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Homegrown Leaders

Homegrown Leaders is a three-day regional leadership and community economic development training that equips existing and emerging leaders with the skills they need to lead long-term economic advancement in their community and region. In 2018-2020 we served 31 western counties and in 2022 we served 42 eastern counties. Looking ahead in 2023 we will be offering a series of trainings in the central region.

No longer accepting applications.


  • Gain an understanding of the importance of resiliency and a regional lens for both building long-term solutions to common problems and innovative opportunities for growth. 
  • Learn and apply skills needed to address current and emerging critical issues and economic trends that will impact the future of their communities and regions:
    • Economic development (Participate in an in-depth examination of the building blocks of community economic development; receive an analysis of current data and regional economic trends; and take part in an exploration of critical local/regional economic development issues and opportunities.)
    • Leadership development (Learn collaborative leadership skills; explore emotional intelligence; and learn strategies for working with others and leading in difficult conversations.)
    • Economic impact of racial inequity (Engage in an analysis of the historical impact of social structures and power relationships on specific economic issues, social conditions, and marginalized populations; and participate in an in-depth conversation on how rural community leaders can eliminate barriers and expand opportunity for the future economic well-being of all rural North Carolinians and their communities.)
  • Build relationships by networking with other leaders from the region. 

“Homegrown Leaders took me out of my comfort zone and exceeded my expectations. This training was an excellent experience. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity allowing me to gain knowledge to go back and share with my community.”

2022 Homegrown Leader Graduate

Elizabeth City, NC May 2022

Lumberton, NC June 2022

Want to learn more?

Contact Bronwyn Lucas,
Senior Director of Leadership & Engagement