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Who Should Steer Economic Development?

Vince Winkel
The Roadmap 2025 forum was held in the art gallery of WHQR Public Radio.

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council is a Wilmington-based group that advocates for sustainable economic development.  At a recent meeting, they looked at whether state or local governments are best-suited to lead development efforts. 

Communities should steer the economic development ship, and not the state.  That was the sentiment at a public forum on Tuesday.

The meeting was part of a listening tour for Roadmap 2025, sponsored by Think NC First, a nonpartisan policy and message development think tank.

At issue is whether state leaders in Raleigh understand the economic development challenges of this region, and how to support efforts here. 

Lloyd Smith is with the Cape Fear Economic Development Council. 

“This is a unique opportunity. We often find ourselves hearing from the state what the plan is, but we don’t often feel like this region is a part of the plan.” 

The project manager for Roadmap 2025, Sarah Crawford, moderated the forum.

“Also what was really profound tonight was the idea that we need to be intentional about these regional economic partnerships. The state needs to figure out how to incent those regional economic partnerships based on what’s going to be most useful to that region.” 

To learn more about Roadmap 2025, visit them online here