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What is Your Strategic Vision?

December 17, 2015

A familiar Biblical Proverb states: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” I would argue that this principle is true for communities and organizations as well. Perish may be too strong a word, but I do think we could say something like, “when a community or organization has no vision, they a … Continued

Using Project Management Skills for Your Community Economic Development Project

May 12, 2015

Community and economic development projects are complex projects involving staff across multiple departments and often requiring access to professionals that are entirely external to the organization. Projects can range from acquiring and redeveloping a single property, acquiring tracts of land and … Continued

Improving Higher Education’s Role in Workforce Development

May 5, 2015

Human capital and talent are increasingly important drivers of regional competitiveness. States and localities recognize that their economic development success is inextricably linked to their ability to cultivate and develop a workforce that has the knowledge and skills required by key businesses a … Continued

The Heart of Collaborative Leadership

April 14, 2015

The need for collaborative leaders in communities and regions has never been greater. Most, if not all, of the community development issues we grapple with are highly complex and “boundary crossing,” meaning they cut across organizational, jurisdictional, and sectoral boundaries. Collaborative leade … Continued

Student Corner: Taking a closer look at low wage workers in North Carolina

March 5, 2015

By many measures, the job market in North Carolina seems to be recovering well from the recession. In December 2014, the statewide unemployment rate stood at 5.5%, down from 7.5% a year before (December 2013) and a high of 11.3%. At a national level, though, some analyses suggest that a large propor … Continued

System Leadership and Community Development

February 10, 2015

An article titled “The Dawn of System Leadership” was recently published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review by Peter Senge, Hal Hamilton, and John Kania and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in community development. While the notion of system leadership is not new—it is getting at si … Continued

Where to Find Data for Smart Managerial and Financial Decisions

December 23, 2014

Ever need to know how many single-family wood-framed houses were sold in the Midwest last year? Or the latitude and longitude of every farmers market in Wisconsin that sells herbs, flowers, and soap? What about the number of planes that sat on the tarmac more than three hours this past June? Or the … Continued

Student Corner: Workforce Development Dollars — Has your community cashed in?

December 18, 2014

In North Carolina, workforce training programs are primarily delivered through the 23 local, workforce development boards or through the state’s 59 community colleges. Most economic developers will be aware of these resources but may not know some of the programs these providers offer or the creativ … Continued

Guidance for Small Towns on Community Development Outreach Using Information Technology

November 18, 2014

While larger towns, counties and state governments are promoting their online services, and investing in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, how can smaller towns make sure they are not left behind? Community development entails on the ground, high-touch work. But potential employers and resi … Continued

Student Corner: Designing a Survey of the Built Environment

November 6, 2014

A previous post discussed the benefits of conducting community housing assessments for local governments and non-profit organizations interested in community and economic development. This post will discuss the methods and strategies that interested stakeholders, from local governments to neighborho … Continued