|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||2||$1,605,849|
During Fiscal Year 2013, EDA invested $14,087,605 in 23 projects in the State of North Carolina. These projects are expected to create or retain 1,955 jobs and leverage $434,478,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates. EDA’s investments help North Carolina communities achieve bottom-up, locally-defined economic development goals and strategies.
EDA offers a complementary, balanced portfolio of grant programs designed to help rural and urban communities grow their private sectors and create jobs.
Investment Spotlight: Carolina Textile District
Many of North Carolina’s communities grew around large textile mills, knitted together by a connection of suppliers and manufacturers that helped North Carolina drive the national economy in this sector. These towns hummed, the vibrancy of the mill work creating a solid way of life for families across the North Carolina mountains and foothills. As manufacturing practices shifted and companies looked overseas for lower production costs, the economic quilt of the region slowly unraveled, leaving behind shuttered facilities, high unemployment, and disappearing focus on this traditional North Carolina craft.
Yet, despite the dramatic challenges facing the textile industry in North Carolina, it did not vanish. Seeing an opportunity to weave together the high-value talents of the textile craftspeople of the region to meet the needs of savvy consumers who are interested in domestically-created, organic fabrics and clothing, Burke Development partnered with the Western Piedmont Council of Government and the Manufacturing Solution Center to create a new way to think about – and grow – the North Carolina textile industry.
In 2013, EDA invested $163,800 in Burke Development to develop and implement a new textile value chain, one stich at a time. Through this initiative, Burke Development is mapping the assets and gaps that exist in the region’s textile industry and fostering connections that will help the overall textile industry in the region become more resilient and better prepared to grow and expand in the future.
The project is having early success: through this network, Burke Development has been able to connect regional textile firms that are struggling with those that are producing higher-value products and have too many contracts. Through this effort, one regional designer expanded her business from a home office to a studio with two additional employees once she started taking on new clients through the network. Another mill owner is using the network to ramp up production and add employee hours, while another owner whose workforce had fallen from 25 employees to 7 joined the network and began connecting with other local companies to capture larger-volume orders to help add employee hours and possibly re-hire former workers.