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Map of Golden LEAF Essential Skill Grantee Locations


The Friday Institute Research and Evaluation (FIRE) Group at NC State University in conjunction with College of Education Workforce Development faculty and the North Carolina Community College System provide evaluation and capacity building services for the Essential Skills in Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, an $11 million grant funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation (Golden LEAF). The Initiative supports targeted occupational and technical training programs that prepare students for identified employment opportunities in advanced manufacturing and other high-wage technical occupations in rural, economically distressed, and/or tobacco dependent counties of North Carolina. During Phase I, 15 projects received grants and in Phase II an additional 7 projects have received grants. The purpose of these 22 awarded grants is to deliver advanced manufacturing workforce training at 29 community colleges, 4 local school districts and 1 university.

The FIRE Group provides resources and formative feedback to community colleges awarded initiative grants so that they can build their capacity to use data to inform program improvement and decision-making. For more about the Group’s evaluation and capacity building efforts, see their annual reports to Golden LEAF.