10/31/12 — County will hear soon on Golden LEAF funds

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County will hear soon on Golden LEAF funds

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 31, 2012 1:46 PM

Wayne County should know in just over a month how $2 million in funding through the Golden LEAF Foundation's Community Assistance Initiative will be split among six local projects.

The decision will signal the end of a nearly year-long process that began with a January organizational meeting followed by five months of community meetings held at Wayne Community College to identify local needs that would qualify for the funding.

Those meetings resulted in 24 projects representing nearly $27 million in total costs with $13 million being sought from the foundation's Community Assistance Initiative, a grant-making process targeting the state's economically distressed counties.

A nine-member Wayne County Community Assistance Initiative Review Team prioritized six mostly educational projects totaling more than $2.3 million for funding.

Golden LEAF money comes from the tobacco quota buyout and settlement reached several years ago between the federal government and the tobacco companies. A portion of the money paid out by the companies was set aside to boost economic development and quality of life in the state. The foundation was created to distribute the money.

The total requested, $2,352,135.89, exceeds the $2 million available. However, during the local sessions, Golden LEAF officials stressed the need for the committee to submit more than $2 million in proposals just in case a project is not funded.

The final decision will be made by the foundation board when it meets Dec. 6.

The projects are:

* Wayne Community College, $521,690 for a training and credentialing project to offer programs for machining, HVAC, mechanical engineering, electronics and industrial systems credentialing. Total project cost is $521,690.

* Communities in Schools of Wayne County, $156,000 for Success for Kids, an expansion of the success coaches program in middle and elementary schools. Total project cost is $156,000.

* Mount Olive College, $216,250 for the Mentoring for Success program that is based on similar programs in other communities in which college students are paired with public school students to encourage continued success in their schooling. Goals for the mentoring program could include career aspirations, academic success, and personal well-being and growth. Shared activities between the paired students and their mentors could include attending workshops, listening to motivational speakers and generally encouraging students to continue their education. Total project cost is $314,000.

* Wayne County Public Schools, $526,095.89 for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning centers at Mount Olive, Dillard, Eastern Wayne and Rosewood middle schools. Total project cost is $851,695.89.

* Goldsboro Family YMCA, $500,000 for a multi-sport complex to be built on a 44-acre site at the Y's soccer field on Harding Drive. While it will be built like a soccer field, it can be used for flag football, T-ball, field hockey and lacrosse. Total project cost is $1,344,000.

* WATCH, $432,100, to hire a new clinical team including a family nurse practitioner and support staff. Total project cost is $1,760,900.