Governor Bev Perdue will lead a forum today on overcoming the challenges facing of the state's rural communities. Her first stop is in Martin County in eastern North Carolina.
85 of the state's 100 counties are considered rural. These small communities are struggling with higher-than-average unemployment, infrastructure problems, and young people moving away to larger cities.
Perdue will lead conversations on these and other challenges in an effort to improve rural competitiveness. The panels will be made up of state and local leaders, as well as rural development experts.
Martin County is the first stop in the three-forum series. Other events will take place in Davidson County in the Piedmont and Haywood county in the west.