The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

July 28, 2009

ECU, Commerce assisting with community enhancement grants


GREENVILLE — Seven Eastern North Carolina counties will participate in the “Talent Enhancement Demonstration Grants” program, a collaboration between East Carolina University and the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Beaufort, Edgecombe, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico and Pitt counties will receive grant funding designed to provide technical assistance and financial resources to increase competitiveness and build stronger, more vibrant and more capable communities.

ECU’s Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development (OEIED) and the Department of Commerce’s Office of Rural Development are managing the program.

The local county governments applied for the community development block grants, which focus on new endeavors a community has lacked the resources to undertake and on increasing the productivity of existing community programs such as housing development and community revitalization.

“This partnership between the Department of Commerce and ECU maximizes our ability to immediately address critical needs in eastern communities and creates a collaborative environment that will help foster sustainable community and economic development outcomes over the long-term,” said Kenny Flowers, director of community and regional development for ECU’s OEIED.

 The OEIED will provide technical assistance to the participating counties to support activities in the following areas:

• Grant writing, grant administration training and technical support

• Feasibility study assistance and preparation

• Economic impact analyses

• Entrepreneurial and small business technical assistance

• Community survey research

•Community design assistance

ECU’s Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development actively aligns, supports and celebrates ECU faculty, staff and student engagement with industry, government and communities to address pressing regional needs. This engagement not only makes ECU a go-to partner in enhancing the region’s economic vitality and quality of life but also improves education, research and innovation, and scholarship across the campus.