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Media Advisory

For immediate use 

Feb. 2, 2006 -- No. 687

UNC economic summit to assess efforts to help build
globally competitive communities, businesses in N.C.

Friday, Feb. 3, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Kenan Center, UNC-Chapel Hill campus (second-floor lobby)

State, regional and business leaders will join University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officials Friday (Feb. 3) as part of a community economic development summit aimed at helping the university identify new opportunities to engage economic development and build globally competitive communities and businesses across the state. Media representatives are invited to attend "Carolina Summit on Community Economic Development," beginning at 8:30 a.m. at UNC’s Kenan Center.

Organizers expect the daylong sessions to help provide a framework for how the university can enhance efforts to nurture economic development activities across North Carolina. During a series of breakout sessions, more than 60 participants will examine how UNC-Chapel Hill’s expertise and resources can help in workforce and business development, leadership development and public policy, and infrastructure development and the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Participants will consider the university’s strengths in social sciences, the health sciences and public health, professional education, physical sciences and information sciences.

The summit is co-sponsored by UNC’s Office of Economic and Business Development and the Carolina Center for Public Service, both of which help match campus resources with statewide needs. Registered attendees include officials from state government, economic development organizations, Research Triangle Park and area businesses, community colleges, other UNC system campuses and community-interest groups. They will join with UNC-Chapel Hill administrators and faculty representing a wide spectrum of schools, departments, centers and units.

Jesse White Jr., who has headed the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Southern Growth Policies Board, leads UNC’s Office of Economic and Business Development. He will address "The Role of Post-Secondary Education in Economic Development: Mapping Carolina’s Community Economic Development Assets" beginning at 9:20 a.m. Those remarks will follow opening comments and an outline of summit goals by Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development, Lynn Blanchard, director, Carolina Center for Public Service, and White that begin at 9 a.m. Morning breakout sessions will be followed by reports and responses from the groups at 1:30 p.m. The summit will conclude with a brief 2:15 p.m. kickoff of a new campus economic development grants program and working group. The grants aim to encourage engaged scholarship by providing UNC faculty and graduate students with seed funding to start research and outreach efforts that will directly benefit North Carolinians. These projects may follow up ideas generated at the summit.

Friday’s summit comes at a time when the university is involved in the work of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Engagement with North Carolina, announced by Chancellor James Moeser last fall in his "State of the University" address. Economic development the focus of a subcommittee’s work, and the summit will also help inform those deliberations.

Media representatives are welcome during any portion of the day’s sessions. Additional background information, including details about participants, is available from News Services. Directions: http://www.kenancenter.unc.edu/Maps/

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Contact: Mike McFarland, (919) 962-8593, mike_mcfarland@unc.edu