Governor Cooper Office of Public Engagement

Posted in: Madison Park

Dear Friends, 


I hope my message finds you and your family healthy and well.

Please share our newsletter so your friends and family can stay up to date with the latest news, information, and resources relevant to the Cooper Administration. 


Stephanie Pigues 


Office of the Governor 

Governor Roy Cooper Proclaims April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To raise awareness and continue educating North Carolinians on this prevalent issue, Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


"We stand with survivors of sexual assault, and we're focused on supporting them with the resources they need," said Governor Cooper. "Let's continue to raise awareness and educate communities to prevent future incidents." 


By definition, sexual violence is any unwanted physical, or verbal advances including sexual abuse, harassment and assault. According to the NC Department of Administration’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement, state funded rape crisis centers provided remote or in-person services to approximately 11,094 individuals between July 2020 and June 2021, including 2,364 children under the age of 18. 


“Sexual violence occurs more often than we know,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “It is important that we continue to focus on this issue, teach North Carolinians how to prevent sexual violence within our communities and provide resources to support survivors.”  


Marginalized communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, are often at higher risk for experiencing sexual violence due to limited access to services and support.


Governor Cooper Closes Out Women's History Month With Roundtable

Women across North Carolina are leading the way. On March 31, Gov. Cooper met with members of the N.C. Council for Women and Youth Involvement to celebrate Women’s History Month and discuss our continued work to advance gender equity.

The discussion included a new report from the NC Department of Administration’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement entitled the 2022 Status of Women in North Carolina: Poverty and Opportunity Report.

Produced in partnership with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the report presents data on poverty, economic security, access to opportunities, and support that helps North Carolina women and families achieve economic success. Data was collected based on four key poverty and opportunity indicators including health insurance coverage, educational attainment, business ownership and poverty rates. Most of the data comes from 2019, but the report also shares emerging data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Governor Cooper Proclaims April as North Carolina STEM Education Month

Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed April as North Carolina STEM Education Month to show support for the students, leaders and organizations in the science, technology, engineering and math fields across our state.


“We’re focused on ensuring that our students have the tools and training they need to succeed,” said Governor Cooper. “Learning about science, technology, engineering and math expands horizons, teaches new skills and prepares students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”


The Governor is working to expand access to STEM education across the state.




Congratulations UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils For Historic Final Four Matchup

Ahead of Final Four Matchup Between Duke and Carolina, Governor Cooper Proclaimed North Carolina as The Center of the College Basketball Universe


The UNC Tar Heels went on to represent North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game on April 4, ultimately losing to top seed Kansas Jayhawks 72 - 69.

It’s always a Great Day To Be A Tar Heel. Congratulations to this amazing team and Coach Davis on your amazing run, way to represent North Carolina.

-Governor Roy Cooper


Governor Cooper Continues to Highlight Longleaf Commitment Community College Grants

Yesterday, Gov. Cooper held his fifth roundtable discussion about Longleaf Commitment community college grants with students and staff at Brunswick Community College. These grants are already helping make education more affordable so students can get the skills they need to succeed.

Gov. Cooper also held a roundtable discussion about the Longleaf Commitment community college grant program with education leaders and grant recipients at Pitt Community College on March 31.


Governor Cooper Encourages Employers to Apply for HIRE Vets Medallion Program

Federal program recognizes companies for hiring, retaining and training veterans

North Carolina is America’s most military-friendly state, and veterans often make the best employees. The HIRE Vets program is one way for companies to signal their strong support for our nation’s heroes.

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders are encouraging North Carolina employers to hire veterans and to apply for recognition with a HIRE Vets Medallion Award, an official program of the U.S. Department of Labor.


The application period runs through April 30, 2022.


“North Carolina is America’s most military-friendly state, and the HIRE Vets program is one way for companies to signal their strong support for our nation’s heroes,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Veterans add value to the businesses that employ them, while also enriching our communities.”


These awards are the only federal-level veterans’ employment awards that recognize an organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention and professional development. In 2021, 22 North Carolina companies received a HIRE Vets Medallion Award.


In 2020 and 2021, the N.C. Department of Commerce implemented a first-in-the-nation online feature that highlights North Carolina employers that have received the HIRE Vets medallion award on the state’s job search portal and on the NCWorks Veterans Portal, located at This tool helps veterans more easily find jobs that the recognized companies are currently advertising. The U.S. Department of Labor recognized the N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions staff for their innovative work.


The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is based on several criteria, ranging from veteran hiring and retention to providing veteran-specific resources, leadership programming, dedicated human resources, and compensation and tuition assistance programs – with requirements varying for large, medium, and small employers. There is a fee to apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which is used to cover the costs associated with carrying out the HIRE Vets Act. The fee for large employers is $495 per applicant, the fee for medium employers is $190 per applicant, and the fee for small employers is $90 per applicant.


Governor Cooper Announces VinFast Automotive Selects North Carolina for Electric Vehicle Assembly Plant

Company to create 7,500 jobs at Chatham County’s Triangle Innovation Point Megasite

VinFast, the Vietnamese auto manufacturer building a new line of electric vehicles, has selected North Carolina for its first North American automotive assembly and battery manufacturing plant, creating 7,500 jobs, Governor Roy Cooper and Vingroup Vice Chair and VinFast Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy announced today during an event at the new Raleigh Convention Center. The company intends to invest up to $2 billion in phase 1 of its project at the Triangle Innovation Point megasite in Chatham County. This will be North Carolina’s first car manufacturing plant and it is the largest economic development announcement in the state’s history.


“North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country’s emerging, clean energy economy,” said Governor Cooper. “VinFast’s transformative project will bring many good jobs to our state, along with a healthier environment as more electric vehicles take to the road to help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”


VinFast’s factory will create a major manufacturing center on a 1,977 acre (800 hectare) plot for phase 1 with 3 main areas: electric cars and buses production and assembly, EVs batteries production, and ancillary industries for suppliers.


Construction for phase 1 of the factory will start in 2022 after the construction permit is granted and production is expected to start in July 2024. The capacity of phase 1 is expected to be 150,000 vehicle/year. According to the MOU, VinFast will continue to invest in this factory in various phases. Vehicles to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger all-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger, all-electric mid-size SUV.


State Employees Share Experiences on Third Anniversary of Employment First

Designating North Carolina as an Employment First state for individuals with disabilities in 2019 has had a positive impact on how employees are perceived and supported in state government workplaces, according to several state agency and university employees.


“Our state is strongest when all of us have the opportunity to achieve our potential, including people with disabilities,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This means ensuring that our workforce is welcoming and inclusive for all.”


Executive Order 92: Employment First for North Carolinians with Disabilities, was issued on March 28, 2019. Among its goals was to facilitate hospitable environments across state government where individuals with disabilities could successfully participate in competitive, integrated employment.


“I was so happy when Employment First started because it helps people see that just because a person has a disability doesn’t mean they can’t do the job,” said Tonia Gibb, Human Resources Manager at the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, whose video message is one of six from state employees featured on the new website. Hard of hearing since childhood and left with severe tunnel vision from retinitis pigmentosa, Gibb is eligible for accommodations that include reporting for onsite work with Otto, her seeing eye dog, and assignment of assistive technology that makes it easier to use a computer.

With the goal of inspiring more jobseekers to consider State of North Carolina employment, OSHR plans to add more messages sharing the Employment First experiences of state employees with disabilities. Anyone interested in participating should contact Jill Warren Lucas at

The State of North Carolina will participate in a national Virtual Disability Career Fair for Individuals with Disabilities from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 13. State agencies and universities will be represented to talk with applicants interested in public service careers for competitive opportunities at agencies and locations across North Carolina. For information and to register, click here.

All jobseekers interested in State of North Carolina employment opportunities are encouraged to create an online profile in NEOGOV, the state jobs portal.


Macy’s Announces $584 Million Investment to Build a Major East Coast Fulfillment Center in Rowan County

Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE: M), the iconic American retailer, will invest more than $584 million to build its first automated fulfillment center in the Town of China Grove, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. Once fully operational, the company says it plans to employ 2,800 new jobs in Rowan County.


“We are delighted to welcome Macy’s and its state-of-the-art facility to North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “When you combine our robust transportation network with our skilled workforce and great quality of life, economic development wins like these will continue to be celebrated statewide.” 


Macy’s, Inc. operates one of retail’s largest e-commerce businesses integrated with a nationwide footprint of stores and fulfillment centers to deliver the most convenient and seamless shopping experiences. Macy’s expansion to North Carolina will locate a new 1.4 million square-foot automated fulfillment center to ship orders directly to customers nationwide, accounting for nearly 30% of the retailer’s digital supply chain capacity once fully operational.


Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order Extending Health Care Flexibilities to Ensure North Carolina is Prepared in Continued Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 256 to support the state’s ongoing fight against COVID-19 by providing flexibility for health care workers and care facilities, as well as easier access to vaccines, tests and treatments. The regulatory waivers in the Order are key to facilitating the state’s COVID-19 response at this phase of the pandemic.


“While we have turned the corner on this pandemic, we must continue to make sure that tests, vaccines, and treatments are widely available and that we remain prepared for the potential of future surges,” said Governor Cooper. “The measures in this Executive Order are essential to North Carolina’s continued response to this virus.”


Currently, COVID-19 cases, associated hospitalizations, and other key COVID-19 metrics are in sustained decline. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) recently modified its key COVID-19 metrics to also take into account wastewater surveillance data, vaccination and booster rates, prevalence of variants across the state, and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifying levels of community spread of COVID-19.


These metrics, taken together, indicate declining COVID-19 transmission across North Carolina and declining severity of disease and hospital burden from COVID-19. However, North Carolina will continue to prepare for the possibility of future surges.


The Order extends provisions giving the NCDHHS Secretary flexibility to take actions to increase the health care workforce and to ensure continuity of existing operations in the state’s hospitals, adult care homes, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. Professional licensing boards will continue to have authority to modify or waive requirements that would otherwise prevent qualified individuals, such as retired medical professionals and trained students, from providing care to COVID-19 patients.


The Order also extends direction for the State Health Director to issue statewide standing orders to facilitate COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccination, and the administration of therapeutic treatments designed to treat COVID-19, including monoclonal antibody treatments and newly authorized therapeutic treatments.


The Order received concurrence from the Council of State.




State Archives to host a virtual program on documentary poetry featuring N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green

To celebrate National Poetry Month, the State Archives of North Carolina, in collaboration with the North Carolina Arts Council, will host "History in Verse," featuring N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green.


The virtual program on documentary poetry is set for Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. This online event will explore Green’s own work in documentary poetry — poetry that captures a historical moment by combining primary source materials with verse. Green will discuss the relationship between poetry and historical events and read some of her own work.


In addition, the program will present poems written by ordinary and extraordinary North Carolinians across centuries that have been discovered in the North Carolina State Archives. Archivists will discuss the historical context of these poems and explain how they found their way to the archives.


Jaki Shelton Green, the state’s ninth poet laureate, was appointed in 2018 and again in 2021 by Gov. Roy Cooper. She is the first African American and the third woman to serve. This year, the North Carolina Museum of Art appointed Green to be its first poet in residence. She was one of 13 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows in 2019 — the first year that the Academy of American Poets awarded those fellowships. She was inducted into the N.C. Literary Hall of Fame in 2014; appointed N.C. Piedmont Laureate in 2009; and received the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2003. Green teaches documentary poetry at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and was the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer-in-Residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the George School, in Newtown, Pennsylvania, in 2021.

Among her publications are the poetry collections "Dead on Arrival," "Masks," "Dead on Arrival and New Poems," "Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, and breath of the song," all published by Blair; and "Feeding the Light" and "i want to undie you," published by Jacar Press.


Green owns SistaWRITE, which provides writing retreats for women in Sedona, Ariz.; Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Ocracoke, N.C.; northern Morocco; and Tullamore, Ireland.


Volunteers Needed for Statewide Litter Sweep

The N.C. Department of Transportation needs volunteers to help clean up trash along roads during the Adopt-A-Highway Fall Litter Sweep from April 16-30. 


Each April and September, NCDOT asks volunteers to help remove litter from roadsides. Volunteers from local businesses, schools, nonprofits, churches, municipalities, law enforcement and community groups play an important role in keeping North Carolina’s roads clean. 


Volunteers can request clean-up supplies such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests from local NCDOT county maintenance offices. No sign up is required. 


“Last year, NCDOT and our partner organizations picked up more than 13 million pounds of litter,” said State Roadside Engineer David Harris. “The Litter Sweep is a great opportunity to keep that momentum going and get your friends and family outdoors. Just a few hours volunteering can make a huge difference.” 


For more information, visit or call 919-707-2970. 


USDA to Host Small Business 201 Workshop

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration invites you to attend the virtual “USDA Small Business 201 Workshop”. This workshop is the second in the series of USDA’s efforts to support and show case procurement opportunities to rural, minority, women, veteran, and other small businesses.


The “USDA Small Business 201 Workshop” will continue to serve as an opportunity to network with USDA program and contract officers, other small businesses, partners, stakeholders, and other organizations focused on supporting and growing businesses across the country. Our goal is for every business that participates in the workshop attains an understanding of USDA agencies, programs, and contract and procurement process. Additionally, we aspire to provide participants with specific details on USDA’s upcoming procurement opportunities.


Part I of the event, scheduled on April 13, 2022, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST, will focus on the contracting and procurement tools and resources, as well as mission area overviews. Part II, scheduled for April 14, 2022, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST, will focus on USDA programs, contracts, and procurement opportunities. We look forward to listening, learning, and working with you as we strive to provide opportunities to this Country’s engine of economic growth, our small businesses.


Nominations Open for 2022 North Carolina Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the 2022 North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state, now through April 15. Created by the General Assembly in 1961 and administered by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the award recognizes “notable accomplishments by North Carolina citizens” in the fields of literature, science, fine arts and public service.


Award nominations may be submitted by anyone and must include a completed nomination form, cover letter, three letters of support and the nominee’s biography or resume. Additional letters of support and examples of the nominee’s work will also be accepted. Applications may be submitted online or materials can be sent to the North Carolina Awards Committee, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, 4601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4600.


The North Carolina Awards Committee will review the nominations and make its selections this summer. The recipients will be honored later this year. Past award recipients have included some of the country’s most distinguished artists, poets, writers, performers, journalists, scientists and public servants.


Previous awardees include Maya Angelou, Doc Watson, William Friday, Gertrude Elion, Branford Marsalis, and other noteworthy North Carolinians. Information on the award and the online nomination process are available here. To receive forms by mail or e-mail contact Jennifer Fontes at or (919) 814-6756.

The deadline for submitting a nomination is April 15, 2022.


N.C. Arts Council Opens Nominations for 2022 North Carolina Heritage Award

Nominations are open for the North Carolina Heritage Award, the state’s highest honor for traditional artists, until May 2. A program of the N.C. Arts Council, the Heritage Award honors active traditional artists, recognizes artistic excellence in a traditional art, celebrates contributions to communities, and promotes North Carolina’s cultural heritage.


Artists who are recognized within their communities as keepers of North Carolina’s living traditions may be nominated for the award. Anyone can nominate a traditional artist or group of artists for a N.C. Heritage Award.


Past award recipients have included masters of such traditions as string band, gospel, balladry, and blues music; storytelling; and crafts such as pottery, basketry, blacksmithing, weaving, boatbuilding, and carving. As new traditions take root, their practitioners are nominated and the list of examples grows. To date the award has honored 144 artists—some professionally acclaimed and others who practice their art in family and community settings.


“The Heritage Awards are an opportunity to celebrate exceptional people who keep and nurture traditional creative practice. Through them, we also honor the cultural contributions of their entire communities,” said the N.C. Arts Council’s Folklife Director Zoe Van Buren. “With each new cohort, we can witness the changing seasons of our state’s dynamic cultural life, see traditions emerge and adapt, and learn how North Carolinians use the arts to know who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.”


Many Heritage Award recipients have gained national and international attention. Arthel “Doc” Watson, Earl Scruggs, Etta Baker, Ray Hicks, and 12 others have received National Heritage Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.


The criteria for selection are authenticity, current and past record of excellence, and significance of the work within the context of the nominees’ specific cultural tradition.


The Heritage Award ceremony and concert in the spring of 2023 will feature performances and demonstrations by the Heritage Award recipients.


Asha Bala, a performer, scholar and instructor of the South Indian classical dance tradition Bharatanatyam, received an N.C. Heritage Award in 2018.












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