The North Carolina Department of Commerce's Rural Economic Development Division recently released its 2022 annual report, and it includes feature on RC2 -- a NC Commerce and Walker College of Business partnership.
The report highlights REDD’s engagement, investments and partnerships in support of North Carolina’s rural communities.
In March 2022, REDD announced that 19 rural communities from across the state were selected to participate in a unique new program to increase their capacity to plan, implement, and manage economic development programs and opportunities. The Rural Community Capacity (RC2) program, a creative new partnership with Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business, welcomed its first cohort of participants to the Boone campus in May 2022. The RC2 program provides educational programming, technical assistance, grants, and focused guidance to local government staff in rural and distressed communities. Each of the nineteen jurisdictions identified local representatives to participate in program activities, which included on-campus and virtual classes, community-level engagement, and targeted training programs. The RC2 campus curriculum includes four core courses required by the Department of Commerce and additional targeted courses that the App State faculty designed.
"From our unique position within our rural community, we share a common belief that the universities within the UNC system play an important role in supporting and inspiring innovation throughout North Carolina, said Hospitality & Tourism Management Program Director and RC2 director Carol Kline. "By working side by side with rural communities, the program leveraged the talent and commitment of RC2 participants to grow stronger communities and vibrant local economies."