At the February 2021 Board meeting, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $2,099,350 for workforce training and infrastructure projects to support economic growth in rural areas of the state. Over two decades, Golden LEAF has funded 1,915 projects totaling more than $1 billion.
East Carolina University was awarded funding to expand its ability to train students in pharmaceutical manufacturing and address a regional need for pharmaceutical manufacturers with four-year degrees. The Board approved an award of $1,899,350 for equipment and personnel. Through this program, students will be able to receive a four-year degree from ECU without leaving their home communities. Professional development and training will also be available for incumbent employees. Additionally, companies will be able to use the lab equipment to develop and test new manufacturing processes. ECU is working with pharmaceutical manufacturers, Thermo Fischer and Novo Nordisk, and partnering with Pitt, Johnston, and Wilson community colleges in the first two years of the program. Learn more about ECU’s Eastern Region Pharma Center by clicking here.
The Board also awarded funding for infrastructure improvements to help increase economic development opportunities in Onslow County through the Open Grants Program. The Town of Holly Ridge received $200,000 to construct stormwater infrastructure at the 60-acre Phase II of the Camp Davis Industrial Park. The Open Grants Program supports economic development projects in the areas of workforce preparedness, economic investment and job creation, and agriculture.
“Golden LEAF is proud to support these two economic development strategies that will help create jobs and prepare a ready workforce,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer, Scott T. Hamilton. “The East Carolina University project is a great example of a collaborative strategy across the public and private sector to build a skilled bio-pharma workforce to meet industry demand. In Holly Ridge, the town is working on a strategy to build out phase II of an industrial park. Golden LEAF funding will help add jobs in a fast-growing area of Onslow County.”