Apologies.  I mistakenly put the date for our next IPDC meeting as Sept 13th.  The correct date is September 12th, 2017.  Meeting times are 6:30pm for dinner and 7:00pm for the Meeting and Program.  Program is the unveiling of the Regional Economic Development Plan.  Meeting will take place in Marion with more details to come.
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July 31, 2017
Contact: Scott Dadson, Executive Director
828-287-2281, ext. 250

Upcoming Meetings:

Workforce Development Board meeting will be held next Thursday, August 3rd, 2017, at Noon, at the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission office, 111 West Court Street, Rutherfordton, NC.


FUNDS AVAILABLE: USDA Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) - Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program for FY 2017


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announced this week that USDA is accepting applications for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program for FY 2017.  Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2017 under this window.

The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed as outlined in the Federal Register.

Applicants are encouraged to review the FY 2017 application guide that is available online at: and as found in the Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR part 1738.

More information on how to apply for funding is available on page 34473 of the July 25th Federal Register or contact the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office, 301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601

McDowell County Workforce Pipeline Committee and the Region C WDB

The McDowell County Workforce Pipeline Committee was conceived at the end of a Region C Workforce Development Board (WDB) sponsored meeting in the fall of 2013.  This meeting covered the need to have a “Pipeline” of qualified applicants to fill the many good manufacturing jobs in McDowell that were going unfilled every day.   It was also a culmination of efforts made by local workforce partners over a period of years: the idea of an employer lead committee to guide the employment and training process.  This was the result of some frustration of the lack of coordination and alignment with training and labor exchange initiatives and the needs of local industry.   There was a realization that the end-user of the workforce system must be a contributor and have input on the services provided by the local system.  Engagement of the Region C WDB was made possible with the buy-in and full support of the current and past WDB staff.  This work was fulfilling the Mission Statement of the Board which reads as follows:

 The mission of the Region C Workforce Development Board (WDB) is to help employers meet their workforce needs, help individuals build careers, strengthen the local economy, and meet the challenges of global competition.

Continued engagement between industry, the Region C WDB, NC Commerce, McDowell Tech Community College, and other workforce partners, has allowed the McDowell County Workforce Pipeline Committee to fulfill its mission of continually developing a strong pipeline of qualified workers for today’s advanced manufacturing careers. 

This Workforce Pipeline is a wonderful example of “Best Practices” found in our Isothermal region.  Currently, IPDC and Region C WDB staff are working with partners in Cleveland, Rutherford and Polk counties to replicate this Pipeline model regionally, thus expanding the positive impact of this industry-led workforce program to our entire economic region.  

Continued Good News In McDowell

In a recent  newsletter, we highlighted an award for the work of the McDowell Pipeline (See:  in receiving the 017 Governor's NCWorks Award of Distinction as an Outstanding Innovative Partnership in October of this year.  

Now, there is more good news. Columbia Forest Products will receive the 2017 Governor's Award of Distinction as an "Outstanding Employer"  Columbia Forest Products is one of the oldest manufactures in McDowell County.  Nikii Pittman, HR Manager at Columbia Forest Products, is involved in every aspect as it pertains to workforce development in McDowell County.  She is a member of the Workforce Pipeline Committee, the Region C Workforce Development Board representing McDowell County just to name a few.  In short, if Nikii is needed, she will be there participating and providing leadership.
Destiny Mader, in Mary Ledbetter's WIOA Youth Program, will receive the 2017 Governor's Award of Distinction as an “Outstanding Young Adult". Destiny stood out the minute she came to the NC Works Center in Marion to attend the Manufacturing Certification Class.  Destiny was selected for this award from many deserving individuals from across the state.  She has overcome many obstacles and is indeed a positive role model for North Carolina’s young adults.
NC Growing Together and Piedmont Triad Regional Council
Partner on GIS Update of NC Local Food Infrastructure Inventory


Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC) has partnered with the North Carolina Growing Together Project (NCGT) to host a GIS update of the North Carolina Local Food Infrastructure Inventory.
The map can be accessed online here:
NC Local Food Infrastructure Inventory:

The Local Food Infrastructure Inventory is a mapped data set of businesses that serve as intermediary steps in local food supply chains. This includes value-added processors (for example, meat and seafood processors, cheese manufacturers, specialty jams and pickling operations), fresh produce wholesaler/distributors, multi-farm CSA's, food hubs, community kitchens, incubator farms, and cold storage locations. The inventory does not include information on end retailers (e.g., restaurants, grocery stores, and others selling in direct-to-consumer channels).

​Map users can filter by county or district, select from eight different map layers, and sort data by type.
“Creating the infrastructure inventory was a collaborative process, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of Cooperative Extension agents, county and city planners, and regional council of government staff across the state,” said Emily Edmonds, NCGT Extension & Outreach Program Manager. “The inventory is an excellent tool to help regional and local agencies fully understand the opportunities and challenges of strengthening local food supply chains in their own communities.”
“Showing the location of food system infrastructure gives regions a tool to demonstrate the agricultural sectors impact on local and regional economic development.  Whether through sustainable value-added food system products, various food processors, markets or hubs, the data from the infrastructure map will be useful in developing strategies to improve transportation and marketing of agricultural and food products, providing critical information for planning and development,” said Matthew Dolge, Executive Director of the Piedmont Triad Regional Council.
The map was designed to support market development for producers and others in the local food supply chain. The inventory supports the work of NCGT’s Local Food Economies initiative, a program that works with local and regional governments and business developers to provide supportive business environments for farms and food businesses. (See for additional information.)
NCGT originally developed the inventory in collaboration with North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Local Foods Flagship Program. The data includes NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) entries, analyzed and edited with assistance from county planners and economic developers, Cooperative Extension county centers, and Council of Government staff.

Citizens and supply chain actors are welcome to submit updates and additions to the map, using the contact email address and forms provided on the information page.
The map was initially created through and has been supported by NC Growing Together, a project of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. The work was funded by the USDA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture, grant #201368004-20363) and by the BlueCross BlueShield of NC Foundation as part of a statewide food system assessment and action planning process. For more information, contact NCGT Project Director Rebecca Dunning ( or visit or
Program Contact: Emily M. Edmonds, MPA
NC Growing Together Project Extension & Outreach Program Manager
Center for Environmental Farming Systems, North Carolina State University | 828.399.0297 | |
*Check out our new webinar series - once a month on cutting-edge topics in food & farm development!

July 18, 2017  Press Contact: Rebecca Dunning,
What is a Food Council?

Are you interested to learn more about what food councils are and what they are doing in communities across NC?  Click on this link here to find out more: Save the Date for this year’s Statewide Gathering of Local Food Councils.   While many more details will be coming in the next few months and we will keep you up to speed on therm, here is the the skinny on the Statewide Gathering:
WHEN:   Thursday, November 30, 10:00am – 6:30pm to Friday, December 1, 8:30am – 3:00pm
WHERE: WinMock, Bermuda Run, NC in Davie County
  • We will be reserving a block of hotel rooms at Hampton Inn.   Shuttle service to and from WinMock will be available.
WHO: All existing and emerging food council leaders, members, and partners
REGISTRATION: Expect registration to open in late August.

Community Food Strategies will be sponsoring up to two people from each food council to attend, which will include registration, travel for one vehicle, and one hotel room.

Interesting Studies about State Economies per Region and State Revenue Distribution

Two different papers out on the Economic Status of the State and the various Regions. You can read both here at and the Revenue Distribution Charts from the NCLM at:

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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission
111 West Court Street Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: (828) 287-2281
Fax: (828) 287-2735

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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission · 111 West Court Street · Post Office Box 841 · Rutherfordton, NC 28139 · USA

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