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CERC Interns Continue Economic Recovery in North Carolina

UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Economic Recovery Corps (CERC), which spent the summer helping smaller cities, towns and counties with economic recovery, will live on in a different form this fall and into next year.

This summer, eight graduate student interns were chosen to increase capacity to track federal economic recovery funds. They were placed in various Councils of Governments (COGs) across the state for 10 weeks, including: RTP, Rutherfordton, Greensboro, Asheville, Wilmington, Washington, Charlotte and Wilson.

All of the interns completed their 10 weeks of service, but several were called to continue their work on economic recovery for the state.

Julie Lawhorn accepted a full-time position in the Land of Sky Regional Commission to continue her work.

Three other interns, Brian Taylor , Charessa Sawyer and Alison Gillette, accepted jobs at the North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery and Investment.

Brian Taylor, who worked with the League of Municipalities this summer, was instrumental in creating a tool to track the stimulus money municipalities and counties applied for and received. His methodology included email, direct mail and telephone surveys, along with an online survey tool, with managers, finance directors and administrators from 550 municipalities and all 100 counties.  With a 92% response rate for municipalities and a 94% response rate for counties, the tool was able to track most of the funds. It will be useful during Taylor’s work with the Office of Economic Recovery and Investment.

Finally, two returning graduates are in the process of developing proposals to continue their work through the NC Rural Center.

Joshua Levy, Assistant Director of the UNC Office of Economic and Business Development, believes continuing economic recovery efforts is important to NC: “Many small towns don’t have the capacity to apply for funding, so CERC is way to connect them to resources. Ten weeks is a short timeframe, but the goal is for CERC to impact long-term economic recovery by investing in the future.”


For further information, please contact:

Joshua Levy

Assistant Director, UNC Office of Economic and Business Development