Thursday, March 8, 2007

Research Triangle Regional Partnership History

You can learn a lot from the history of the nation's key economic development organizations. Here is a summary history for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP).

RTRP began in 1990 as the Raleigh-Durham Association (RDA), which was created by the leadership from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill who decided to market their communities together.

These leaders recognized that a regional approach to marketing could leverage their collective assets and strengthen their individual community initiatives. The goal of the RDA was to market the counties of Wake, Durham and Orange for the economic benefit of its communities. Chambers of commerce in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill and the Research Triangle Foundation funded the RDA.

In 1993, an executive director was hired to manage the association. Thanks to success of the RDA, its scope expanded to a six-county metropolitan statistical area (MSA) Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Johnston, Orange and Wake and its name changed to Raleigh-Durham Regional Association (RDRA).

At the same time, regional marketing organizations were operating in the Charlotte and Piedmont Triad ( Greensboro, Winston-Salem/High Point) regions of North Carolina. Based on those three successful models, the state decided the concept of regionalism would benefit all 100 counties of North Carolina.

In 1994, the N.C. General Assembly formed seven regions that would work collaboratively with the N.C. Department of Commerce to market their communities. RDRA expanded to 13 counties. Its name changed to the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) in November 1994.

RTRP now comprises Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren counties.

Charles Hayes in the President and CEO or RTRP. Charles is a highly experienced and accomplished veteran of the economic development.

Learn more about RTRP here.

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