Rural Infrastructure Authority Approves Seven Grants to Rural Communities to Create 321 Jobs and more than $53M in Private Investment

October 19, 2023

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved seven grant requests to local governments totaling $2,639,793. These grants are for projects that have committed to creating 321 jobs and will attract more than $53.7 million in private investment.

The Rural Infrastructure Authority is a 17-member board that awards Rural, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Utility grant funds, which include the Building Reuse Program and the Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program. The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct healthcare facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties. The RIA approved five grant requests under this program in the Vacant Building and Existing Business Building categories:

Vacant Building Category

  • Halifax County: A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 700,000-square-foot building in Roanoke Rapids. Five Goods, Inc., a company that focuses on food importation and wholesaling, plans to establish a location at this facility. The project is expected to create 50 jobs, with an accompanying private investment of $2,308,170.
  • Stanly County: A $375,000 grant will support the reuse of a 227,700-square-foot building in New London. Clayton Supply, Inc., a home manufacturer that builds, supplies, sells, finances, and leases homes, plans to establish a location at this facility. The project is expected to create 263 jobs overall, with 191 jobs and an investment of $46,579,538 tied to this grant.

Existing Business Building Category

  • Chatham County: A $100,000 grant will support the renovation of a 204,832-square-foot building in Goldston. The building is occupied by Conveyor Tech, LLC, a manufacturer of equipment in the electronics assembly industry, and one of two printed circuit board manufacturers in the United States. The company expects to create 20 jobs and invest $899,000 in this project.
  • Pitt County: A $180,000 grant will support the renovation of a 92,000-square-foot building in Greenville. The building’s occupant, Catalent Pharma Solutions, is a full-service contract development and manufacturing company that specializes in novel oral solid dosage forms. The company provides pharmaceutical development, analytical testing, and commercial manufacturing services. Through this project, Catalent plans to create 20 jobs while investing $2,915,000. 
  • Wayne County: A $350,000 grant will support the 29,000-square-foot expansion of a building in Mount Olive. The building is occupied by Goshen Engineering, Inc., an industrial automation company that designs, builds, and installs engineering solutions in a variety of industrial and commercial sectors, including the food production, automotive and electronics sectors. The company expects to create 40 jobs and invest $1,042,109 in this project.

The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to local governments located in the 80 most economically distressed counties of the state, which are classified as either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Funds may be used for publicly owned infrastructure projects that are expected to result in new job creation. The IDF – Utility Account is funded through a process tied to the state’s signature Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. When JDIG-awarded companies choose to locate or expand in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 county, a portion of that JDIG award is channeled into the Utility Account. The RIA approved two requests under this program:

  • Nash County: A $750,000 grant will assist the County with the creation of a lift station and additional sewer line expansion for Middlesex Corporate Centre. This additional construction will open up more than 170 more acres of the park for industrial usage. 
  • Town of New London (Stanly County): A $384,793 grant will assist the Town in expanding access to their municipal sewer system. The funding will allow the creation of a new connection to the sewer, as well as expansion of the sewer line, enabling Heibar, a site-building division of Clayton Homes, to expand operations. These improvements will provide sewer access to multiple parcels of adjoining land for future use as well.

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. The Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem appoint its 17 voting members. 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