New Professional Development Program Announced by NC Division of Rural Economic Development
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New Professional Development Program Announced by NC Division of Rural Economic Development


Raleigh, N.C. – May 5, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III and Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development Dr. Patricia Mitchell have announced the creation of the Commerce Fellows/Building Community through Capacity and Knowledge program. The program, which will be offered to local governments, will be administered by the Rural Economic Development Division.

The Commerce Fellows / Building Community through Capacity and Knowledge program is a partnership between the NC Department of Commerce Rural Economic Development Division, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government, East Carolina University and Appalachian State University. Designed to facilitate capacity building and professional development among local government administrators, the Department of Commerce will offer grants to local governments through Community Development Block Grant funds. The grants will enable local administrators to participate in professional development courses/seminars at one of the above universities.

“This new program offers an innovative way for several state agencies and universities to collaborate to find new ways to approach community development,” said assistant secretary Mitchell. “It will allow local government administrators to take advantage of the professional development opportunities our universities offer.”

Community development is a strong focus of the Commerce Fellows program. While each university will structure its own course offerings for this program, each will offer content on grant writing and administration, budget and finance, planning and economic development.

The NC General Assembly appropriated deobligated CDBG funds to the Rural Economic Development Division to provide training and capacity building opportunities for local government administrators, particularly in the area of CDBG grant administration and its role in all-inclusive community development. Through the grants to local governments, and through the various courses provided by the three universities, it is believed that the Commerce Fellows partnership will provide holistic community development opportunities for many local government administrators.

A copy of the application is available at Applications must be received by 5:00 pm June 15, 2015. Recipients will be announced by June 25, 2015.

About the Division of Rural Economic Development

The Division of Rural Economic Development was created in 2013 through GS 143B-472.126. It was established to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of North Carolinian’s with particular emphasis on rural communities. For more information on the division and the various services it offers, visit


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