RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE
A LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM OF THE N.C. RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Lift your sights
Lift your spirits
Hone your skills
Return to serve
Session I March 9-11, 2011
Session II April 6-8, 2011
Session III May 4-6, 2011
RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE
The Challenge Before Us
So much is changing in rural North Carolina – the economy,
the population, the natural and built environments, even the
way we communicate with one another. For some rural communities,
these changes are being transformed into exciting
new economic opportunities and a better quality of life. For
others, hope is beginning to fade as opportunities slip away.
Leadership Makes the Difference
While outside decisions and investments can make a critical
difference, the single most important factor in the future of
our communities will be the presence of highly skilled, highly
motivated leaders who are committed to bringing about positive
change in today’s challenging economic environment.
Are You Ready for the Challenge?
If you are already an active leader in rural North Carolina
who wants to make a bigger difference in the future of your
community, your region and your state – we hope you will
consider applying for the 2011 Rural Economic Development
Institute. Here’s what the institute can do for you.
By participating in the institute, you will:
• Increase your understanding of the latest strategies in
economic and community development.
• Improve your leadership and team-building skills.
• Understand more about resources available to your community
and how to take advantage of them.
• Learn the fundamentals of long-range strategic
planning and how to make it work.
• Receive books and materials you’ll refer to for years to
• Join a network of rural leaders who regularly share information
Lift Your Sights, Lift Your Spirits
Most of all, the institute will give you a chance to become
energized and motivated for the task ahead. As you know, a
life of public service is both rewarding and hard. By spending
time with others who share your passion for service – in an
environment that is relaxed, intellectually stimulating and
supportive – you will have the chance to refresh your spirits
and return home ready to serve.
Just Nine Days
The institute is packed into nine tightly structured days
spread over three months. Each three-day session includes lectures,
discussions, learn-by-doing exercises, meals and socials.
Begun in 1989, the institute has equipped more than 800 rural
leaders with the skills and knowledge to bring about improvements
in their communities. The results are evident throughout
North Carolina. Institute graduates have:
• Revitalized community pride and built cohesion.
• Launched projects in workplace literacy, job creation and
training, strategic planning, housing,
and crime reduction.
• Organized local leadership programs.
• Run for and been elected to public office.
Nine Days Plus –
Plus – commitment. The institute is not a passive process. You must
be committed to attend all sessions, to take an active part in the discussion,
to do your homework and to return home and put what you
learn to work.
Who Should Attend
The institute is designed for rural leaders who are active in decisionmaking
roles in their communities. Elected and appointed officials,
businessmen and women, professional staff in economic and community
development, as well as nonprofit, civic and grassroots leaders are
urged to apply.
Space is limited. In the selection process, consideration is given to
diversity of leadership roles, geographic area, cultural background and
The cost of the institute is subsidized through generous contributions
of public and private organizations. Each participant (or participant’s
employer or sponsoring organization) pays only $495 for
tuition. Participants are responsible for their own hotel and travel
costs. Payment is due after selection and no later than March 2, 2011.
A limited number of scholarships are available for cases of hardship.
The institute is a residential program held in Raleigh. A block of
rooms has been reserved at an area hotel for participants. After selection,
information on hotel arrangements will be provided to each
How to Apply
Complete and return the attached application form. Applications
must be received no later than January 28, 2011.
Submit applications to: Rural Economic Development Institute,
N.C. Rural Center, 4021 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610, Attn: Shaheen
Syal. Or submit by fax (919-250-4325) or e-mail (email@example.com).
Applicants will be notified by e-mail whether they have
been accepted by February 11, 2011. Questions? Contact Shaheen
Syal at 919-250-4314 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Scholarship applications
also are due January 28.
“The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders — people who not only have
enormous amounts of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.” Jack Welch
THE 2011 INSTITUTE
March 9-11 (Wednesday - Friday)
Improving “people skills”
Participants will identify their own leadership styles,
learn how to resolve conflict and learn how to build
An overview of comprehensive economic development
Participants will expand their knowledge of key
economic development issues and discover how
to assess the needs of their communities.
April 6-8 (Wednesday - Friday)
Participants will study the building blocks of rural development.
This intensive session covers critical issues, trends and proven
strategies for improving –
• Business development
• Workforce development
• Physical infrastructure
• Civic and social infrastructure
May 4-6 (Wednesday - Friday)
Planning for change
Participants will learn to identify their communities’
priority issues, develop a strategic plan and move from
vision to action.
Participants will learn skills necessary to foster
effective collaborations. This session will focus on
understanding the rich diversity that exists in their
At a formal luncheon on Friday, May 6, participants
will celebrate nine days of hard work, professional
growth and a network of new friends.
WHAT OUR GRADUATES HAVE TO SAY. . .
“I made lasting friendships at the Rural
Economic Development Institute that are
still strong today. The institute gives you an
appreciation of the needs that are out there
in rural communities – water and sewer,
education, small business development and
Internet connectivity to name a few – and
has led me to take an active role in addressing
some of those needs in my county.“
Dr. H. James Owen
Piedmont Community College
“I developed a real sense of confidence as a
community development professional after
graduating from the Rural Economic Development
Institute in 1996. At the institute I
learned how to establish community connections,
and that has helped tremendously
in my work training minority women to
take on leadership roles in this community.”
One Dozen Who Care, Cherokee County
“Capacity building in economically distressed
rural communities is of utmost importance,
and that is what the Rural Economic Development
Institute does. Too often we look to
grant funding for the answer, when it is the
capacity of local rural leaders that really
makes a difference. The institute also teaches
a broad and inclusive approach to economic
Roanoke Electric Cooperative
“I was inspired so much by the Rural Economic
Development Institute and I had all
this new information to share, that I came
home after graduating in 1994 wanting to
do something similar here in Montgomery
County. Our local leadership effort, Leadership
Montgomery, is still going strong
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE APPLICATION
Business mailing address:
E-mail address (required):
How long have you lived in your present community?
How did you learn about the institute?
c Graduate c Brochure c Website c Other (specify)
Race: Gender: Date of birth:
Please check the category that best describes the area in which you presently work/serve.
(check only one)
c Community/Non-profit c Business c Education cGovernment
c Health Care c Media c Religion cLaw
c Labor c Social services c Other (specify)
Answer the following questions as completely as possible within the space given. Please type or
print in black ink.
1. List your previous experience and current role and responsibilities in economic and community
development in the state, region or community.
2. What do you consider to be the most significant contributions you have made to economic
and community development in the last five years?
3. Describe/list the three economic and community development issues in your community that
you consider most critical.
4. What specific skills, knowledge or resources would you hope to acquire as a result of participating
in the institute?
5. How do you plan to apply what you learn in your community?
6. What other leadership or economic development programs have you participated in?
STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
I understand the purpose of the Rural Economic Development Institute, and if I become a participant, I
will commit to attend all sessions on the scheduled dates and devote the time and energy necessary to
make this a successful experience. I understand that submission of this application does not guarantee my
acceptance into the program. I also understand that if I am accepted, the full fee of $495 is due no later
than March 2, 2011, after which no refunds will be given.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 28, 2011
Return completed form to: Rural Economic Development Institute, N.C. Rural Center, 4021 Carya Drive,
Raleigh, NC 27610, Attn: Shaheen Syal. Or submit by fax (919-250-4325) or e-mail (email@example.com).
Applicants will be notified by e-mail whether they have been accepted by February 11, 2011.
Questions? Contact Shaheen Syal at 919-250-4314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A limited number of scholarships are available, based on need. To apply, complete the scholarship
application on the next page and submit it with your application to the institute.
The RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE offers:
A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT. The program addresses business development,
workforce development, physical infrastructure and civic
and social infrastructure through the exploration of critical
issues, emerging trends and promising strategies.
A HIGH QUALITY CURRICULUM. The program employs a
curriculum that reflects current information on issues, trends,
data and resources, and cutting-edge theory and practice in
leadership, strategic planning and emerging technologies.
AN EXTENSIVE RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
PROCESS. The center recruits both individuals with a high
level of commitment and a class that reflects the diversity of
rural North Carolina in terms of geographic location, race,
gender, institutional setting and leadership roles.
A FOCUS ON COHESION. The diverse class provides
a forum for rural leaders to discuss issues from varying perspectives,
explore regional and cultural differences and problemsolve
ways to overcome the barriers of race, age and socioeconomic
status that are obstacles to economic and community
PRACTICAL APPLICATION LEARNING. The training sessions and
homework assignments afford participants opportunities to practice
new leadership skills and apply what they learn to the problems and
issues in their communities.
A PARTICIPATORY PROCESS. The institute brings people and
knowledge together through a participatory learning process that is
stimulating, challenging and fun. “Faculty” can be divided into three
The participants themselves. Leaders learn from one another.
Throughout the institute, participants share information and
experience and challenge one another to new ways of thinking.
State and regional resources. The institute features dynamic
presenters from a range of academic institutions and economic
and community development organizations.
Resident trainers. The institute’s in-house faculty includes individuals
with extensive backgrounds in leadership training and
community economic development.
TRAINING SESSIONS. Participants develop a network of
professional relationships and friendships that is fundamental
to generating and sustaining rural development initiatives.
4021 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC 27610
ALL RURAL LEADERS.
PLEASE SHARE IT
WITH OTHERS IN
WHO MIGHT BENEFIT.
2011 Rural Economic Development Institute
The institute offers a limited number of scholarships for individual hardship cases. Scholarships cover
tuition costs only. Other costs, including travel and hotel accommodations, must be paid by the individual
To apply for a scholarship, complete the information below. Attach additional sheets if necessary. This
scholarship form must accompany a completed application for the institute.
Mailing Address: ___________________________________________________________________
Work Phone: ______________________________________________________________________
Cell Phone: ________________________________________________________________________
E-mail Address (required):____________________________________________________________
STATEMENT OF NEED