RALEIGH — Since last year’s Rural Day, NC Rural Center President Patrick Woodie has been traveling the state, visiting all 80 of North Carolina’s rural counties.

During his 8,300 mile journey, he met with some 1,600 rural leaders, listening to the problems, and the positives they face every day. From those meetings the NC Rural Center was able to compile three main issues they expect to discuss during their second annual gathering.

There’s no question the interest is great. Already, 2018’s Rural Day is sold out for May 29 at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.

There some 300 rural champions will meeting with local and state officials to discuss the following three topics: 

Rural broadband— Expanding access to high-speed, affordable broadband internet is the rural economic development issue of our time. It affects jobs, education, and health care.

Rural health—Healthy communities lead to healthy economies. In rural communities, the health sector is an economic engine. Improved access to health care is good for people and good for business.

Rural small-business development—Small businesses are the heart of the rural economy, indeed the heart of the national economy. The decline in entrepreneurial startups since the Great Recession is a national story and access to capital is one of the major reasons. 

This year’s featured speakers include: 

  • Governor Roy Cooper
  • Lt. Governor Dan Forest
  • House Speaker Tim Moore
  • Senator Phil Berger
  • Attorney General Josh Stein
  • Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen

Courtesy: NC Rural Center

Spectrum News Anchor Caroline Blair sat down with Woodie for a look at this years meeting.  For more information on the NC Rural Center or NC Rural Day, visit their website.

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