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Commerce Secretary joins Initiative staff and partners for community economic development tour

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July 9, 2013 – N.C. Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker joined the Initiative and two of its community partners July 9 for a tour highlighting the impact of North Carolina’s community economic development industry.

The tour included visits with two recipients of the Initiative’s Community Enterprise Fund grants – Passage Home Inc. in Raleigh and Brick Capital Community Development Corp. in Sanford.

“We are honored that Secretary Decker took the time to see firsthand the difference that community economic development nonprofits make in North Carolina’s under-resourced communities,” said Initiative CEO Abdul Rasheed. “Passage Home and Brick Capital CDC have both created effective economic development infrastructures in their communities – connecting local people with local governments and businesses to build resources and opportunities that strengthen their communities.”

The Initiative’s Community Enterprise Fund investments help recipients implement strategic economic development plans that have potential for significant impact in the communities they serve. These community partners are nonprofit organizations that are rooted in their local community, are entrepreneurial in their approach and are having a positive, measurable impact on economic development and prosperity in their community.

The first stop on the July 9 tour was Passage Home’s Raleigh Safety and Community Club, where the organization helped 140 people find employment in 2012. Decker met with CEO Jeanne Tedrow, members of the board and community residents. Tedrow took tour participants out into the community to see projects such as the renovation of a new facility for the Debnam medical clinic, transitional housing for women who have been homeless or in prison, and the site of a new community garden which will provide residents with healthy food and safe access to the area’s greenway trail system.

The tour participants then traveled to Sanford where Decker met with Brick Capital CDC’s Executive Director Kate Rumely and many of the CDC’s partners and supporters. They toured the W.B. Wicker Business Campus, a restored historic school building that now houses Central Carolina Community College’s workforce development department, dental hygiene program and lifelong learning center, as well as a five-star childcare facility and the Sanford Business Suites. The business campus created 45 jobs in 2012.

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Decker told the group in Sanford, “It thrills me to be in this room with all of you because I say that economic development is community work.”

For more information on Passage Home, visit For more information on Brick Capital CDC, visit

The N.C. Community Development Initiative leads North Carolina’s collaborative community economic development effort, driving innovation, investment and action to create prosperous, sustainable communities. For more information, visit

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