Join the New Generation


The Rural Center’s New Generation Initiative is up and running. The initiative is a three-year, $3.6 million effort to transform rural communities through youth and young adult engagement. Encompassing four distinct programs, it offers opportunities in entrepreneurship development, on-the-job training, leadership development and community service.  Learn how you can become involved.


Apply now:

New Generation Ventures: Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.


Are you REDI? Apply now for leadership program

The center is accepting applications for the spring 2013 class of the Rural Economic Development Institute. With nearly 900 graduates, the institute has earned national recognition for its combination of economic development education and leadership training. Prepare to lead positive change in your community. Apply today, or read more about the program. Applications are due by Jan. 15. The class begins March 13.


After slight improvement, rural unemployment rises again

Following a month in which North Carolina's rural jobless numbers dipped below 10 percent, the unemployment rate climbed back to double digits in May. More than 219,000 people in the 85 rural counties are unemployed, and federal regulators anticipate no quick fixes. Read more.


Statesville company starts shakable yogurt business

frushWith help from a Rural Center building reuse grant, the dairy operation has begun producing yogurt shakes. The $7 million facility, which brought a vacant truck stop back to life, employs 25 and may expand. Read more.


Harmony's sewer system primes town for new investment

Harmony1After years of steady perseverance, town officials managed to accumulate the funding to construct a sewer system in the tiny Iredell County town. The new wastewater system solved the problem of overloaded septic tanks while making it possible for restaurants to step up their service. Read more.


Rural Center grants to boost youth engagement, create 450 jobs

The Rural Center has awarded 25 New Generation Initiative grants to encourage rural young people to become more engaged in community improvement and train others for skilled jobs in high-demand fields.

They were among 50 grants totaling $5.9 million approved by the board of directors June 20. Altogether the grants will assist projects in 39 counties, place over 500 young adults in permanent jobs, create an additional 450 jobs, and support water and sewer improvements. Read more.


Entrepreneurship conference to showcase can-do spirit

Bijoy Goswami, founder of the Bootstrap Network, will keynote the 2012 North Carolina Entrepreneurship Summit Sept. 24-25 in Asheville. The Rural Center is a summit cosponsor. Follow the latest news about the summit. 


11 towns begin NC STEP process

dan1 Approximately 100 small town leaders came to Raleigh June 6-7 to launch their communities into a two-year revitalization process. The leaders represent 11 towns accepted this year into the Rural Center’s N.C. Small Towns Economic Prosperity Program. Read more.


28 complete leadership program

redi blurb photo

Twenty-eight rural leaders completed the Rural Center’s Rural Economic Development Institute in May. The three-month institute enhances leadership skills and increases understanding of economic and community development. Read more.