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The purpose of this Golden LEAF grant is to support to the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center with implementing a capacity building initiative in the Northeast Prosperity Zone. The initiative is designed to help entities identify, plan, and operationalize viable economic development strategies that hold promise in the region. The Rural Center’s capacity building program will establish a regional leadership team from agriculture, education, workforce development, infrastructure, health care, and economic development, which will participate in leadership training events in early 2018. To aid in project development, the Rural Center will gather and evaluate existing strategic plans to help leaders identify common needs and complete a gap analysis to uncover unmet needs and opportunities that exist. And finally, the Rural Center will provide coaching and facilitated workshops to help participants vet project ideas and develop viable strategies to assist the region with pursuing available funding opportunities through Golden LEAF’s 2018-19 Northeast Community Based Grant Initiative (CBGI) and from other grantsmaking entities.