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LEADERSHIP

rural counts web address

Our 2016 Rural Advocacy Agenda is the culmination of months of listening to North Carolinians and researching the issues. The 10-point plan reflects what we heard directly from you. It is offered in the best North Carolina tradition of partnership and collaboration and represents a determination to meet our rural future head-on. It is an example of our deep belief that we are one state that we must move forward together.

Please join us as we share this agenda in series of meeting across the state. Click below to register for these free sessions.

 

April 20          Oxford          Granville County Expo and Convention Center

 

April 21          Kenansville           James Sprunt Community College          

 

 

REDI 2016 will transform a new class of rural leaders

     
ehlers cropBy Matt Ehlers
Director of Communications
 
 
The Rural Center offers a wide variety of rural economic development programs and initiatives, but nothing we do is as ingrained in our DNA as the Rural Economic Development Institute.

Each year, more than 30 rural leaders from across the state are accepted into the highly competitive program. Applications are now being accepted forredi logo cropped
the 2016 class, which will take place over nine days in March, April and May at the Rural Center in Raleigh.
 
The cirriculum has been retooled this year to help participants better tackle the 21st century challenges of rural economic development, but the overarching purpose of REDI has not changed: to build better rural leaders. The program accepts motivated individuals from all walks of life, including elected officials, government staff, nonprofit leaders, business owners, clergy members and community volunteers.
 
Through an intensive training regimen, REDI addresses rural leadership in two ways: it provides participants with techniques designed to enhance their skills as community leaders, and enhances their knowledge of economic and community development strategies.
 
Piard9Christina Piard, a 2015 REDI graduate who works as the community engagement coordinator for U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, said her leadership training improved her ability to connect with rural constituents. Butterfield's disctrict covers a large portion of northeastern North Carolina.
 
"I am so thankful for my experience in REDI, because I was able to put my leadership training to work immediately. REDI helped me hone in on the real opportunities in Eastern North Carolina and broadened my network of champions within the communities Congressman Butterfield serves."
 
REDI is a great opportunity for participants to learn from highly-skilled field experts, apply their leadership skills and network with leaders from across the state. The class provides a mix of presentations, interactive exercises, applied learning, and networking opportunities. 

The Rural Center has limited scholarship assistance available for any applicant, as well as some special scholarship funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for those living in an eastern disaster relief county. The Duke Divinity School Thriving Rural Communities program also has provided scholarship support for Methodist ministers from any rural county. In addition, the Reidsville Area Foundation has set aside funds to help a rural leader from Rockingham County attend REDI. If you're interested in a scholarship, please complete the section at the end of the online application. 
 
For more information and to see the complete application, please click here. Applications are due January 29.
 
Questions? Please contact Misty Herget, the Rural Center's director of leadership, at mherget@ncruralcenter.org or (919) 250-4314.

Connect NC bond to strenthen rural N.C.'s water systems, universities and state parks

     
ehlers 2016 1By Matt Ehlers
Director of Communications
Connect with Matt on Twitter @ncruralcenter
 
On March 15, voters will head to the polls to vote in a number of important primary races of both local and national importance — but it is the Connect NC bond issue that has the potential to create lasting change for the people of rural North Carolina.connect nc
 
If approved, the $2 billion bond issue would improve rural communities' access to clean drinking water. It would construct university research centers to teach our best and brightest. State parks, community colleges and National Guard facilities would receive much-needed renovations and additions.
 
No new taxes will be needed to service the bond debt. That's a pretty impressive feat, and one that rural North Carolinians can be proud of. Particularly since:
 
  • The Rural Center estimates that a minimum of $887 million of the bond will be spent in rural counties.
  • Among the education improvements are a new $110 million science facility at Western Carolina University, $90 million for a biotech building at East Carolina University, $350 million for construction and repair at our community colleges and $75 million for state parks.
  • $309 million of the bond will be dedicated to helping municipal and county governments improve their water and sewer facilities.

The Rural Center Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to support the passage of the NC Connect Bond. With its broad, nonpartisan support, we truly believe this bond will improve rural North Carolina's economic opportunties.

Vote yes to invest!

Save the Date! Statewide advocacy sessions set for April

     
patrick 2016 2By Patrick Woodie
President
Connect with Patrick @patrickwoodie
 
The Rural Center will hit the road in April for a series of six meetings across the state, as we unveil our first-ever comprehensive Rural Advocacy Agenda. We believe the timing couldn't be better for advancing the discussion of rural North Carolina's economic development future.
 
Right now, everyone is talking about rural North Carolina:
 
rural counts clip•    “Can state bridge rural-urban divide?” is a recent column by Patrick Gannon, editor of the Insider State Government News Service in Raleigh, and he provides an excellent summation of a recent meeting of the Joint Economic Development and Global Engagement Committee chaired by state Sen. Harry Brown and Rep. Susan Martin. The column appeared in many papers across North Carolina.

Save the date!

April 5 Albemarle
April 6 Edenton
April 13 Waynesville
April 14 Wilkesboro
April 20 Oxford
April 21  Kenansville
The meetings will held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Venue and registration info will be available the first week of March.

•    Tom Campbell of NC Spin wrote a recent column in favor of theConnect NC bond package and the water/sewer funding it would provide to rural systems. He quoted the North Carolina section of the American Society of Civil Engineers report that warns that replacement of aging infrastructure is the biggest issue for our state, saying, “the degradation of existing assets … is occurring to a point that is beyond a practical means to resolve them.”

•    At a second meeting of the Joint Economic Development and Global Engagement Committee, members heard recommendations and discussion regarding the replacement of the 20 year old economic tier system with a better methodology for measuring the economic distress of counties. Legislators are exploring ways in which to better focus resources on the state’s most economically distressed counties.

•    North Carolina’s business community is indicating a deep interest in the rural discussion. The N.C. Chamber Foundation has commissioned a rural economic development study that will result in a series of recommendations to the N.C. General Assembly for action in the short session set to begin on April 25.

We welcome and we seek to engage all of these conversations.

At the Rural Center, we are making final preparations to add our contribution to these discussions through our release of a comprehensive Advocacy Agenda that focuses on what is needed to move rural North Carolina forward. It is the culmination of months of listening, asking questions of experts, and researching the issues. It reflects what we heard directly from you. It is directly relevant to all of the conversations cited above. It is offered in the best North Carolina tradition of partnership and collaboration: a determination to meet our rural future head-on, a commitment to saying that RURAL COUNTS and telling the rural story, and a deep belief that we are ONE state that must move forward together.

Please HOLD THE DATE, and make plans to join us at one of the following Advocacy Briefing Sessions. These sessions will include an optional workshop to help your rural community and region sharpen its advocacy skills.

LEADERSHIP

rural counts web address

Our 2016 Rural Advocacy Agenda is the culmination of months of listening to North Carolinians and researching the issues. The 10-point plan reflects what we heard directly from you. It is offered in the best North Carolina tradition of partnership and collaboration and represents a determination to meet our rural future head-on. It is an example of our deep belief that we are one state that we must move forward together.

Please join us as we share this agenda in series of meeting across the state. Click below to register for these free sessions.

 

April 20          Oxford          Granville County Expo and Convention Center

 

April 21          Kenansville           James Sprunt Community College          

 

 

REDI 2016 will transform a new class of rural leaders

     
ehlers cropBy Matt Ehlers
Director of Communications
 
 
The Rural Center offers a wide variety of rural economic development programs and initiatives, but nothing we do is as ingrained in our DNA as the Rural Economic Development Institute.

Each year, more than 30 rural leaders from across the state are accepted into the highly competitive program. Applications are now being accepted forredi logo cropped
the 2016 class, which will take place over nine days in March, April and May at the Rural Center in Raleigh.
 
The cirriculum has been retooled this year to help participants better tackle the 21st century challenges of rural economic development, but the overarching purpose of REDI has not changed: to build better rural leaders. The program accepts motivated individuals from all walks of life, including elected officials, government staff, nonprofit leaders, business owners, clergy members and community volunteers.
 
Through an intensive training regimen, REDI addresses rural leadership in two ways: it provides participants with techniques designed to enhance their skills as community leaders, and enhances their knowledge of economic and community development strategies.
 
Piard9Christina Piard, a 2015 REDI graduate who works as the community engagement coordinator for U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, said her leadership training improved her ability to connect with rural constituents. Butterfield's disctrict covers a large portion of northeastern North Carolina.
 
"I am so thankful for my experience in REDI, because I was able to put my leadership training to work immediately. REDI helped me hone in on the real opportunities in Eastern North Carolina and broadened my network of champions within the communities Congressman Butterfield serves."
 
REDI is a great opportunity for participants to learn from highly-skilled field experts, apply their leadership skills and network with leaders from across the state. The class provides a mix of presentations, interactive exercises, applied learning, and networking opportunities. 

The Rural Center has limited scholarship assistance available for any applicant, as well as some special scholarship funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for those living in an eastern disaster relief county. The Duke Divinity School Thriving Rural Communities program also has provided scholarship support for Methodist ministers from any rural county. In addition, the Reidsville Area Foundation has set aside funds to help a rural leader from Rockingham County attend REDI. If you're interested in a scholarship, please complete the section at the end of the online application. 
 
For more information and to see the complete application, please click here. Applications are due January 29.
 
Questions? Please contact Misty Herget, the Rural Center's director of leadership, at mherget@ncruralcenter.org or (919) 250-4314.

Connect NC bond to strenthen rural N.C.'s water systems, universities and state parks

     
ehlers 2016 1By Matt Ehlers
Director of Communications
Connect with Matt on Twitter @ncruralcenter
 
On March 15, voters will head to the polls to vote in a number of important primary races of both local and national importance — but it is the Connect NC bond issue that has the potential to create lasting change for the people of rural North Carolina.connect nc
 
If approved, the $2 billion bond issue would improve rural communities' access to clean drinking water. It would construct university research centers to teach our best and brightest. State parks, community colleges and National Guard facilities would receive much-needed renovations and additions.
 
No new taxes will be needed to service the bond debt. That's a pretty impressive feat, and one that rural North Carolinians can be proud of. Particularly since:
 
  • The Rural Center estimates that a minimum of $887 million of the bond will be spent in rural counties.
  • Among the education improvements are a new $110 million science facility at Western Carolina University, $90 million for a biotech building at East Carolina University, $350 million for construction and repair at our community colleges and $75 million for state parks.
  • $309 million of the bond will be dedicated to helping municipal and county governments improve their water and sewer facilities.

The Rural Center Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to support the passage of the NC Connect Bond. With its broad, nonpartisan support, we truly believe this bond will improve rural North Carolina's economic opportunties.

Vote yes to invest!

Save the Date! Statewide advocacy sessions set for April

     
patrick 2016 2By Patrick Woodie
President
Connect with Patrick @patrickwoodie
 
The Rural Center will hit the road in April for a series of six meetings across the state, as we unveil our first-ever comprehensive Rural Advocacy Agenda. We believe the timing couldn't be better for advancing the discussion of rural North Carolina's economic development future.
 
Right now, everyone is talking about rural North Carolina:
 
rural counts clip•    “Can state bridge rural-urban divide?” is a recent column by Patrick Gannon, editor of the Insider State Government News Service in Raleigh, and he provides an excellent summation of a recent meeting of the Joint Economic Development and Global Engagement Committee chaired by state Sen. Harry Brown and Rep. Susan Martin. The column appeared in many papers across North Carolina.

Save the date!

April 5 Albemarle
April 6 Edenton
April 13 Waynesville
April 14 Wilkesboro
April 20 Oxford
April 21  Kenansville
The meetings will held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Venue and registration info will be available the first week of March.

•    Tom Campbell of NC Spin wrote a recent column in favor of theConnect NC bond package and the water/sewer funding it would provide to rural systems. He quoted the North Carolina section of the American Society of Civil Engineers report that warns that replacement of aging infrastructure is the biggest issue for our state, saying, “the degradation of existing assets … is occurring to a point that is beyond a practical means to resolve them.”

•    At a second meeting of the Joint Economic Development and Global Engagement Committee, members heard recommendations and discussion regarding the replacement of the 20 year old economic tier system with a better methodology for measuring the economic distress of counties. Legislators are exploring ways in which to better focus resources on the state’s most economically distressed counties.

•    North Carolina’s business community is indicating a deep interest in the rural discussion. The N.C. Chamber Foundation has commissioned a rural economic development study that will result in a series of recommendations to the N.C. General Assembly for action in the short session set to begin on April 25.

We welcome and we seek to engage all of these conversations.

At the Rural Center, we are making final preparations to add our contribution to these discussions through our release of a comprehensive Advocacy Agenda that focuses on what is needed to move rural North Carolina forward. It is the culmination of months of listening, asking questions of experts, and researching the issues. It reflects what we heard directly from you. It is directly relevant to all of the conversations cited above. It is offered in the best North Carolina tradition of partnership and collaboration: a determination to meet our rural future head-on, a commitment to saying that RURAL COUNTS and telling the rural story, and a deep belief that we are ONE state that must move forward together.

Please HOLD THE DATE, and make plans to join us at one of the following Advocacy Briefing Sessions. These sessions will include an optional workshop to help your rural community and region sharpen its advocacy skills.