Allies Gather to Offer Insight on Regional Program

In Southeastern North Carolina, regional economic development is a team sport, with government resources augmented by technical, financial and leadership assistance from private business. Such allies are vital to the work of bringing new jobs and investment to the region, and their knowledge of the region also make them uniquely qualified to speak to the role of North Carolina's Southeast Commission.

On January 24, a dozen allies gathered at the Commission's Elizabethtown headquarters to participate in a focus group on regional development requested by the Program Evaluation Division of the North Carolina General Assembly. Most allies remained for the Commission's monthly board meeting, which followed the focus group. "The gist of it was about value-added," explains John Monaghan, community relations manager at Piedmont Natural Gas Company. Mr. Monaghan participated in the focus group along with other utility industry representatives, bankers, real estate brokers, railroad officials and commercial insurance professionals. "Our company goes way back with North Carolina's Southeast, and appreciated having an opportunity to go to Elizabethtown to share our perspective," Mr. Monaghan says.

 The Program Evaluation Division is meeting with allies, staff members and directors of each of North Carolina's seven regional partnerships and commissions as part of a comprehensive analysis of the state's regional economic development strategy.