Note: This information was provided by the Golden LEAF Foundation.


ROCKY MOUNT – The Golden LEAF Board of Directors HAS awarded a total of $7,160,085 in funding across three Golden LEAF Programs. The Board awarded $4,495,684 to support 11 projects through the SITE Program, $1,296,301 to support four projects through the Open Grants Program, and $1,368,100 in funding for six projects through the Flood Mitigation Program.

The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded $4.5 million in funding for 11 projects through the Golden LEAF SITE Program in Ashe, Catawba, Columbus, Jackson, Lenoir, Madison, McDowell, Nash, Onslow, Washington, and Wilkes counties.

“The need for industrial sites, especially in rural areas, is no longer a luxury but a necessity to meet demand,” said Don Flow, Golden LEAF Board Chair. “We are excited to see how these projects will help prepare counties for new and expanding companies in North Carolina.”


The SITE Program offers resources to help communities identify potential sites for economic development, provides funding to complete due diligence on publicly controlled sites, and provides funding to extend public utilities to publicly controlled sites or to conduct clearing and rough grading of publicly owned sites. The three phases of the SITE Program are Identification, Due Diligence, and Development.

SITE Program – Identification provides assistance to a community from a firm contracted by Golden LEAF to help identify potential industrial sites in the community. Jackson County was selected to receive assistance through this phase.

The Golden LEAF Board awarded $274,550 in funding to support six SITE Program – Due Diligence projects. These projects will use funding to complete eligible due diligence activities such as environmental assessments, archaeological analyses, and mapping. Organizations receiving SITE Program – Due Diligence support include:

  • $50,000 to the City of Claremont for the Claremont International Rail Park.
  • $50,000 to Columbus County for Southeast Regional Park Site Development.
  • $50,000 to the Jacksonville-Onslow Economic Development Partnership for the Camp Davis Industrial Park, Phase III.
  • $24,550 to Madison County Economic Development for the Madison County Industrial Park.
  • $50,000 to Washington County for the Washington County Industrial Preparation Project.
  • $50,000 to Wilkes Economic Development Corporation for the Wilkes Industrial Park.

For the SITE Program – Development, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $4,206,134 in funding for four projects that will provide public infrastructure and, for publicly owned sites, clearing and rough grading, to benefit sites that have completed the due diligence necessary to demonstrate that the site is suitable for development. Organizations receiving SITE Program – Development support include:

  • $920,034 to Ashe County to enable site work, including clearing, grading, erosion control, stabilization, and other site preparation for a 10.2-acre lot that could house an industrial facility of up to 50,000 square feet within Ashe County’s new industrial park.
  • $1,500,000 to the Town of La Grange to extend water infrastructure to serve a 60-acre town-owned site at the corner of Hwy 903 and North Charles Street by connecting two newly acquired water production wells to provide additional water production capacity and increase flow and pressure to northeastern La Grange.
  • $1,378,550 to McDowell County to complete select due diligence and for continued clearing and rough grading of the 20-acre site in Universal Technology Park, Phase II.
  • $407,550 to the Town of Nashville to rough-grade Lot #3 in the Nashville Business Center, which has a significant surface slope, to make it suitable for industrial development. The site has been previously cleared and grubbed.

“Today the Board awarded funding for job creation and economic investment, workforce preparedness, industrial site preparation, and flood mitigation,” said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer. “These projects are part of larger strategies that will improve the long-term economic advancement of rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities. We look forward to the impact these projects will have for years to come.”


The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded four projects totaling $1,296,301 in Open Grants Program funding. These projects will support job creation and economic investment and workforce preparedness in Alamance, Forsyth, Jackson, and Rowan counties.

  • $200,000 to Alamance Community College Foundation, Inc. to support initial instructor costs for a new Practical Nursing curriculum to help address immediate demand surrounding state and regional LPN shortages. The college anticipates enrollment of up to 40 students within the first year and plans to seek Board of Nursing approval for more than 40 students in the future.
  • $300,000 to Partners In Learning (PIL) for renovation and construction costs associated with a clinic and sensory room for individuals with autism to support expansion of PIL’s autism services. The increased space will lead to the creation of 35 new professional and paraprofessional positions. Additionally, 48 new and current employees will earn 3rd-party/industry credentials on site.
  • $478,803 to Western Carolina University for equipment and facilities upgrade costs to develop a studio for Robotics and Automation to provide hands-on education and support for an undergraduate certificate and a concentration in the Engineering curriculum. The training will address a critical skills gap in robotics and automation among bachelor’s level graduates. Within four years, WCU expects 25 students each year to graduate with a Robotics and Automation concentration.
  • $317,498 to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to purchase equipment and training materials to support training aircraft maintenance and manufacturing in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Students would earn an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 Drone Pilot License or the FAA’s Light Sport Repairman Rating to help address a need to support the regional aerospace industry.

The State of North Carolina appropriated the Golden LEAF Foundation $25 million for a Flood Mitigation Program. The Flood Mitigation Program will award funding up to $250,000 per project. Funds may only be awarded to units of local government.


The Golden LEAF Board awarded $1,368,100 in funding to support six projects through the Flood Mitigation Program in Ashe, Chatham, Dare, and Forsyth counties.

  • $186,600 to the Village of Clemmons for engineering, design, and construction costs to upsize and reconfigure piping to increase the capacity for stormwater at the Bridle Path area due to flooding during heavy rain.
  • $250,000 to the Village of Clemmons to replace existing infrastructure with improved capacity to address flooding at the Greendale Way area.
  • $181,500 to the Village of Clemmons to replace the existing culvert with a larger, reinforced concrete pipe culvert and to install a rip-rap pad downstream in the North Lakeshore Drive area that experiences flooding during heavy rains.
  • $250,000 to the Town of Nags Head to restore vegetated swales and install storm drainage pipe to address increased levels of flooding observed with significant rainfall events on Linda Lane in the Old Nags Head Place subdivision.
  • $250,000 to the Town of Pittsboro to upsize a failed system to reduce flooding and overtopping along Pittsboro Elementary School Road.
  • $250,000 to the Town of West Jefferson to support construction of an underground stormwater detention chamber and a vegetated swale to mitigate the frequent flooding downtown businesses experience.

Since 1999, Golden LEAF has funded 2,109 projects totaling $1.2 billion supporting the mission of advancing economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities.