Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team

Committee Reports - September 21, 2017


Education and Workforce Development Committee

·        Big Brothers Big Sisters – Katrina Nelms is the new Big Brothers Big Sisters Coordinator for Graham County.  This program is in desperate need of adult volunteers. There are currently 20 elementary students on a waiting list for a mentor. All that is required is that you spend one hour per week on campus with your designated student.

·        RHS Carpentry Class – The Carpentry classes continue to make progress on Millcreek House #3. Currently, students are installing hardwood flooring.

·        Chromebooks – Graham County Schools is currently implementing a Golden Leaf grant in the amount of $173,000 to expand the Chromebook Initiative to grades 4 – 8.  This implementation will provide Chromebook access for all students in grades 4 – 12.

·        RHS Day of Caring - All high school students and faculty were involved in performing community service activities throughout the Graham County on Monday, September 18 during its annual Day of Caring.

·        GCS Fall Festival – The Fall Festival will be held on October 31, 2017, from 6 – 8 p.m. at RHS. This year’s goal is to have 50 booths. If you are interested in participating, please contact Angela Knight at We expect approximately 800 kids to attend this event.

·        Little Library Project – Duke Energy has provided funds for the construction and installation of four free library exchange boxes. The project is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. A major goal of the project is to improve reading comprehension of children and adults by increasing their access to books.

·        Dolly Parton Imagination Library –

o       197 currently registered

o       584 graduated

o       781 served

GREAT Health and Social Committee Report

·        STEP UP Diabetes Coalition – The Coalition met in June with representation from 10 agencies. Plans for diabetes education and classes were discussed.

·        Graham County Health Department Fair – The Fair was very successful this year with over 30 vendors and over 200 visitors.  The GCHD gave out approx. 170+ bags filled with information related to all programs and 150 hot dogs and bottles of water to visitors.  A number of vendors expressed interest in returning to the event in 2018, and several who were unable to attend this year, expressed interest in future events. 

·        Nourishing North Carolina Grant – A $3,000 grant provided by the NC Recreation and Parks Association continues to provide vegetables and fruit grown at Robbinsville's Stoney Hollow Farm to needy families. The County Health Department and the Graham Food Distribution Association will be gifting vouchers to needy families. The grant will allow 40 vouchers for $15 of free food and vegetables each for five months!

Tourism and Mountain Culture Committee

·        Solar Eclipse Events – Several locations had eclipse events on August 21. Locations included Stecoah Valley Center, Fontana Village and Tapoco Lodge. The Stecoah Valley Center site was supported by GREAT and was recognized as an official NASA viewing site. NASA provided eclipse glasses and packets of information for about 400 guests that viewed the eclipse. The SVC site provided a live NASA feed, several telescope viewing stations, a large screened television with hook up to Dr. Jim Baker’s telescope, food and live music. The Center welcomed visitors from Italy, Mexico, Canada, Spain, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

·        Wayfinding Signage Project – A committee is being organized to develop a plan that would provide high quality and quantity of signage directing residents and tourists to attractions, points of interest and local businesses to enhance the tourism economy in Graham County and its towns. This is a collaborative effort with NC Department of Commerce, NC Department of Transportation and Graham County agencies.

Natural Resources, Recreation and Water Quality Committee

·        NRRWQ Meeting – the committee met on September 14, 2017.

·        CCC Trail – Work continues on upgrading and maintaining the trail. Current plans include partnership with USFS on NC Recreation Trails program grant proposal to get Ό mile trail re-paved. New signage for the trail will be installed when USFS folks return from extended firefighting assignments out of state.

·        Clean Sweep – plans are to coordinate activities with NCDOT during the October statewide road litter campaign.

·        Partners of Joyce Kilmer – A workday is scheduled for Saturday, September 04 at 9am at the Joyce Kilmer loop area.

·        Next meeting – scheduled for November 2, 2017 at 10 am at the Cheoah Ranger District Office.

Revitalization and Infrastructure Committee

·        Region A Broadband Initiative – The Southwestern Commission is coordinating an effort to conduct a regional analysis of broadband needs. Southwestern Commission staff and consultants will work with each county's broadband committee to conduct the assessments.