Rural and Urban: Communities

Carolina Core

An initiative of the Piedmont Triad Partnership  |  Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Harnett, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin Counties

The 17 counties in this regional economic development initiative are cooperating to brand four job development platforms: the Moncure Megasite, the Chatham Advanced Manufacturing Megasite, Greensboro Randolph Megasite and the Aerospace Megasite at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The Carolina Core is about linking together counties and regions that share some economic development assets, priority strategies, and hopefully, some successes Their mantra is “A Win for One is a Win for All.”


Project Empathy

Originally an initiative of the Transylvania County Department of Planning and Community Development  |  Rural and Suburban communities in Transylvania County

Project Empathy initially emerged from a dissatisfaction with the levels of service in rural areas of the county compared to the more suburban areas. Community leaders realized the need for—and interest in—starting a discussion focused on greater community awareness of the “other” and to enhance healthy civic discourse. Project Empathy, led by community volunteers, has held community events on key issues, including fear of the “other,” gun control, health and empathy, justice and racial equity, and diversity.


Project 40

An initiative of the Community Food Lab  |  Durham, Orange, Vance, Wake,  and Warren Counties

Project 40 is a new regional food system planning project to build urban-rural economic development around a clear target: 40% of the Triangle’s food will come from urban and rural sources by the year 2040. The effort is designed to support progress towards shared economic opportunity across a wide urban-rural spectrum.


Growing Outdoors Partnership

Mountain BizWorks  |  Henderson, Buncombe, Burke, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Mitchell Counties

The Growing Outdoors Partnership is a Western North Carolina-wide initiative designed to ensure that the outdoor industry expands across the western part of the state and that its benefits accrue both rural and urban/suburban communities in the region. A pivotal part of this project is bringing together leaders from the urban and rural parts of the region to ensure that the 15+ million tourists visiting the area get out into rural communities, and that rural manufacturers successfully partner with urban firms to create the “Extraordinary Gear Made Here” that WNC is known for.


STEM SENC (Southeastern NC)

The University of North Carolina – Wilmington  |  Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland Counties

The STEM SENC workforce development effort emerged when twenty-seven organizations, schools, institutions, and businesses across thirteen counties came together with the goal of providing access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunities for all students regardless of geographic isolation, socioeconomic status, culture or ability.