College News

Dr. Bartlett completes REDI Leadership Program

Published Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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Tags: Dr. Walter Bartlett pcc Piedmont Community College REDI Rural Center Rural Economic Development Institute
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As rural North Carolina continues to wrestle with a changing economic landscape, its communities have a new set of tools to tackle those challenges: 28 graduates of the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center's leadership program, including Dr. Walter Bartlett, President of Piedmont Community College.  

The Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI) is an intensive, three-month training program designed for rural leaders. REDI provides techniques to improve participants' leadership skills while imparting proven strategies to help put those new skills into action. This year's class included town administrators, community volunteers, extension agents and the president of a community college.   More than 800 rural leaders have graduated from REDI since the program began in 1989.  

REDI participants and their guests gathered May 18 at the Rural Center to celebrate the training's conclusion with a commencement ceremony. Rural Center President Billy Ray Hall impressed upon the graduates that REDI does not end with the final formal workshop. He encouraged them to keep in contact with one another to share their challenges and successes. "The relationships that developed in here will be your relationships," he said. "When you pick up that phone, there will always be someone on the other end of the line."  

Rural Center board member and REDI graduate Andy Anderson delivered the keynote address. He acknowledged that rural parts of the state face tremendous obstacles in their journeys toward economic success, but he encouraged the audience not to dwell on the negatives. "People talk about what rural North Carolina is not, what is does not have," Anderson said. "I take issue with that." Instead, he implored the graduates to work diligently in tackling local problems and to become agents of change in their communities."You have the future in your hands," he told them.    

Pictured from left are Dr. Harold Barnes, President, Rural Economic Development Alumni Organization; Dr. Walter Bartlett, President, Piedmont Community College; and Billy Ray Hall, President, NC Rural Economic Development Center.