA approved three requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund - Utility Account program:
  • Town of Elizabethtown (Bladen County): A $265,000 grant to help extend a taxiway at Elizabethtown Regional Airport. This decision amends a grant made in 2015 and covers increased costs for the project.
  • City of Eden (Rockingham County): A $997,000 grant to upgrade its sewer system with a new pump station and gravity line. Two major employers, Gildan Activewear and Weil-McLean are currently served by a system that’s failing, risking 300 jobs if the situation is not resolved. These upgrades will also increase system capacity, opening additional sites to future economic development.
  • Stanly County: A $950,000 grant will help extend water and sewer lines to a 76 acre industrial site under development. Plans for the site include construction of a 50,000 sq. ft. building.
The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to local governments located in the 80 most economically distressed counties of the state, which are classified as either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Funds may be used for publicly owned infrastructure projects that are reasonably expected to result in new job creation. The IDF – Utility Account is funded through a process tied to the state’s signature Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. When JDIG-awarded companies choose to locate or expand in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 county, a portion of that JDIG award is channeled into the Utility Account.

The RIA approved two grants under the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program:

  • Town of Drexel (Burke County): A $500,000 grant to assist with the demolition of a building constructed in 1906 on a 16.38-acre site suitable for productive development. The site can be served by rail and will be marketed as a site for light manufacturing.
  • Town of Tabor City (Columbus County): A $250,000 grant to assist with the construction of 1,200 linear feet of 12-inch water line. DMA Holdings, a warehouse distributor for the North American automotive parts after market, will benefit from the upgrade, creating 13 new jobs. The company will invest $250,000 in the project.
The Community Development Block Grant program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by N.C. Commerce. CDBG’s economic development funds are granted to local governments to enhance the vitality of communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments and expanding economic opportunities.

The RIA approved 16 grants under the state’s Building Reuse Program in three categories:

Rural Health
  • Town of White Lake (Bladen County): An $80,000 grant will support the expansion of a 1,594 sq. ft. building constructed in 1950. Southeastern Health Clinic White Lake is a primary care facility serving patients in Bladen, Pender, and Sampson Counties. The company plans to add 2,000 sq. ft. to the existing facility, creating 8 jobs.
  • City of Morganton (Burke County): A $230,000 grant to support the renovation of a 24,170 sq. ft. building constructed in 1974. A Caring Alternative is a comprehensive care agency providing behavioral health and substance use disorder services. The company will add 23 jobs in Morganton, a North Carolina Main Street community.
  • Town of Louisburg (Franklin County): A $70,000 grant to support the reuse of a 5,000 sq. ft. building constructed in 1984. Impact Healthcare is a start-up medical facility. The facility will focus on diagnosis and treatment for all ages, with an emphasis on preventative medicine and wellness. 7 new jobs are associated with the project.
  • Wilson County: A $360,000 grant will support the renovation of a 500,000 sq. ft. building constructed in 1960. Duke Lifepoint Wilson Medical Center offers a full range of services and specialties in a six-county area and will create 36 jobs with this project. The public dollars are leveraging a total private-sector investment of $7,985,735 in Wilson, a North Carolina Main Street community.
Existing Building Category
  • Town of Edenton (Chowan County): A $320,000 grant will support the expansion of an 80,000 sq. ft. building constructed in 1990 and occupied by Regulator Marine since that time. The company manufacturers offshore sports fishing boats. This project will double the company’s existing footprint and will add 32 new jobs, drawing $4,029,992 of private sector investment to leverage the public investment.
  • Town of Tabor City (Columbus County): A $97,350 grant will support the renovation of a 100,000 sq. ft. building located in Tabor City and constructed in 1974. DMA Holdings, a warehouse distributor for the North American automotive parts after market, is creating 13 jobs with this project, mentioned earlier in this release.
  • City of Fayetteville (Cumberland County): A $110,000 grant will support the expansion of a 9,651 sq. ft. building constructed in 1942. Kinlaw’s Supermarket is a meat processing and distribution facility. The company will create 11 jobs as it adds cold storage space to the existing property. A private-sector investment of $405,306 supports the project in addition to the public dollars.
  • Gaston County: A $300,000 grant will support the expansion of Firestone Fibers & Textiles Company. The building involved was constructed in 1992 and the company will add 25 new jobs as a result of this project. 110,000 sq. ft. will be added to the existing facility, and the public dollars are attracting a private-sector investment of $19,768,500.
  • Granville County: A $125,000 grant to support the renovation of a 66,720 sq. ft. building in Oxford. Shalag US manufactures non-woven fabrics and will create 10 jobs in association with this building reuse grant. designs and builds aluminum boats and will create 15 jobs at the location. The grant draws $2,225,000 in private investment.
  • City of Raeford (Hoke County): A $500,000 grant to support the renovation of a 244,950 sq. ft. building constructed in 1995. Butterball operates a turkey processing facility and plans to add a new production line to produce turkey bacon. 50 new jobs will be created, and the project attracts $19,742,780 of private investment to support the public investment. Butterball has met the terms of a previous grant from the Authority.
  • Iredell County: A $250,000 grant to support the expansion of a 100,000 sq. ft. building in Statesville constructed in 1978. Mack Molding Company is a supplier of molded plastic and fabricated metal parts. The company will add 60 new jobs, and will draw $4.8 million in private investment.
  • Caldwell County: A $300,000 grant to support the renovation of a 161,352 sq. ft. building in Lenoir constructed in 1973. Sealed Air is an international company best known for its Bubble Wrap products. The company operated in 175 countries, and maintains three facilities in North Carolina. The company will add 25 new jobs, announced earlier this week in association with a North Carolina Fund grant. The project will draw $950,265 in private investment.
  • City of Wilson (Wilson County): A $280,000 grant to support the renovation of a 225,000 sq. ft. building constructed in 1968. Linamar Forging, a manufacturer of powertrain solutions for the automotive industry will create 31 jobs for the project, as were previously announced in conjunction with a One North Carolina Fund grant from the state. The project will draw $6,605,000 in private investment.
Vacant Building Category
  • Brunswick County: A $175,000 grant to support ITI Technologies’ reuse of a 48,000-square-foot building in Leland vacant for five years. The company, which is a specialty chemical company that develops applications for agriculture will create 35 jobs with this project. A private-sector investment of $3,413,060 will support the project.
  • Burke County: A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 102,368 sq. ft. building constructed in 1993 and vacant for three years. Critical Resources, a manufacturer and distributor of firearms parts, will create 82 jobs at the location, and the project draws $1,007,476 in private-sector investment.
  • Vance County: A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 55,604 sq. ft. building in Henderson constructed in 1977. Mako Medical Laboratories provides lab and diagnostic services to physicians and health facilities around the United States. 76 new jobs are tied to this grant, jobs that were previously announced in conjunction with a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) awarded last month.
The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural Census tracts of Tier 3 counties.

In addition to reviewing and approving funding requests, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority formulates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. Its 15 voting members are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem. The North Carolina Secretary of Commerce serves as a non-voting member of the Authority.

For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit http://www.nccommerce.com/rd.



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