Rural communities receive state grants attracting 240 new jobs and more than $95 million in private investment
“Rural North Carolina communities have a lot to offer families and businesses, and they need infrastructure that complements those unique assets,” said Secretary Copeland. “These new Rural Infrastructure Authority grants will help invest in that infrastructure and support the creation of good jobs across our state.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s team of rural economic development professionals supports the RIA’s work. 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 can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.
“The projects approved today will attract hundreds of new jobs, support business expansion and prepare sites for future growth in rural areas of North Carolina,” said Assistant Secretary Flowers. “The Rural Economic Development Division at Commerce and the Rural Infrastructure Authority work closely with leaders in our rural communities to help them expand economic opportunity and investment.”
The RIA approved 14 grants under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:
Vacant Building Category
- City of Mebane (Alamance County): A $480,000 grant will support the reuse of an 84,060-square-foot building. Universal Preserva-A-Chem, a distributor and importer of natural ingredients and chemicals for the personal care, food, and pharmaceutical industries, intends to relocate to the facility, creating 39 jobs and investing $16,980,000.
- City of Hickory (Catawba County): A $187,000 grant will support the reuse of a 160,000-square-foot building. PTI, which manufactures custom, extruded, closed-cell foam profiles for various industries, will locate in the facility. PTI will bring its operations, currently in three locations, under one roof. The company plans to create 15 jobs and invest $300,435 in the project.
- City of Newton (Catawba County): A $60,000 grant will support the reuse of a 15,000-square-foot building, which will be occupied by James River Companies, a full-service equipment and tractor dealership serving customers in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company plans to create 12 jobs and invest $307,984 in this project.
- Town of Siler City (Chatham County): A $235,000 grant will support the renovation of a 76,000-square-foot building, where A.D. Tubi, a manufacturer of welded tubes made of stainless steel, nickel alloys and titanium, will locate its first manufacturing facility in North America. The project, in which the company is investing $6,291,073, is expected to create 19 jobs.
- Clay County: A $150,000 grant will support the reuse of an 8,500-square-foot building in Hayesville. Erlanger Health Systems plans to locate an express care facility there, providing comprehensive care for acute and chronic illnesses as well as preventative care for patients of all ages. The project is expected to create 12 jobs and involve $1,595,845 in private investment.
- Rockingham County: A $125,000 grant will support the reuse of a 120,600-square-foot building in Reidsville. Speedline Corporation, which manufactures PVC fitting covers and jacketing systems to protect the insulation of mechanical piping, bare metal and equipment for industrial and commercial applications, plans to relocate their entire operation to the facility. The company expects to create 10 jobs and invest $1,764,700 in the project.
Existing Building Category
- Ashe County: A $100,000 grant will support the renovation of a 216,000-square-foot building located in Lansing occupied by United Chemi-Con, a manufacturer and supplier of aluminum electrolytic capacitors. The project is expected to create 10 jobs, with an investment of $281,992 by the company.
- Cherokee County: A $125,000 grant will support the renovation of a 170,000-square-foot building in Murphy occupied by Moog Murphy. The company is a designer and supplier of motion control technology that enhances performance in a variety of markets and applications, from commercial aircraft cockpits to medical infusion systems. The project is expected to create 20 jobs and features an investment of $1,693,905 by the company.
- Town of Scotland Neck (Halifax County): A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 150,000-square-foot building occupied by AirBoss. The company develops, manufactures and markets rubber-based products to various industries, including automotive, heavy industry, construction and infrastructure, and defense. The project is expected to create 42 jobs and generate $4,625,556 in private investment.
- McDowell County: A $200,000 grant will support the renovation of a 40,000-square-foot building in Marion occupied by Toolcraft, which manufactures key and bolt carriers for certain weapons. The company expects to create 16 jobs and invest $592,337 in the project.
- Pitt County: A $125,000 grant will support the renovation of a 9,004-square-foot building in Greenville occupied by Grover Gaming, a software development company that serves lotteries and other niche gaming markets. The company plans to create 13 jobs and invest $125,000 in this project.
- Scotland County: A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 1.1-million-square-foot building in Wagram, where Cascades Holdings manufactures sanitary paper products for the commercial, industrial, retail and institutional markets. With this expansion, Cascades is expected to add 66 jobs and invest $57.5 million.
- Vance County: A $130,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Henderson that is occupied by Southeastern Specialty Vehicles. The company, which manufactures ambulance and rescue vehicles, plans to create 26 jobs and invest $610,077 in the project.
- Wayne County: A $375,000 grant will support the reuse of a 47,599-square-foot building in Goldsboro occupied by Alta Foods, which produces corn, flour, whole wheat and whole grain tortillas. The company expects to create 30 jobs and invest $769,000 in the project.
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.
The RIA approved two requests under the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program:
- Town of Belhaven (Beaufort County): A $500,000 grant will help the town renovate a previously abandoned building. Country Road Seafood is planning to establish a state-of-the-art seafood processing plant in the building. The project is expected to create 25 jobs and attract $1,179,150 in private investment.
- Town of Norwood (Stanly County): A $250,000 grant will support the renovation of a 4,000-square-foot building. Upgrades to the building will allow for the creation of a food manufacturing facility, creating 12 jobs and attracting $400,000 in private investment.
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 provide grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Project funding is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of economic distress of applicant communities.
The RIA approved three requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund - Utility Account program:
- Burke County: A $1,929,750 grant will provide water infrastructure improvements to Burke Business Park, a strategically located, 83-acre site adjacent to I-40. The project will enhance the site’s attractiveness to new businesses by addressing critical needs that require increased water pressure, including fire suppression.
- Town of Troy (Montgomery County): A $1,095,000 grant will support upgrades to sewer infrastructure, including a new, larger pump station and 3,300 feet of gravity sewer line. This project will allow Wright Foods to expand production, help meet the needs of other local industries and support a planned industrial park.
- Town of Granite Quarry (Rowan County): A $208,350 grant will improve and expand sewer infrastructure at Granite Industrial Park, a 90-acre site owned by the Town. A portion of the park is already fully-served by sewer, and this addition will prepare the remaining parcels for future economic development.
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.
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 16 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 www.nccommerce.com/rd.
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