At least 30 state grants totaling nearly $13 million have been approved for local governments so business and industry locations can be prepared or can be expanded and create numerous jobs.
And a significant part of that money, $980,000, is going to go to four locations in the Twin Counties.
Specifically, $790,000 in grants are for buildings to be renovated for re-usage and a $190,000 grant is for a business already in the area and with plans to expand a building.
Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement in a news release.
The list in Cooper’s news release includes three locations the Telegram has previously reported that the Rocky Mount-based Carolinas Gateway Partnership was seeking grants with the authorization of the city government.
Information about the three locations came to light in a City Council agenda for Oct. 26 and during the Oct. 26 regular meeting, the council quickly signed off on a request for grants.
The largest grant that is going to be used locally is $500,000 to support the re-usage of the former Blue Hawaiian Pools building off Fountain Park Drive.
That building is 47,000 square feet.
And that building is just on the Edgecombe County side of the rail line dividing Nash County and Edgecombe County and across from what had been a state women’s prison.
Wolf and Flow X-Ray is a medical imaging manufacturer and the company plans to relocate from Deer Park, N.Y., to the former Blue Hawaiian building.
Wolf and Flow X-Ray expects to create 68 jobs in the overall project, with 58 jobs and an investment of nearly $5 million to be tied to the $500,000 grant.
Armorock, which is a Nevada-based manufacturer of corrosion-proof polymer structures, had planned to open a regional facility in the former Blue Hawaiian building but Armorock pulled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A $200,000 grant is going to support the re-usage of the former Ceco Building Systems building off Red Iron Road.
That building is 220,000 square feet and northeast of N.C. Wesleyan College and just on the Nash County side of the rail line dividing Nash County and Edgecombe County.
Cornerstone Building Brands manufactures exterior building products for commercial and residential use and the company, which is based in Cary, plans to have an operation in the former Ceco building.
Cornerstone Building Brands plans to create 38 jobs and invest approximately $25 million in the overall project, with 22 jobs and an investment of more than $3.1 million to be tied to the $200,000 grant.
A $90,000 grant is going to support the re-usage of the former Cooper-Standard building off Dozier Road by the Jay Group.
That building is 196,671 square feet and is northwest of the Sunset Avenue bridge over Interstate 95.
The Jay Group is in the wholesale shoe business and the company, which is based in Rocky Mount, plans to expand into the former Cooper-Standard building.
The Jay Group is expected to create 15 jobs and invest more than $2.56 million in the project.
The former Cooper-Standard location produced vehicle seals and trim for Ford, General Motors and the-then DaimlerChrysler and other North American automobile manufacturers.
A $190,000 grant is going to support the expansion of a building being used by LS Tractor USA in the Whitaker Business and Industry Center just south of Gold Rock.
That building is 100,000 square feet.
LS Tractor distributes tractors and associated agricultural equipment through a network of 350 dealers in the U.S. and Canada.
The $190,000 grant is expected to create 21 jobs and invest more than $3.3 million in the project.
Carolinas Gateway Partnership Vice President Oppie Jordan, when reached by the Telegram, expressed elation about the grants coming to the Twin Counties, saying, “When you can grow your own, it’s just awesome.
“New companies are very important, but the existing company also is extremely important,” Jordan said. “You have to do both.”
Jordan also said she was confident Carolinas Gateway was going to secure the grant because the partnership has a very good track record and vets applications for grants before sending them in.
“And the companies are very good companies as well,” Jordan said.
The state Rural Infrastructure Authority approved the grants and the grants include commitments to create a total of 839 jobs, 464 of which were previously announced, meaning the remaining 375 are going to be new jobs.
And the public investment in the projects is going to attract more than $528 million in private investment.
The State Rural Infrastructure Authority formulates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by state Commerce Department’s Rural Economic Development team.
“Rural Infrastructure Authority grants help our cities, towns and counties address critical infrastructure needs like buildings, water and sewer so they can attract new, good-paying jobs,” Cooper said in the announcement.
“When we invest in rural communities, we are demonstrating that North Carolina is open for business with the tools and workforce to help companies compete globally,” Cooper said.
State Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland said in the announcement with the projects approved, rural areas of North Carolina have new resources to help attract jobs, support business expansions and prepare sites for future development.
“Despite the pandemic, our department’s Rural Economic Development Division and the RIA have worked closely with local leaders this year to successfully facilitate opportunities for economic growth,” Copeland said.