Economic, Community, and Workforce Development

In the Spring of 2016, the Board of Directors of the Commission directed the merger of the Workforce Development Program and Economic and Community Development Program.  Also included in this will be a name change from WIOA and Community Development to Economic, Community and Workforce Development.

The staff of the two divisions now work closely together to advance the needs of their original programs as well as the overall goals of Economic, Community and Workforce Development across Region C.  In this way, we can best meet the needs of our membership.  We are well situated to carry out the Mission of the Commission to create a collaborative that serves as a regional brokerage of assets and talent development, which in turn improves the individual, household, and business prosperity of our region and local communities.

Isothermal Planning & Development Commission | Representing Cleveland, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford Counties in North Carolina

Latest News and Resources

One-Stop Operator Procurement – Letter of Intent to Bid

Click here to download a copy of the Letter of Intent to Bid

Department of Commerce Announces CDBG-CV Program – CLOSED

The Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus program (CDBG-CV) is designed to help units of local government respond to and recover from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. CDBG-CV projects must incorporate at least one of the following as an area of focus:

  • Support families and communities through telehealth support and other public services.
  • Protect the most vulnerable and high-risk populations.
  • Assist small businesses with economic recovery.
  • Address testing, tracing, and tracking trends.

Additionally, the State has established additional funding priorities for the CDBG-CV grants, including subsistence payments to prevent evictions and utility disconnections, food distribution, testing and diagnosis, and employment training for health care workers on the front lines. The application opened on September 1 and is first-come-first-served.  Application instructions and complete information about the purpose and requirements of the CDBG-CV program are available on the Commerce website.

For assistance applying and administering the CDBG-CV program, please contact IPDC’s Economic and Community Development staff. Click here for the staff directory.

Allowable Project Activities for the CDBG-CV

Public ServiceDescription
Subsistence PaymentsProvide up to six months emergency payments on behalf of individuals or families, generally for the purpose of preventing homelessness.  Utility payments to prevent service disconnection and rent/mortgage payments to prevent eviction. Local governments are encouraged to partner with a non-profit service provider such as United Way or one approved by the NC DHHS.
Employment TrainingCarry out job training to expand the pool of health care workers and technicians that are available to treat disease within a community.
Testing and DiagnosisProvide testing, diagnosis, or other services at a fixed or mobile location.
Equipment, Supplies, and MaterialsProvide equipment, supplies, and materials necessary to carry-out a public service.
Food DistributionMeal Delivery: Deliver meals on wheels to quarantined individuals or individuals that need to maintain social distancing due to medical vulnerabilities.
Food Bank/Pantry Services:  Provide support to food banks and food pantries.
Health ServicesIncrease the capacity and availability of targeted health services for infectious disease response within existing health care facilities.
Mental Health ServicesIncrease the capacity and availability of targeted mental health services for individuals and families impacted by Coronavirus.
Broadband and Communications SupportProvide broadband services inclusive of internet access and hardware/software purchases to connect individuals to jobs, schools, financial institutions, and healthcare providers.
Services for Special Needs Populations such as seniors, youth age 13-19, and disabled/handicappedProvide services for special needs populations that prevent, respond to, or prepare for COVID-19.  Applicants must contact the CDBG-CV Manager for approval prior to submitting the application.
Public Facility ActivityDescription
Acquisition, Construction, Reconstruction, or installation of public works, facilities, and site or other improvementsHealth Facilities may be created/supported by:
·         Constructing a testing and diagnosis, or treatment facility.
·         Rehabilitate a community facility to establish an infectious disease treatment clinic.
Acquiring and rehabilitating, or constructing, a group living facility that may be used to centralize patients undergoing treatment.
Rehabilitation of building and improvements (including interim assistance)Rehabilitate a commercial building or closed school building to establish an infectious disease treatment clinic
Acquire, and quickly rehabilitate (if necessary) a motel or hotel building to expand capacity of hospitals to accommodate isolation of patients during recovery.
Make interim improvements to private properties to enable an individual patient or frontline health care workers to remain quarantined on a temporary basis.
Broadband and Communications SupportProvide broadband services inclusive of infrastructure development, internet access, wiring, and hardware and software purchases to connect individuals to jobs, schools, financial institutions, and healthcare providers. All activities must be completed in 30 months or less.
Economic Development ActivityDescription
Small Business AssistanceProvide grants to support new businesses or business expansion to create jobs and manufacture medical supplies necessary to respond to infectious disease.
Avoid job loss cause by business closures related to social distancing by providing short-term working capital assistance to small businesses to enable retention of jobs held by low-to-moderate income persons.
Provide financial assistance to for-profit businesses to acquire property, build, expand, or rehabilitate a building, lease space to operate, or purchase equipment, or provide operating capital.
Retrofit workspaces for for-profit businesses to promote social distancing.
Microenterprise Assistance is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise.Provide technical assistance and grants to establish, stabilize, and expand microenterprises that provide medical, food delivery, cleaning, and other services to support home health and quarantine.

CDBG-CV Resources

FY 2020 Income Limits Summary for IPDC Region

Click here to view the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), definitions for income limits for low-and-moderate-income families per family size for non-metropolitan and metropolitan areas of the state.

Region C WDB On-The-Job Training Subsidy Program

If you are an employer and would like to enter into an agreement with the Region C WDB, please use the forms below
  1. OJT Summary WIOA
  2. Pre-Award Analysis Blank
  3. OJT Employer Agreement PT
  4. W9 IPDC Address as Requestor
Forms for Employers that have entered into the OJT Agreement with Region C WDB
  1. OJT Eligibility Form
  2. OJT Training Plan Blank
  3. OJT Trainee Evaluation Form Blank
  4. OJT Monthly Report Blank
  5. OJT Invoice Timesheet Blank

Region C Workforce Development Board Labor Market Overview

Please click on the image above to see a higher resolution image

The Region C Workforce Development Board is pleased to share the latest regional labor market data with the public. While these data trends are disappointing, it is critical to maintain and share this information in order to best understand and respond to the needs of the region particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic. To learn more about the region’s labor market data, please click here.

The Appalachian Region: A Data Overview from the 2014-2018 American Community Survey

This study examines state- and county-level data for the 13 Appalachian states from the 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS) and from U.S. Census Bureau population estimates on topics including population, age, race and ethnicity, housing occupancy and tenure, education, labor force, employment and unemployment, income and poverty, health insurance coverage, disability status, migration patterns, and veteran status.

To view the entire study, go to 2014-2018 American Community Survey.

Evaluation of the ARC’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects: FY 2009–FY 2016

A new analysis of ARC’s drinking water and wastewater investments has provided some exciting insights. From 2009 to 2016, $115+ million was invested in 379 water-related projects impacting 221 counties. Teams from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Environmental Finance Center and Virginia Tech found that investments successfully targeted the region’s most economically distressed areas, benefited 17,400 businesses and created nearly 11,700 jobs. As Appalachia deals with both economic transition and COVID-19, these types of insights help us better help communities recover, revitalize and thrive. Click here to learn more.

McDowell County purchased the Universal Building in 2012. It was formerly home to a furniture plant that had shut down over a decade before and was being used as a warehouse. This project provided public water to the Universal Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is an extension of McDowell Technical Community College (MTCC), to be used as an industrial skills training center.

Region C Workforce Development Board Local Area Plan Available for Public Review

Region C Workforce Development Board Local Area Plan

The 4-year strategic Local Area Plan for the Region C Workforce Development Consortium’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs and services delivered for Cleveland, McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford Counties is available for public review at this link:

Questions or comments should be addressed to Steve Lockett by telephone  (828) 351 2373, or email at

IPDC, Isothermal Community College, McDowell Tech, and Cleveland County Community College Host Apprenticeship Meeting

The Regional Commission and our three partner Community Colleges in the Isothermal Region hosted a luncheon with Maureen Little of the NC Community College System presented to a full house of practitioners and industry on the importance of Apprenticeships in the current and future workforce.  

From Isothermal Community College President Walter Dalton, who hosted the event at the Foundation Center at ICC in Spindale, a wonderful synopsis was sent to all who attended.  It reads as follows:

“I want to thank all who attended the apprenticeship luncheon on Tuesday and I think all there benefited from the presentation of Maureen Little, who is the Vice-President of the North Carolina Community College System and over Workforce Development and the Apprenticeship Program.  Maureen took over the program about three years ago when it was transferred from the Department of Commerce to the Community College System.   Since that time she has made great strides in growing the number of apprentices and qualified apprentice programs across the state.

As we all focus on closing the “skills gap” and meeting the legislative goal of having two million North Carolinians between the ages of 25 and 44 holding a post-secondary, high quality degree or credential by 2030, apprenticeships will be key.  It is a way to get real world experiences from the back door to the front door and also a way the business can observe the talent and judge the students potential for future employment.

One key will be establishing a registered apprenticeship program and there are discussions at the colleges and also at IPDC regarding this.  These apprenticeship programs are not only for manufacturing but also for governmental, medical, and educational entities. 

For those who attended, we hope you will be interested in becoming a registered business, and for those who did not, we hope you will learn more about it and also join in.  For more information, see the attached fact sheet and contacts referenced therein, entitled Apprenticeship Fact Sheet.  Also, you may contact Steve Lockett of the Isothermal Regional Commissions Region C Workforce Board, at

Thanks to IPDC, McDowell Technical Community College, Cleveland Community College, and Isothermal Community College for their sponsorship of the event.  Hopefully, it will pay dividends in creating a more robust and well trained pipeline for our future workforce.”  

Department Links

The Isothermal Planning and Development Commission and Mountain BizWorks supported by USDA are collaborating to provide more opportunity to the Isothermal Region’s entrepreneurial community.  Together we aim to work with local business as they start, grow, and thrive in the foothills.

Click here for more information about Mountain BizWork’s Isothermal Project Expansion!

Click here to view the Mountain BizWorks press release describing the grant and project and click here to view the information handout shared at the 11/29 Foothills Launch event.