Office of
Innovation and Economic Development

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Constituent Units > Community and Regional Development

Community Enhancement and Economic Transformation Initiative (CEETI)

The North Carolina Department of Commerce (Commerce) and East Carolina University (ECU) have established a partnership that leverages the resources and expertise of both organizations in support of comprehensive economic development in eastern North Carolina communities.

CEETI proactively targets distressed, low wealth and limited capacity communities with economic development products, technical assistance and financial resources that will help increase competitiveness and build stronger, more vibrant and more capable communities. It is an innovative pilot program that maximizes collaboration between Commerce and ECU on behalf of targeted communities in eastern North Carolina to increase economic competitiveness and enhance the potential for sustainable economic growth and development.

CEETI will include:

  • Community Enhancement Grants from the Department of Commerce that targets economically distressed 21st Century Communities with grants of up to $75,000 for capacity building activities that will subsequently lead to broader economic development projects that address a prioritized local need.
  • Economic Transformation Assistance which leverages the economic development personnel, products and expertise of East Carolina University on behalf of eastern North Carolina communities to help remove traditional barriers to the access of economic development resources and impediments to successful project implementation. ECU will partner directly with communities that are funded by Commerce and provide a comprehensive package of technical assistance an economic development services.
  • Focused Community Guidance for the targeted communities that engages the Department of Commerce, ECU, the communities and relevant economic development entities in a long-term partnership that continually assesses ways of building local capacity, ensures the successful implementation of projects, and stimulates the transformation of the local and regional economies.
  • Continuous Collaboration between Commerce, ECU and the communities that helps to foster sustainable economic development and creates a pervasive spirit of commitment and inclusion. CEETI will engage the full scope of academic and intellectual capacities of the University and the professional expertise of the Commerce staff to continuously engage the communities and regional partners to design and implement innovative strategies that help build vibrant and competitive communities and subsequently help transform the regional economy.

The Community Enhancement and Economic Transformation Initiative is a comprehensive approach to addressing issues that impact economic well being and quality of life issues in distressed communities across eastern North Carolina, and is consistent with the focus of Commerce's new Memorandum of Understanding with the University of North Carolina.

For more information:

Kenny Flowers
Director, Community and
Regional Development