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Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI)

The NC Rural Center undertakes a number of efforts to ensure that rural communities are equipped with skilled, committed, and informed leaders.

Since its inception, the NC Rural Center has recognized the vital importance of local leadership to the success of our state’s rural areas. The Center’s flagship leadership program, the Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI), has trained nearly 1,200 rural leaders. REDI offers participants collaborative leadership skills and rural development strategies to help them return home and make meaningful impact in their communities. In addition, graduates of the program become part of a larger alumni network of leaders. They also have the opportunity to participate in advanced training and continuing education. Each year REDI welcomes local, state, and federal government staff, nonprofit and faith-based leaders, business owners, elected officials, economic development professionals, and other community-minded people for nine days of intensive rural community economic development training.


REDI 2020 Application is Now Open!

REDI 2020 will be held on March 17-19, April 21-23, and May 19-21, 2020. The cost of the Institute is $1,400. This includes most meals and must be paid in full by February 14, 2020. REDI is held in Raleigh and may require a hotel stay. If you are selected to participate, it is required that you attend all nine days of training. Payment is required upon notification of your selection.

Application closes January 15, 2020.





REDI Graduation 2019

“REDI has been an amazing experience. I am more confident in my knowledge of what rural areas in our state need as well as what they have to offer. I have made lasting connections and a network of support as I move through my career.”


Innovative Leadership Profiles

Innovative Leadership Profiles

For 30 years, leadership development has been at the core of the Rural Center’s mission. We know that thriving rural communities need leadership that is inclusive, connected, informed, and creative. We know leaders are not born fully formed. They are nurtured. They...

Innovative Rural Leadership: Paula Swepson-Avery

Innovative Rural Leadership: Paula Swepson-Avery

This is part five of a five-part series focused on innovative rural leadership in North Carolina. To read the other profiles in this series, go here. “I always thought what I thought was right and that everybody thought the same way as me. I’ve learned we can get to...

Want to learn more?

Contact Bronwyn Lucas,
Director of Leadership