Community Investments & Resources

New Hanover County is making several investments in the community to provide equitable resources for residents, increase stability for families, and give children and adults strong foundations to thrive. In addition to Port City United, other community initiatives are underway or upcoming, and those are outlined in the tabs below. This is a multi-year plan that will continue to evolve as the community needs change. The overarching goal is to connect individuals and families with the resources they need, build trusted relationships throughout the community, and show true care to every person.

Connected to Education, Employment & Entrepreneurship Program (CTE³)

Overseen by Port City United, the Connected to Education, Employment & Entrepreneurship Program (CTE³) works with adults to help them register for and complete trades and training programs, while also providing support that will eliminate barriers to completing these programs, such as childcare, tuition and other assistance.

Throughout the academic training process, PCU Connect Specialists will provide:

  • Individualized case management
  • Help finding scholarships and financial aid if needed
  • Help selecting education or training programs
  • Connection to other resources as identified

Participants in the program must live near Impact Zone-identified schools in the county.The seven Impact Zone schools identified are: 

  • International School at Gregory
  • Snipes Academy of Art and Design
  • Forest Hills Global Elementary
  • Rachel Freeman School of Engineering
  • D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy
  • Williston Middle School
  • New Hanover High School

If you meet the above criteria and are interested in learning more about the CTE³ Program, call the PCU Connect Center at 910-798-4444.

  • Design and build a grocery store on the Northside of downtown Wilmington, which is designated as a food desert, that will provide neighbors with a nearby and convenient location to access fresh food and create job opportunities. Access to food is a necessity for a person’s health and overall well-being, so partnering with the Northside Food Co-op to operate the grocery store once it is built will help ensure food security and bring a valuable and needed resource to the community. 
    • The grocery store is planned to be located at 900 N. 10th Street, through a land donation from the City of Wilmington, and will be operated by the Northside Food Co-op once it is built.
    • Seven roots, a grocery consultant, has been selected through a request for qualifications process and project planning is currently taking place with a goal to open the store by the summer or fall of 2024.
  • Expand the county-funded Pre-K program with six additional Pre-K classes within New Hanover County Schools, starting in the 2022-2023 school year. This will provide 90 more children each year with the opportunity to begin their educational journeys sooner, setting them up for life-long success academically, socially, and emotionally. This funding is in addition to the six Pre-K classes already funded by the county, for a total of 12 classes.
  • In addition to the county’s ongoing non-county agency funding commitment as part of the yearly budget, an additional $1.2 million will be allocated to nonprofits that have evidence-based programs to help combat violence and provide wrap-around services to individuals and families. The funding is intended for capacity building so the nonprofits can increase their services in the community and will begin in Fiscal Year 2023. Additional information will be shared about the nonprofits selected as the application review process is finalized. 
  • Add four new school resource officers (SRO) in downtown elementary schools that do not already have a dedicated SRO, including Snipes Academy of Arts and Design, Forest Hills Global Elementary, Rachel Freeman School of Engineering, and International School at Gregory.
    • In Fiscal Year 2023, the county will fund an additional 14 School Resource Officers to ensure all schools have the presence of SROs, who will prioritize developing trusted relationships with students. In addition, the county will invest in an opportunity to increase the presence of adults on school buses, to develop additional relationships and have another continuous, trusted presence to and from school.
  • Provide threat assessment training to all school resource and parks resource officers for increased awareness and response to a variety of school violence threats.
  • Increase the capacity of the Sheriff’s Office evidence-based Elements program to alleviate the current waitlist for children in need of the service and allow for additional children to be served.
  • Expand Community Justice Services’ evidence-based Too Good For Violence program into high schools to help address social and emotional needs of students.