|UNCís Kenan Institute to launch $1.6 million eastern N.C. economic development initiative|
|Tuesday, July 24, 2012|
The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will launch a $1.6 million center to promote business growth and job creation in eastern North Carolina.
The Center for Jobs and Innovative Business Development will be funded with a five-year, $642,949 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and $1 million in matching funds from the Kenan Institute.
Stith and his team will focus on the 18 counties in N.C.’s Eastern Plains Region: Bertie, Beaufort, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pitt, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson. They will offer a range of strategic planning and consulting services, research and educational programs.
The new center builds on the institute’s work in the region over the past four years and the needs identified by a roundtable of regional business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders that Stith convened a year ago to develop the EDA grant proposal.
The Eastern Plains Region counties are among the state’s most economically distressed due largely to declines in tobacco and textile industries in recent decades. The new center will work through established economic development agencies and councils of government in the region to implement its programs and promote economic growth.
“We are delighted to bring the resources of the University to this collaborative effort to help eastern North Carolina realize its economic potential,” Stith said.