|Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 12 grant requests totaling $3,977,855, N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 386 jobs. Secretary Copeland previously announced an additional 145 new jobs associated with these grants. The public investment in these projects is attracting $164.4 million in private investment.
“Infrastructure enhancements are a key ingredient to help our rural communities prepare for and compete for business,” said Secretary Copeland. “The Rural Infrastructure Authority, supported by the Rural Economic Development team here at Commerce, provides the support and expertise that makes a real difference for people’s economic future.”
A team of rural economic development specialists at the N.C. 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. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.
“We’re pleased to see these 12 projects get up and running,” said Deputy Secretary Wallace. “Our rural communities work hard to prepare for these grants and they all deserve congratulations for their efforts to bring new opportunities to their regions.”
Included in the grants awarded today, the RIA approved two requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund - Utility Account program:
- City of Claremont (Catawba County): A $1,000,000 grant will help increase waste water capacity for the Claremont International Business Park. The Prysmian Group, a global leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industries, will benefit from the project as will other companies in the park. Prysmian will create 50 new jobs and the public dollars will help attract $53 million in private investment to the project. An additional 187 acres will also be opened for future economic development in the park.
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.
- Lenoir County: A $231,730 grant will help extend a water line in support of an expansion by Lyndon Steel in Kinston. The expansion will include a 63,000 sq. ft. building and will create 25 jobs. $4.5 million in private investment is associated with the project.
The RIA approved two grants under the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program:
- City of Raeford (Hoke County): A $390,750 grant will help Butterball establish a new turkey bacon production line, creating 50 jobs. The project involves the installation of 4,900 linear feet of 12-inch water main to the public infrastructure. Total private sector investment of $22.3 million is attached to 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.
- City of Asheboro (Randolph County): A $560,000 grant will assist in the construction of 2,356 linear feet of rail siding, benefiting Fibertex Personal Care, a Danish manufacturer of nonwoven materials locating its first manufacturing facility in North America. The company will create 145 jobs in Asheboro, which were previously announced in conjunction with a Job Development Investment Grant from the state. 88 of these previously announced jobs are tied to this infrastructure grant. A total private investment of $60 million is associated with the project.
The RIA approved eight grants under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:
Existing Building Category
- City of Fayetteville (Cumberland County): A $185,000 grant will support the renovation of a 16,503 sq. ft. building constructed in 1910. Advanced Computer Learning Company will create 75 jobs at the location, and the project will attract $427,810 in private sector investment.
- City of Claremont (Catawba County): A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 1.2 million sq. ft. building located at 2512 Penny Road. The Prysmian Group, a global leader in the energy and telecom industries, operates a manufacturing plant at the location and will create 50 jobs tied to the grant, mentioned previously in this release. More than $53 million in private sector investment is associated with the project
- Hoke County: A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 16,000 sq. ft. building located in Raeford. XPX Armor & Equipment manufactures parachutes and has partnered with the SkyLife Company to provide humanitarian aid via paradrop. 120 new jobs are associated with the project and more than $1.7 million in private investment leverages the public dollars.
- Nash County: A $180,000 grant will support the expansion of a 100,069 sq. ft. building in Battleboro. LS Tractor USA distributes tractors and associated equipment in North America. The company will create 15 jobs, with $2,763,000 in private investment associated with the project.
- Onslow County: A $40,375 grant to support the renovation of a 191,000 sq. ft. building in Hubert. Armstrong Marine designs and builds aluminum boats and will create 15 jobs at the location. The grant draws a matching amount in private investment.
Vacant Building Category
- City of Salisbury (Rowan County): A $300,000 grant to support the renovation of a 56,462 sq. ft. building constructed in 1958. AlloyWorks produces titanium alloy ingots for aerospace and other applications. The company will create 24 jobs, and the project draws $18,623,800 in private sector investment.
- Alleghany County: A $60,000 grant to support Glade Creek Animal Hospital’s reuse of a 5,000-square-foot building in Sparta. The building was constructed in 1960. The hospital will be located in downtown Sparta, a North Carolina Main Street community, and will create 6 jobs, drawing $792,465 in private investment.
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.
- City of Sanford (Lee County): A $30,000 grant will support La Dolce Vita Pizzeria’s reuse of a 10,000-square-foot building constructed in 1936 and vacant for one year. 6 jobs will be retained and 6 jobs will be created by the company. The project includes $304,000 in private investment.
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.