By Matt Ehlers
Director of Communications
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.
Christina 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or (919) 250-4314.
By Matt Ehlers
Director of Communications
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.
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!