HUD Participates in NC Regional Housing Summit on Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Development
[From left to right - Sarah Thompson, Executive Director, Southwestern Commission; Bob W. Cook Field Office Director, Russ Harris, Director of Community and Economic Development Southwestern Commission]
From left to right - Sarah Thompson, Executive Director, Southwestern Commission; Bob W. Cook Field Office Director, Russ Harris, Director of Community and Economic Development Southwestern Commission.

Recently, the Knoxville Field Office Director, Bob W. Cook represented the HUD Southeast Region and North Carolina in joining other federal, state, regional and local private sector leaders to learn more about the housing needs, economic development, workforce needs and opportunities of the seven westernmost counties of North Carolina. The event kicked off with an overview of the Comprehensive Economic Development covering the seven western counties in North Carolina. Cook was the keynote luncheon speaker providing information on HUDs Workforce Initiatives and Programs. He covered such programs as the Jobs Plus, Moving to Work, Family Self-Sufficiency, Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficient (ROSS) program, Section 3, and the Envision Centers.
  
The Southwestern Commission Planning and Economic Development Commission serves as the Lead Development District for the seven western counties in North Carolina, known as Region A. In that role, the Southwestern Commission is tasked with working with regional stakeholders to develop a new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, (CEDS) for Region A every five years. HUD and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy. Cook presented how HUD can be a part of the private-public partnership discussion and how their existing programs adds value, furthers their economic strategy with a vison of HUD in mind as a key collaborative partner.  

The CEDS represents a coordinated regional strategy for economic development that creates a vision with HUD in mind as a partner that will serve over the next five years and the specific actions needed to achieve that vision. Input was gathered from a variety of regional stakeholders through public surveys and a steering committee made up of public, private, and non-profit representatives, including HUD. The primary purpose of the project was to identify strategic goals and objectives that will move the region's economy forward. The CEDS can be used to support as a guiding document for economic development.