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The Institute of Government & Kenan Flagler Business School will jointly launch a demonstration project to enhance the economic competitiveness of eight rural and severely distressed NC counties. Four of the target areas will be in western North Carolina (Cherokee, Madison, Swain, & Yancey) and four are located in the east (Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, and Northampton). The goal of the project is to develop a prototype of a community-based economic development model that can be used to enhance the competitiveness of all NC Rural counties.