Economic Development

Linn Cove ViaductCERPA's Economic Development Program facilitates research and policy analysis that promotes higher standards of living and improved economic and social conditions. The program addresses a wide range of economic and social issues, such as the urban-rural divide, higher education and tax incentives, but a particular area of interest is the intersection of environmental, energy and economic policy.

The program maintains an area of work that focuses on Western North Carolina economic and social issues. WNC initiatives attempt to improve conditions in the region by providing relevant, timely and accurate information to people in the private and public sectors.

Funded Projects

  • The Economic Impact of Appalachian State’s Athletics Department on the Regional Economy. Athletics Department, Appalachian State University, $12,000, 2016.
  • The Economic Impact of the Watauga County Industrial Park. Watauga County Economic Development Committee, $5,000, 2014.
  • The Total Economic Impacts of the Mission Healthcare System on the Regional Economy. Mission Healthcare System, Ashville, NC, $19,750, 2014.
  • Southwestern North Carolina Opportunity Initiative. NC Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and Appalachian Regional Commission, 2013-14.
  • Mission Health System Economic and Tax Revenue Impacts, Mission Healthcare System, $20,500, 2013.
  • Western North Carolina Vitality Index, partner agencies include Duke Energy, Blue Ridge National Heritage, and USDA Forest Service, 2011-13.
  • Assess Public Policy Options for Increasing Adoption of Energy Conservation Technologies. NC State Energy Office, $32,480, 2010-11. 
  • Rural Economic Opportunity: Barriers, Resources and Best Practices. North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, $100,000, 2009-10.