We have lots of news to bring you as the center moves through a busy fall schedule. Our Rural Advocacy Agenda is taking shape, applications are being accepted for the 2016 Rural Economic Development Institute, and our community engagement efforts include a workshops to connect communities with funders.
• Rural Advocacy Agenda — Early in 2016, the Rural Center will roll out our first-ever Rural Advocacy Agenda, and soon after that, we’ll be bringing it to a community near you. Today, Jason Gray, our senior fellow for research and policy, is leading this work, together with staff members and our external partners, as we continue shaping this important document. If you haven’t already done so, here’s your last chance to complete the Rural Advocacy Survey. The survey period ends on November 20.
• Completely Updated 2016 Rural Economic Development Institute – REDI 26 will take place between March and May of 2016, and we’re taking your applications now! Center staff and REDI faculty are completely reviewing, updating and modernizing the time-tested REDI curriculum to make it even more relevant to today’s rural leaders. See Misty Herget's article in this newsletter for the exciting details. This is the Institute you don’t want to miss!
• Over 140 people recently attended a series of workshops titled, "The Next STEP: Harnessing Assets Near and Far." A big part of our community engagement program is making sure rural leaders have the latest information regarding the resources available to them from the philanthropic sector and federal and state government. We work to make sure you know where to go for what, and we love to help you put a program with a face, which is exactly what this series of workshops accomplished.
Finally, a personal note: The center staff and board were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former 6th District Congressman Howard Coble. Over his 30-year career in Congress and as the longest-serving Republican Congressman in the history of the state, the center got to know Congressman Coble well, and he got to know us. He was a strong advocate on the workforce development issues we have cared so deeply about, including extending the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. He was a faithful custodian of the public trust, he instilled in his staff the desire to serve the needs of his constituents, and he was tenacious in representing the interests of the 6th Congressional District. We pay tribute and give thanks for the life of a true public servant.