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Community Development Leader Promotes Local Tourism

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About 200 Advisory Board members and ECC faculty filled Mobley Atrium for the annual Advisory Board Night.

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ECC President Dr. Deborah Lamm is shown with Eric Evans, community development administrator for Edgecombe County. Evans spoke about local tourism development at Advisory Board Night on January 20.

About 200 business, industry, and health care leaders and Edgecombe Community College faculty gathered on the Tarboro campus recently for Advisory Board Night.

The annual event was held January 20 in Mobley Atrium.

Advisory boards are in place for 25 of the college’s academic program areas, such as business administration, radiography, industrial and technical trades, and the Small Business Center. Advisory boards consist of professional leaders and community members who are experts in the subject area of their board.

Eric Evans, community development administrator with the Edgecombe Office of the County Manager, provided the keynote address and spoke about tourism development in Edgecombe.

He said that increasing tourism activity will help diversify the local economy, create jobs, generate revenue, and improve the quality of life for local residents. He said that Edgecombe County already has 350 jobs connected to tourism and that tourism-related revenues are at $42.5 million.

The county has begun efforts to promote tourism, he explained. A Tourism Plan and a Tourism Development Advisory Council are in place. Through a Golden LEAF grant, the county has hired a tourism consultant, and officials are working toward creating a Tourism Development Office.

Edgecombe Community College can assist, Evans said, “by continuing the great work you are doing and by continuing to be flexible in developing training opportunities to meet local needs.”

The goal of the advisory boards is to inform, advise, and assist with planning, implementing, and evaluating the college’s programs and services. Advisory board members play a “vital role in helping to prepare our graduates for the workforce,” ECC President Dr. Deborah Lamm told the group.