ECU partnership stimulates economic development across the region

ECU News Services

East Carolina University will facilitate $700,000 of grant money through a 15-month expansion of an existing partnership with the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The partnership provides technical assistance and individual grants up to $50,000 to enhance economic development across the state.

The Talent Enhancement Capacity Building Grant program proactively targets distressed, low wealth and limited capacity rural areas by providing both financial resources and training to help build stronger and more capable communities. The grants will assist up to 14 rural communities, with a total of $700,000 available to units of local government or non-profit organizations partnering with local government.
Kenny Flowers

While the Department of Commerce provides the funding, ECU will assist with training. Through the Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development, the university will offer an on-campus curriculum that includes:
  • Grant writing and administration;
  • Feasibility study development;
  • Economic impact analyses;
  • Community survey research;
  • Community development/planning; and
  • Leadership development.
The funding is an expansion of an existing grant partnership. Since August 2009, seven communities have taken advantage of the program. Kenny Flowers, director of Community and Regional Development for ECU, said that the program has helped ECU build “stronger partnerships across the region.

“The Commerce investment has added real value for the participating communities…We are ecstatic that our collaboration will continue.”

For additional information about the program, contact Flowers at 252-737-1342 or e-mail


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