The Kerr-Tar Planning and Development Department is extremely excited and honored to post this week to the Person County EDC Blog! The COG is proud of the strong working relationship it has with Person County officials when it comes to Economic Development. Just this past Monday, the COG hosted the North Carolina Rural Center to the area! As a part of the Center’s Rural Counts state-wide initiative, began in January, staff conducted regional meetings centered around the following ten strategies:
- Vigorously Advocat[ing] for Innovation in Education and Workforce Development
- Stabiliz[ing] and Transform[ing] Rural Health Care
- Expand[ing] Accessible, Affordable High-Speed Fiber Broadband
- Accelerat[ing] Modernization of Essential Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
- Expand[ing] and Upgrad[ing] Rural Transportation and Natural Gas
- Invest[ing] in Stronger Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Systems
- Strengthen[ing] Homegrown Manufacturing
- Developing[ing] Opportunities for Agriculture and Natural Resources, including Biotechnology and Value-Added Food Processing
- Enhanc[ing] Regional Collaboration and Partnerships
- Stabliz[ing] and Leverag[ing] Rural Development Funding, Capacity Building, and Technical Assistance
Feedback received from the session was extremely valuable and such great enthusiasm and optimism was shown through the Person County officials present.
Additionally, the COG just recently completed its final Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) meeting in July. Since January, the COG has been conducting meetings with the CEDS Steering Committee; a committee comprised of individuals ranging from region-wide elected officials, county administrators, economic development directors, community college staff, and individuals from private industry. The Committee included four (4) representatives from Person County!
The completed document will be submitted to the U.S. Economic Development Administration later this month and will provide a regional roadmap for making the region more economically competitive. The goal on the CEDS can only be accomplished with the assistance of the Person County EDC. The mission of the EDA is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. The EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
The COG looks forward to working closely with Person and our regional partners in making the strategies and goals identified a reality!
Michael Kelly, Kerr Tar Council of Governments (COG)
Planning and Economic Development Director
Michael Kelly is the current Planning and Economic Development Director for the COG. Prior to being hired in September 2016, he was a Planner in Orange County, North Carolina and served as the Director of Constituent Affairs and Community Outreach for the North Carolina Office of the Lieutenant Governor. He has both a BA and MPA from North Carolina State University and a MCRP from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently resides in Raleigh. He is extremely excited about the possibility of bringing economic growth to the Kerr-Tar Region.