Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 00:00

Governor Cooper announces Grants to Three Communities to Support Jobs and Investment North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority approves more than $2.8 million in funding to support economic development

<p>The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved three grant requests to local governments totaling $2,825,000, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.</p>
Jun 18, 2020

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved three grant requests to local governments totaling $2,825,000, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 264 jobs, 250 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $114 million in private investment.  

“Rural Infrastructure Authority grants help our cities, towns and counties address critical infrastructure needs so they can attract new, good-paying jobs,” Governor Cooper said. “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 on a global scale.”

The RIA approved these requests as part of the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program: 

  • The Town of Mocksville (Davie County) will receive a $175,000 grant to support a sewer line extension to a site near Interstate 40 where Special Event Services (SES) is expanding its operations. SES, headquartered in Winston-Salem, provides audio, lighting, design, staging and live event productions for businesses, religious organizations and major recording artists. The company expects to create 14 jobs and invest $8,850,000 in this expansion project. 
  • Robeson County will receive a $350,000 grant to support renovations to a vacant building in the Town of Red Springs. Old Mill Holding S.p.A., a subsidiary of Italian-owned Serioplast Global Services, plans to locate operations at this facility. The company, a manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging for the consumer goods industry, is expected to create 46 jobs and to invest $9 million in the project.
  • Rockingham County will receive a $2.3 million grant to support the construction and installation of two pump stations and related sewer infrastructure in the Stokesdale area, to provide sewer service to Ontex, a leading international manufacturer of personal care and hygiene products. In May, Governor Cooper announced that Ontex plans to establish significant new operations in Rockingham County that would create up to 403 new jobs by 2025. This will be the first manufacturing facility in the United States for the company. Headquartered in Belgium, Ontex employs a worldwide workforce of 10,000 people. A total of 204 jobs and an investment of $96.5 million are tied to this grant.

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.

“These three grants will help rural areas of North Carolina facilitate the creation of new jobs and business expansion,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland said. “The Rural Economic Development Division at Commerce and the Rural Infrastructure Authority are proud to partner with community leaders, to strengthen their economies and encourage investment.”

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.

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 17 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 member of the Authority, ex officio.

For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit



Related Topics: