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March 22, 2021
Contact: Steve Lockett, Interim Executive Director

Upcoming Meetings and Events

The Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) is partnering with other state agencies to hold a Virtual Career Fair for individuals with disabilities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 23. Meet with recruiters from state agencies and find out more about how you can make a positive impact in our state. To learn more and register for the career fair, go to the OSHR website. This Virtual Career Fair is FREE for jobseekers with disabilities to attend.

myFutureNC Local Educational Attainment Collaboratives

The ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government (ncIMPACT) and myFutureNC, with support from the John M. Belk Endowment, are launching a two-year pilot program that supports 10 local educational attainment collaboratives across North Carolina that seek to significantly increase the number of students successfully completing post-secondary credentials of value in the workforce: a degree, credential, or certification.

This effort aligns with the state’s legislative goal of 2 million individuals between the ages of 25-44 who possess a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030. Click here to learn more.

Please contact Steve Lockett at if you're interested in applying for this program

Regional News

NCLM American Rescue Plan Resources and Webinar

With the passage of the American Rescue Plan on March 11, 2021, direct assistance will be provided to cities and towns for the first time since the onset of COVID-19. On this site, we detail what that means, what money can be expected, and what it can be used for. We also provide guidance and educational resources, ensuring that our municipalities make the most of this relief, not just to recover from a painful year, but to thrive for many years to come.

The NC League of Municipalities has a dedicated website for all ARP-related information. It can be found at On this site, you will find:
  • Expected funds for every city and town in North Carolina
  • All necessary legal, Treasury, and LGC guidance
  • Summaries of provisions in the law
  • Calendar of events and education sessions on the ARP
  • Ongoing coverage of the topics most important to cities and towns
  • FAQS
  • And more
The March 23 webinar will include:
  • Overview of the legislation
  • How to be a good steward of the federal funds
  • Resources available for assistance throughout the process
Attendees will also hear from Michael Gleeson with the National League of Cities, as well as a panel of experienced local officials about the best practices and lessons learned from their time in office dealing with similar situations. This webinar is free for members of the N.C. League. Click here to register.

Polk County Parks and Rec Needs Your Help!

Polk County has reopened its Parks and Rec survey to gather input from a greater portion of the community on recreational opportunities in the county.

Please click the link below to take their new survey and share your opinions. Information gathered in this survey will be used to help update the comprehensive plan for parks and recreation programs and facilities within Polk County. 
Click Here to Take the Survey!

Excellent Training Opportunities for Local Elected Officials

UNC School of Government is offering several training opportunities for municipal and county elected officials and managers. These classes are being offered on-line through Zoom. 

Urban to Rural Migration Effects Survey

We have all heard reports of possible trends of people leaving the larger cities and moving to smaller communities as a result of COVID-19.  We all know this will have a significant impact on our rural, NC communities if there is a shift in where people live. NC Main Street is asking that you take the Urban to Rural Migration Effects5-minute survey by Thursday, March 25th.

The survey questions are prepared by Dr. Patricia Mitchell, an assistant professor at Appalachian State University and the former Assistant Secretary of the Rural Economic Development Division at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Click here to take the survey


Richard Petty on COVID-19 Vaccines: “You Have A Spot. Take Your Shot.”

North Carolina native and NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty, otherwise known as “The King,” gets his COVID-19 vaccination and is encouraging everyone to find their spot and take their shot. Petty, 83, shares his reasons for getting vaccinated and urges others to find their spot and take their shot.

NCDHHS Launches Statewide Open Enrollment for NC Medicaid Managed Care

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced the launch of statewide open enrollment for NC Medicaid Managed Care. Beneficiaries can enroll online, by calling the NC Medicaid Managed Care Call Center at 833-870-5500 (TTY: 833-870-5588) or through the free NC Medicaid Managed Care mobile app available on Google Play or the App Store. They can also use the mail-in forms sent to them in the enrollment packet. For more information, beneficiaries can reference the enrollment packets that were mailed to them, visit the NC Medicaid Managed Care website or call the NC Medicaid Managed Care Call Center at 833-870-5500 (TTY: 833-870-5588).

Economic & Workforce Development

Region C Workforce Development Board is Hiring for Business Services Representative

The Region C Workforce Development Board is seeking a hard-working, engaging professional to serve as its new Business Services Representative (BSR) for the four-county Isothermal Region. Please see the full job posting for more information and instructions on how to apply. This position is open until filled.

ARC Now Accepting Applications for 2021–2022 Class of Appalachian Leadership Institute

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive leadership and economic development training opportunity for people who live and/or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive. Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows participate in an extensive training curriculum developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The all-inclusive, nine-month program runs from October – July and includes skill-building seminars and best practice reviews. The program is currently meeting virtually due to COVID, but normally includes field visits during six separate sessions across the Region, followed by a capstone graduation event held in Washington, DC. Click here to learn more and apply by May 1.

Appalachian Regional Commission Application Deadlines

The Fiscal Year 2022 Pre-Application form for Appalachian Regional Commission funding is now available online. Pre-apps are due by 5:00 p.m. on April 21, 2021.
Access the Pre-Application.
POWER Program
On February 2, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) held an application workshop to give potential applicants a greater understanding of the POWER Initiative and the qualities of a well-rounded application. This workshop was recorded and divided into a series of 8 videos based on the subject matter. The videos are available on the ARC YouTube channel.
The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent for the POWER Grant Program is March 5, 2021.

Funding Programs for Water Systems in NC

The Environmental Finance Center at UNC School of Government will host a free webinar on March 24 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Funding program administrators will present information and answer questions on state and federal subsidized loans and grants available for water and wastewater infrastructure projects in North Carolina. Presentations will be made by USDA, the Division of Water Infrastructure (State Revolving Funds, CDBG, and state-administered grants), and the Economic Development Administration.

The webinar is free for anyone to attend: water and wastewater utilities – small water systems are especially encouraged to attend – consultants, technical assistance providers, or anyone who is helping water and wastewater systems in North Carolina apply for subsidized loans and grants. Register to attend. Space is limited. Click here to learn more and register.

IEI Announces 2021 BAND-NC Funding 

BAND-NC will provide mini-grants to communities across the state who want to implement digital inclusion plans, begin a digital inclusion planning process, or are looking to meet immediate digital needs.

IEI and the Broadband Infrastructure Office will be hosting a BAND-NC informational webinar on Thursday, March 18 at 1 p.m. If you have questions about digital inclusion, BAND-NC, and/or the application criteria, we encourage you to attend. Click here to learn more.

EDA invites Applications for Economic Development Grant Opportunities

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites applicants to submit applications under its Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs.  Through these programs, EDA invites applications to request grant assistance for clearly defined construction or non-construction assistance projects that will advance job creation, job retention and private investment or enhance economic development decision-making, respectfully. 

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  To learn more and to discuss potential projects, please contact Hillary Sherman at  To access the funding notice and application forms, please go to:

NC Small Business Coalition - North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan

The Small Business Policy Task Force, in collaboration with the NC Rural Center, has crafted a set of state-specific policy recommendations titled North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan. The recommendations set forth in this plan aim to leverage North Carolina’s existing assets and small-business infrastructure to build an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem where entrepreneurs of color, women small-business owners, veterans, differently-abled, and young small-business owners, have the tools and resources to succeed. This policy agenda addresses the interests and goals of small-business owners through the following focus areas: funding, support, opportunity, and knowledge.
Read the full North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan: A Pathway to Prosperity for All

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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