|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||2||$3,012,620|
|Regional Innovation Strategies||1||$250,000|
|Research And Evaluation||1||$51,000|
Despite rich agricultural assets, eastern North Carolina faces unique economic development challenges. In recent decades, the region has suffered most notably from declines in the tobacco and textile industries. The predominantly rural communities of the State face lower per capita incomes than state and national averages, and have experienced slower job growth than the more urban and developed communities.
To help diversify North Carolina’s economy into the advanced manufacturing and other sectors, in February 2016, EDA invested $1.3 million in Public Works funds in Bladen County to construct the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)/ Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training facility on the main campus of Bladen Community College. When completed, the new facility will house an industrial chemistry laboratory, advanced manufacturing technology simulation laboratory, and STEM-supporting computer classroom, as well as an advanced manufacturing technology industrial bay. This project addresses the region’s workforce training needs and will be a catalyst for growing resilient jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector in Bladen County. This investment will create 225 jobs and leverage $24.7 million in private investment.