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Governor Cooper Announces Seven Grants to Rural Communities to Attract 130 New Jobs and over $53 Million in Private Investment

Raleigh, N.C.

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved seven grant requests to local governments totaling $2,639,793, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 321 jobs, 191 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $53.7 million in private investment.

“When we invest in our rural communities, we uplift the state of North Carolina as a whole,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “These grants not only improve our state’s infrastructure, but offer rural residents a chance at greater economic opportunity, stability, and freedom through quality jobs.”

The RIA is supported by the rural economic development team at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. RIA 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 Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Kenny Flowers. Grants support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.

"Our rural infrastructure grants are tangible investments in the full potential of our state and its people," said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. "Better public infrastructure welcomes more businesses and jobs to North Carolina, while inclusive economic development grows our economy and fosters an increased quality of life for our people."

The RIA approved five grant requests under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:

Vacant Building Category

  • Halifax County: A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 700,000-square-foot building in Roanoke Rapids. Five Goods, Inc., a company that focuses on food importation and wholesaling, plans to establish a location at this facility. The project is expected to create 50 jobs, with an accompanying private investment of $2,308,170.
  • Stanly County: A $375,000 grant will support the reuse of a 227,700-square-foot building in New London. Clayton Supply, Inc., a home manufacturer that builds, supplies, sells, finances, and leases homes, plans to establish a location at this facility. The project is expected to create 263 jobs overall, with 191 jobs and an investment of $46,579,538 tied to this grant.

Existing Business Building Category

  • Chatham County: A $100,000 grant will support the renovation of a 204,832-square-foot building in Goldston. The building is occupied by Conveyor Tech, LLC, a manufacturer of equipment in the electronics assembly industry, and one of two printed circuit board manufacturers in the United States. The company expects to create 20 jobs and invest $899,000 in this project.
  • Pitt County: A $180,000 grant will support the renovation of a 92,000-square-foot building in Greenville. The building’s occupant, Catalent Pharma Solutions, is a full-service contract development and manufacturing company that specializes in novel oral solid dosage forms. The company provides pharmaceutical development, analytical testing, and commercial manufacturing services. Through this project, Catalent plans to create 20 jobs while investing $2,915,000. 
  • Wayne County: A $350,000 grant will support the 29,000-square-foot expansion of a building in Mount Olive. The building is occupied by Goshen Engineering, Inc., an industrial automation company that designs, builds, and installs engineering solutions in a variety of industrial and commercial sectors, including the food production, automotive and electronics sectors. The company expects to create 40 jobs and invest $1,042,109 in this project.

The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant building, 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, as well as rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.

The RIA approved two requests under the Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program:

  • Nash County: A $750,000 grant will assist the County with the creation of a lift station and additional sewer line expansion for Middlesex Corporate Centre. This additional construction will open up more than 170 more acres of the park for industrial usage. 
  • Town of New London (Stanly County): A $384,793 grant will assist the Town in expanding access to their municipal sewer system. The funding will allow the creation of a new connection to the sewer, as well as expansion of the sewer line, enabling Heibar, a site-building division of Clayton Homes, to expand operations. These improvements will provide sewer access to multiple parcels of adjoining land for future use as well.

The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program provides grants to local governments located in the 80 most economically distressed counties of the state, classified as 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 awarded is channeled into the Utility Account.

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 17 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 member of the authority, ex officio.

Visit the Rural Economic Development Division webpage for more information.