Dr. Bartlett completes REDI Leadership Program
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
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
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.
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