Units & Initiatives

Community & Regional Development


Community and Regional Development (CRD) takes an innovative approach to program development that focuses on building a comprehensive menu of products and services that fosters strong regional partnerships around community and economic development priorities and projects. CRD prioritizes community enhancement and economic transformation as the cornerstone of its mission and places specific emphasis on providing a broad range of support to low wealth, limited resource and limited capacity communities across the region. CRD programs offer our target communities technical assistance, financial and other resources, economic development products and services as well as the expertise of ECU’s faculty, staff and students. CRD programs help increase competitiveness, build stronger and more vibrant communities, and stimulate economic transformation across the region.

The cornerstone programs of CRD are:

  • The Municipal Management Initiative (MMI) focuses on direct engagement with small, limited resource and limited capacity municipalities. The program offers products, services, capacity building and technical assistance support in an effort to increase local administrative and management capacities and to enhance public service delivery. With the addition of three new towns in 2011–12, MMI investments exceeded $200,000 and the number of active communities grew to eight.
  • The Talent Enhancement and Capacity Building (TECB) program is an innovative partnership with the North Carolina Department of Commerce designed to provide technical assistance and financial resources that help local governments and non-profit organizations build capacity, increase competitiveness and enhance community and economic vitality. In 2011–12 Commerce invested an additional $750,000 in the TECB program, pushing its total investment to $1,350,000. The Commerce investment allowed CRD to engage with 15 new TECB partners, which increased the total number to 22. Commerce’s investment allows community partners to engage with ECU for a broad menu of community and economic development products and services, capacity building and “on campus” training.
  • The ECU Outreach Network is a collaborative of faculty, staff and graduate student assistants who work directly with units of local government and community organizations to help prioritize organizational resource needs, identify potential resource providers, and prepare grant applications that support increased capacity and sustainable community development initiatives. During 2011–12 The Outreach Network provided direct assistance to 17 communities and five non-profits in areas that included resource identification, grant writing and training. The outreach network’s faculty directors played key roles in developing the comprehensive grants administration and public management curriculum offered to our new TECB communities.




Kenny Flowers

Assistant Vice Chancellor

Community and Regional Development