Local Government
Warren County Joins Satellite Internet Pilot To Bolster Remote Learning PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 18 March 2021 16:32

Warren County students will soon be able to access high-speed internet via satellite technology, as the county joins Hyde and Swain counties in a pilot program aimed at improving internet access to support remote learning.

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) and the Friday Institute at NC State University are leading the CARES Act-funded program, with additional support from the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE), the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ State Library, and Hometown Strong. Besides funding, the partners are also assisting the school districts with implementing the “Satellite Internet Technologies for Student Connectivity Pilot,” which will allow students to access Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s (SpaceX) Starlink internet service.

“Our students need high-speed internet to succeed not only in these challenging times but into the future,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “Innovative programs like this pilot with SpaceX can connect students to high-quality internet service to help with remote learning, and we are excited for it to expand.”

Starlink provides high-speed internet service via Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology, which BIO has determined could be a viable option to reach residents in remote areas. Through the pilot, school districts will be able to test the feasibility of the service for K-12 students who live in areas with no broadband infrastructure or reliable cellular service.

“Many students in the county are still without high-speed internet service at a time where having that connectivity is especially critical to their success,” Delores Pulliam, Warren County Schools Chief Finance Officer, said. “We hope this pilot will be a much-needed lifeline for our K-12 students and their families.”

The pilot is funded by $200,000 in CARES Act Funding from NCDIT and $64,000 in CARES Act Funding from NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, on behalf of Hometown Strong. This funding will support this initiative in researching, analyzing, and providing recommendations regarding the use of satellite technologies that may help reduce the homework gap as well as improve rural healthcare and further rural economic development.

The Friday Institute is providing technical assistance in developing and implementing the program.

Quotes from Partners: 

NCBCE is a business-led, education non-profit (501-c3) that operates out of the Office of the Governor:

“School district superintendents kept asking our Remote Learning Work Group for more solutions to reach their disconnected students, educators and families,” Caroline Sullivan, NCBCE Executive Director, said. “We are grateful for the generous support from our member companies that expanded solutions for remote learning and trust continued success will lead to more connectivity.”

Friday Institute:

“We’re excited to begin testing rural student home internet access with the SpaceX Starlink service. Many students live far from cellular or fiber networks. By using the Starlink service these remote students will soon have equal access to the educational resources of their peers who live in more densely populated areas,” Ray Zeisz, Friday Institute Technology Infrastructure Lab Director, said. “We will be conducting performance measurements and monitoring service reliability to ensure future state funding for rural broadband expansion includes all technology options that meet the requirements, in the most cost-effective manner.”

 

 
FUJIFILM Diosynth Selects Wake County For $2 Billion Investment, 725 Job Expansion PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 18 March 2021 16:26
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A. Inc., a world leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), will create 725 jobs and expressed its intent to invest $2 billion in Wake County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will build North America’s largest end-to-end biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, confirming the central role of North Carolina’s Research Triangle region for the next generation of biotech medicines.
 
"Today’s decision shows once again that North Carolina is a world-class location for the most innovative biotech companies in the industry,” said Governor Cooper. “Since FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies already operates a facility in our state, they have complete confidence this new plant will succeed as well, thanks to North Carolina’s skilled workers, our commitment to workforce training, and the growing strength of our life science industrial cluster.”
 
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a world leading Biologics Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with locations in the United Kingdom, Texas, and Denmark in addition to its Morrisville / Research Triangle Park campus. The company brings over thirty years of experience to the development and manufacturing of life-saving products, such as recombinant proteins, viral vaccines, viral vectors, monoclonal antibodies, and other large molecules and medical countermeasures. The company offers a comprehensive list of services from cell line development, using its proprietary pAVEway™ microbial and ApolloX™ cell line systems, to process development, analytical development, and clinical and FDA-approved commercial manufacturing.
The company’s North Carolina site has been in operation since 1996. The campus has expanded since its inception to include three buildings that house the company’s Process Development and Analytical Laboratories, cGMP Manufacturing Facility, and Administration. The site has more than 6o0 employees today.
“We are very appreciative of the commitment and the support given by the State of North Carolina to the growth of the Biopharmaceutical industry, said Kenji Sukeno, president of Fujifilm Corporation. “We are delighted to expand our footprint here in North Carolina as we fulfill our mission to help our customers accelerate development and supply of high-quality medicines to patients. “
 
“As a former executive in the life sciences sector, I’ve never seen a more exciting and promising time for this critical, North Carolina industry,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “As companies like FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies embrace innovation to support the delivery of new medicines in development by its customers, North Carolina must also embrace innovation to discover new ways to develop the skilled and diverse workforce 21st century companies need to thrive.”
 
Positions at the new facility will include engineers, scientists, manufacturing personnel, and other support positions and will generate nearly $85 million in payroll impact to the region each and every year.
 
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $5.5 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $19,724,250, spread over 12 years, based on a required capital investment of $1.5 billion. Over those 12 years, new state tax revenues generated by the new jobs will exceed $160 million.
 
State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
 
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ JDIG agreement could also move as much as $6,574,750 into a fund that helps rural communities across the state attract business in the future. When companies select a site located in a Tier 3 county such as Wake, their JDIG agreements move some of the new tax revenue into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. Local communities in more economically challenged areas of the state use grants from the Utility Account to build public infrastructure projects, which can improve a community’s ability to attract companies to their regions.
 
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies was also awarded a grant of two million dollars today from the state’s One North Carolina Fund.
Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Duke Energy, The UNC System Office, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, Duke University, the North Carolina Japan Center, Capital Area Workforce Development, Wake Tech, the Town of Holly Springs, Wake County, and Wake County Economic Development, a program of the Raleigh Chamber.
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Chatham County Continues Focus On Aging Population PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 08:05
The latest statistics from the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services (NCDAAS) show Chatham County is still among the state’s leading counties in terms of the aging of its population. 
 
“There are many variables that tell this story,” noted Dennis Streets, director of the Chatham County Council on Aging. Here are some of the more telling statistics revealed in the NCDAAS report:
 
As of 2019, more than one-third (34%) of Chatham County’s population is aged 60 and older. By 2039, more than 4 in 10 (41%) of Chatham’s residents will be in this age category.   
As of 2019, the number of persons aged 60 and older in Chatham County was estimated at 25,471. Comparatively the number of persons aged 17 and younger was 13,927.
Looking ahead to 2039, the number of individuals aged 60 and older is projected as 43,181, compared to 16,796 for those aged 17 and younger. 
By 2039, Chatham is projected to be one of eight counties in North Carolina with more than 31% of its population aged 65 and older. (Chatham’s is projected at 34%.)
The fastest growing age group remains those aged 85 and older. The projected increase is nearly 200% between 2019 and 2039, compared to an increase of 21% among those aged 17 and younger. This has important implications for long-term supports and services.  
One-quarter of Chatham residents aged 65 and older live alone.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of those aged 65 and older have incomes less than 200% of the poverty level ($25,752 annually for an individual). Social Security remains the primary source of income for adults aged 65 and older.
Nearly one in five (19.5%) of those aged 65 and older are still in the labor force.
Alzheimer’s disease is now the 3rd leading cause of death among those aged 65 and older.   
 
While Chatham County is experiencing significant population aging, the state’s trend is also noteworthy. In 2019, 82 counties had more people 60 and older than those under 18 years. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to 89 counties and then, by 2039, to 95. The five counties with more youth than seniors are projected to be Cumberland, Harnett, Onslow, Craven and Hoke—all connected to military installations. 
 
“These statistics should compel all sectors of our community to continue planning for ways to further engage as well as serve our older population,” noted Streets. 
 
Chatham County continues its long-term efforts to address these trends through the 2018-2023 Chatham County Aging Plan which focuses on five key areas: transportation; housing; healthcare coverage and services; care services and caregiving; and social connectedness, community engagement, and opportunities for self-fulfillment. 
 
 
Gilead Announces 275 Job Expansion In Wake County PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 March 2021 11:48
Gilead Sciences, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines, has selected North Carolina’s Research Triangle region as the location for a major business services and information technology hub, creating 275 jobs. The company will invest up to $5 million in Wake County.
 
“With today’s announcement, Gilead confirms that North Carolina sits at the crossroads of technology and life science innovation and offers the talent, infrastructure, and business environment needed to support their success,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
 
Gilead Sciences, with headquarters in Foster City, California, is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. With each new discovery and investigational drug candidate, the company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses. With operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, Gilead’s primary areas of focus are virology, inflammation, and oncology. The company’s project in North Carolina will create a new Business Services center delivering financial, human resources, and information technology services, including cybersecurity and digital transformation initiatives.
 
“We look forward to introducing Gilead to the local community,” said Andrew Dickinson, Gilead’s Chief Financial Officer. “We are eager to welcome many of the highly talented, highly skilled people who live in the Research Triangle region to work with us as we seek to advance new medicines for people with unmet medical needs.”
 
The state and local area will see a yearly economic impact of more than $39 million from Gilead’s investment.
 
“Wake County is excited to welcome Gilead to our community,” said Matt Calabria, Chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “This new shared service operation for Gilead speaks to our community’s ability to develop talent across industries and maintain a steady business climate.”
 
Gilead’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of 12 years, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $1.11 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $9,997,500, spread over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
 
Because Gilead chose a site in Wake County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $3,332,500 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 3 county such as Wake, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here.
 
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C., other key partners on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Capital Area Workforce Development, Wake County, and Wake County Economic Development, a program of the Raleigh Chamber.
 
 
 
 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March 2021 11:54
 
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