Skip to content

News & Updates

Last spring, Patrick Woodie and John Coggin set out on a quest: visit each of the 80 counties served by the Rural Center and meet with community leaders – elected officials, business leaders, health care workers, educators, and civic champions – to hear what was going well, and what major issues need to be tackled by a statewide network of rural advocates.

We are now over halfway through this ambitious tour. We have hosted meetings in every corner of the state, from Murphy to Sparta to Bolivia to Nags Head. What have we learned? North Carolina’s rural communities are vibrant places, brimming with entrepreneurs creating opportunity, teachers helping launch the next generation, and leaders passionate about making their communities better places.

We’ve also found that while every county is distinct, there are many unifying struggles. Access to affordable high-speed internet is a hindrance to development in almost every county we’ve visited. The need for qualified teachers, capable health care professionals, and workforce housing touches most every community.

Our goal by the end of this journey is to have a deeper sense of the county-level nuances of the issues facing rural North Carolina, as well as to have identified areas in which the Rural Center can be most effective at gathering rural citizens to speak up for statewide solutions.

We are doing our best to finish this tour by April. Scheduled meetings are below, and more dates coming soon!

County Date Time Location Registration
Stokes Tuesday, April 3 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon Stokes County Cooperative Extension Center, Danbury Register here
Caswell Tuesday, April 3 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Piedmont Community College, Caswell Campus, Yanceyville Register here
Harnett Wednesday, April 4 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon CCCC Health Sciences Center, Lillington Register here
Johnston Wednesday, April 4 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Public Library of Johnston County, Smithfield Register here
Randolph Friday, April 6 10:00 a.m. Р12:00 noon Randolph County Public Library, Asheboro  Register here
Chatham Friday, April 6 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro Register here
Greene Monday, April 16 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon Greene County Schools Tech Center, Snow Hill Register here


Monday, April 16 3:00 p.m. Р5:00 p.m. Wayne Community College, Goldsboro  Register here

John Coggin

Director of Advocacy