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State grant dollars will help jobseekers, small businesses in ENC

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The North Carolina Department of Commerce has awarded 20 special grants to 11 workforce development boards, totaling nearly $9 million.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce has awarded 20 special grants to 11 workforce development boards, totaling nearly $9 million.

Governor Roy Cooper announced the boards will use the grants to help jobseekers and small businesses with training and other services in response to a tight labor market. This includes programs for individuals who are in the reentry process and individuals with or at risk of substance abuse.

Funds from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act are supporting the initiative.

In nine Eastern North Carolina counties, a $200,000 grant will help jobseekers with job placement – and another $200,000 grant will help with training opportunities for staff on how to serve customers in need of substance use recovery.

A $900,000 grant for Eastern North Carolina will help provide services and training to connect small businesses to under-served individuals with barriers to employment, and allow the hiring of two business engagement specialists.

In Beaufort, Martin, Bertie, Hertford, and Pitt counties a $750 thousand dollar grant will help provide entrepreneurs with support through training and work-based learning funding.

Kelly Batchelor hails from the small crossroads community of Cabin in Duplin County in eastern North Carolina. Since 1989 Kelly has been actively employed in radio.