Thursday 28 Aug 2014

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How Should Golden Leaf Foundation Invest $2 Million In Wayne County?

The Golden Leaf Foundation based in Rocky Mount is on a mission to promote the social welfare of North Carolina’s citizens and to receive and distribute funds for economic impact assistance to economically affected or tobacco-dependent regions of North Carolina.

Wayne County is to receive $2 million from Golden Leaf as a part of a “Community Assistance Initiative” or CAI.  The result is a large group of concerned citizens participating in a process to figure out the money can best be used.

In its first meeting February 7th at Wayne Community College, a very impressive list of facts and needs were brainstormed and gathered to create a foundation for making a quality decision.

The list includes issues and assets for 5 major categories including “Economic Development and Infrastructure”, “Education and Workforce Development”, and “Health and Wellness”. 

Golden Leaf’s process calls for continued community meetings, with the objective of the next meeting slated for March 13th at Wayne Community College to take the list an narrow it in a way to better identify the real needs and opportunities that would best fit the mission of the foundation.

Here are the notes from the first community meeting:

Issues

Economic Development and Infrastructure

  1. Our unemployment rate is 8.7%
  2. The support needed for agri-business and research
  3. The need for transportation and mobility to get to jobs and education
  4. The need for access to capital for small businesses
  5. The need for broadband access
  6. The need for living wage jobs
  7. The need for job opportunities for exiting military personnel  and other threats to the military installation
  8. The need for travel and tourism opportunities to get visitors to stay for a week
  9. The loss of our farmland due to urbanization and development
  10. The loss of agriculture, home sites, etc. because of the state’s growth patterns , and the resulting need for growth planning
  11. The need to get “ahead of the game” on energy development by exploring solar, wind, and other technology sectors before the industry boom
  12. The need to refresh our community gateways to put our best face forward as a community
  13. The need to provide more attractive jobs for our young people to encourage them to stay in the area
  14. The need for better access to and from metropolitan areas for healthcare and to get to cultural events
  15. The outmigration of young people and students
  16. The need to address the generational differences in quality of life expectations for younger people
  17. The lack of opportunities for young people here long-term
  18. The need to enhance our creative economy and stimulate jobs through creative industries
  19. The lack of summer jobs for young people ages 13-17 and their need for job opportunities and workforce skills training
  20. The need to put our military back to work through additional business opportunities and employment
  21. The need to revitalize old businesses and buildings to attract new industry and manufacturing
  22. The need for cultural centers and other quality of life issues that attract new businesses
  23. The lack of community-wide natural gas
  24. The need to support art, business, and management

 

Education and Workforce Development

  1. The need to have parents more involved and/or engaged in the education process
  2. The need for more outlets and education to draw on performing talents and arts skills
  3. The need for more youth leadership and entrepreneurship training
  4. The need to develop mid-level skills
  5. The prevalence of low employment skill levels in the county
  6. The need for transportation and mobility to get to jobs and education
  7. Our low adult literacy rates:  1 in 10 nonreaders;  1 in 4 read below the 3rd grade level
  8. The need for positive programming for teens, which is a quality of life issue for them
  9. The lack of vocational training in high schools
  10. The need to increase the high school graduation rate
  11. The need to train our young people in entrepreneurship skills for jobs
  12. Our need to develop the soft skills necessary for the workplace
  13. The need to transition our workforce to high-skills bio-tech expertise and become a leader in the field
  14. The need for adequate post-incarceration programs to link people to jobs
  15. The need for occupational training for persons with disabilities, particularly adults with cognitive impairments
  16. Our graduation rate at the high school level is 73% but could be better
  17. The need for better completion rates at the post-secondary level
  18. The need to address the training skills gap between employers and the labor force through workforce development
  19. The need to enhance first generation college go-ers
  20. The need for opportunities that happen during “off hours” for students that can’t attend during traditional hours
  21. The lack of summer jobs for young people ages 13-17 and their need for job opportunities and workforce skills training
  22. The need to incentivize a return to Wayne County for our young people

 

Health and Wellness

  1. The lack of access to healthcare
  2. The lack of access to health and wellness preventative measures that lead to a healthy lifestyle
  3. Child obesity
  4. The need for nutrition services for seniors
  5. The need for medical homes for the uninsured where the rate is about 20%
  6. The need to address drug abuse and lack of rehabilitation services
  7. The need for case management of chronic diseases , particularly diabetes and heart disease
  8. The need to lower the births to single parents which is at about 40-50% currently

 

Community, Cultural & People Services

  1. The changing community dynamics and impacts presented by the Base Realignment And Closure process
  2. Child abuse and neglect
  3. The need for a place for the community to gather
  4. The need to address homelessness, particularly the needs to provide shelter, hope, training, and skills to women and families
  5. The need to link people re-entering the workforce from incarceration to the elderly who need services
  6. The need for adequate housing for seniors
  7. The need for supportive living for people with disabilities
  8. The need to get fathers more involved and engaged in the lives of their children and families
  9. Our need for ongoing assessment of our needs and assets in Wayne County
  10. The need for quality childcare to facilitate parents’ ability to work
  11. The need for more quality of life opportunities
  12. The need to refresh our community gateways to put our best face forward as a community
  13. The need for more public-private initiatives to lower the costs for the delivery of services
  14. The need to lower the births to single parents which is at about 40-50% currently
  15. The need to link the faith-based community to all needs and community sectors
  16. The need to tie nonprofit development to the Calypso development
  17. The need for sports and cultural activities
  18. The need for preventative programs for the next generation is  worth a pound of cure
  19. The need for post-meeting brainstorming and communication to link our needs to ready and existing resources
  20. The need for a community resource guide and resources to promote community communication and dialogue
  21. The need to provide technical assistance and capacity-building support and funding for nonprofit sustainability

 

Youth Services and Opportunities

  1. The need for positive programming for teens, which is a quality of life issue for them
  2. The need for gang prevention and intervention
  3. The  to address child abuse and neglect through mentoring
  4. The need to serve young people through a youth center
  5. The need for our young people to volunteer and give back
  6. The need to provide more attractive jobs for our young people to encourage them to stay in the area
  7. Insufficient funding for juvenile prevention
  8. The outmigration of young people and students
  9. The lack of opportunities for young people here long-term
  10. The need to address the generational differences in quality of life expectations for younger people
  11. The need for opportunities that happen during “off hours” for students that can’t attend during traditional hours
  12. The need to keep young people off the street during high risk times through new programs
  13. The lack of summer jobs for young people ages 13-17 and their need for job opportunities and workforce skills training
  14. The need to incentivize a return to Wayne County for our young people

 

Assets

Economic Development and Infrastructure

  1. Our Chamber of Commerce
  2. Public transportation gateway
  3. Our two railroads
  4. The State Agricultural Extension has a resource station for sustainable agriculture
  5. The Wayne County Fair
  6. Our Voluntary Agriculture District
  7. We have our agriculture to build upon
  8. We have a diverse industrial base and industrial parks
  9. The Paramount, our performing arts venue
  10. We have lots of community events, including parades, events, festivals, the airshow, the Pickle Festival, etc. that draws people from all over the world
  11. Seymour Johnson and Goldsboro have a worldwide reputation and everyone wants this assignment
  12. Our location
  13. Our strong arts community
  14. Strong support for active duty and retired military
  15. Our county-wide public water
  16. Our massive, major road system
  17. The Base
  18. The Airport

 

Education and Workforce Development

  1. Every school in the county has a business partner or partners that are doing work there and volunteering
  2. Transition Fair providing innovative approaches
  3. The partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and the Wayne Education Network
  4. We’re known for our good school system
  5. Our Partnership for Children
  6. NC Pre-K
  7. Wayne Occupational Readiness collaboration
  8. WISH, a strong school-based health center
  9. Our Structured Day Suspension Program
  10. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs in some schools
  11. Good public libraries
  12. Good Cooperative Extension
  13. Our Ready-Schools Task Force
  14. Mobile Wee-Wings Buses
  15. We have a lot of volunteers in the schools from business and all sectors
  16. Our Adult Literacy Center
  17. Educational systems
  18. Our community college system

 

Health and Wellness

  1. Our Federally Qualified Health Centers:  5 that offer preventive healthcare and interventions, but mostly primary healthcare at sliding fee discounts
  2. Our new Veterans Medical Center
  3. Our hospital
  4. Wayne Action Teams for Community Health that operates a mobile clinic
  5. New Cherry Hospital
  6. WISH, a strong school-based health center
  7. Great Hospice care
  8. Our health department has good services, a partnership with mental health, services for young people, etc.

 

Community, Cultural & People Services

  1. Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church, which offers lots of youth-based programming
  2. We have a spirit of collaboration and strong business community that volunteers
  3. The Mercy Center that provides disaster relief services
  4. Our supportive culture around sports
  5. The Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
  6. The Neuse River
  7. Our Sherriff’s Department
  8. Our United Way
  9. We have a large number of businesses and industries volunteering, particularly with Teen Court
  10. The Goldsboro Family YMCA
  11. Good public libraries
  12. We have strong communities of faith to provide guidance to young people and adults
  13. We are the birthplace of Charles B. Aycock
  14. The Wayne County Fair
  15. We have a strong Military Affairs Committee
  16. We have a great volunteer network
  17. Goldsboro has good restorable housing stock and buildings.  Mount Olive does as well
  18. The Paramount, our performing arts venue
  19. We have lots of community events, including parades, events, festivals, the airshow, the Pickle Festival, etc. that draws people from all over the world
  20. Waynesboro Park and 90 miles of canoe trails, walking trails, birding trails, historic buildings, etc.
  21. Good Cooperative Extension
  22. We have strong emergency, paramedic, and fire services
  23. Woodmen of the World
  24. Missions of Mercy serves 1000
  25. We have a lot of volunteers in the schools from business and all sectors
  26. Very civic-minded , engaged community
  27. Wayne County understands collaboration
  28. Leadership Wayne County
  29. Junior Leadership Wayne County
  30. Our sororities and fraternities
  31. A strong community action agency

 

Youth Services and Opportunities

  1. The Boys and Girls Club
  2. Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church, which offers lots of youth-based programming
  3. Our strong Boy and Girls Scouts Programs
  4. Our Partnership for Children
  5. NC Pre-K
  6. We have a large number of businesses and industries volunteering, particularly with Teen Court
  7. 4-H, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts
  8. Our Structured Day Suspension Program
  9. We have lots of activities, recreation, and sports opportunities for youth under 13
  10. 4-H and the Scouts:  they do a lot of volunteering

Curtis Media 2012.  Written by Bill Johnston.

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