PEMBROKE — The director of the Entrepreneurship Incubator at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has been selected to attend the 2017 Rural Economic Development Institute.
James Freeman was awarded a $500 partial scholarship to attend the program, which is funded by the Rural Center in Raleigh. Freeman attended the first session in late march. He will attend two additional sessions, Monday though Thursday and May 23-25.
“This experience so far has helped me understand that economic development is not the correct focus,” Freeman said.
“We need to change our focus to economic sustainability by helping our local business became more sustainable through workforce development, product innovation, and to help educate our local citizens to think global not just locally.”
A Robeson County native, Freeman earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from UNC Pembroke in 2008 and a master’s degree in Public Administration, also from UNCP, in 2013.
He is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Business Administration.
The Rural Economic Development Institute is designed to provide rural leaders with knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable economic and community development, while managing the challenges of economic transitions in rural communities.
Upon completion, participants will become a member of a network of more than 1,100 other graduates committed to making a difference in rural North Carolina.
The Rural Economic Development Institute addresses leadership in two ways. The first provides participants with techniques that are designed to enhance their skills as community leaders. The second focuses on increasing participants’ knowledge of economic and community development strategies and equipping them with the tools they need to tackle rural issues.
The leadership program offers a comprehensive approach to economic development, a high-quality curriculum, practical application learning, a participatory learning process, collaboration, and networking.
The leadership training is designed for rural leaders who are active in decision-making roles in their communities.
Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist with the University of North Carolina-Pembroke. He may be reached at Mark.Locklear@uncp.edu.