4-18-2020 – Grants awarded to companies promising jobs

Posted on: April 19th, 2020 by admin


April 18, 2020



By Garrett Stell

Apr 17, 2020 3:14 PM


Two Caldwell County projects that together are expected to create nearly 100 new jobs have won grants from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority.


Woodgrain Millwork in Lenoir, which makes wood moulding products, was approved for a $200,000 building reuse grant to help pay for a $500,000 expansion that could add up to 60 new full-time jobs over the next two years, and the developers of a proposed assisted living center in Granite Falls will receive a $210,000 grant toward the construction of the 57,188-square-foot, 60-bed facility.


Lenoir served as the official grant applicant for the Woodgrain Millwork expansion, which until the RIA’s announcement had been publicly identified only as Project Trilogy.


Rob Hitch, Woodgrain Millwork’s eastern regional manager, said that the grant will allow Woodgrain, which currently has about 140 employees, to continue to build upon recent growth in Lenoir.


The new jobs would pay an average of $39,750 a year, according to a document presented to the Lenoir City Council in February said.


The grant for Grace Village Assisted Living was based on the promise of at least 21 new jobs, but the assisted living center is just the first phase of what is expected to be a retirement community – plans call for independent-living apartments, a gated housing development and a nursing home – that eventually could create 200 jobs, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.


Construction began in November off Riverbend Drive behind the Walmart in Granite Falls. The assisted living center is expected to be finished by the end of 2020.


Jim Martin, senior partner with Spartan Holdings, the development group behind Grace Village, said that the grant will help expand access to senior living and health care in rural Caldwell County.


Murray said she hopes the two projects inject optimism into the community as the local economy struggles with the effects of COVID-19 precautions.

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