A Guiding Vision

The Rural Center’s vision for the future of rural North Carolina is a positive one. It has been shaped by thousands of thoughtful and resourceful people the center has encountered over the past two decades, including leaders at the local, state and national levels who continue to dedicate their time and energies to rural advancement.

As our state advances into the 21st century, the center envisions a rural North Carolina in which:

  • Individuals can achieve economic independence in jobs that pay livable wages, are safe and provide opportunities for growth and advancement.
  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit is fostering innovation and sustainable development in all business sectors, allowing both new and existing businesses to flourish.
  • Local economies are fully integrated into the global economy through extensive networks of information technology, transportation systems and business and institutional relationships.
  • Rural communities have high quality public infrastructure needed to promote growth and development, including quality water and wastewater facilities.
  • Rural communities offer a consistently high quality of life for their citizens, including access to excellent public schools and lifelong educational opportunities, high-quality health care, decent and affordable housing, a clean environment, water and sewer systems to support growth, and recreational and cultural activities.
  • Through strong local leadership and an active citizenry, rural communities are charting their own futures and effectively implementing sustainable, community-based strategies for economic development.
Many communities in rural North Carolina are faced with severe resource constraints, serious countervailing economic trends and a history of under-investment in their people. Reversing these trends will require the collaboration and commitment of many leaders, institutions and organizations. The center is committed to building and working with a partnership of these individuals and groups to achieve our guiding vision.