International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Announces the Economic Recovery Corps’ Inaugural Cohort of 65 Fellows, with One Serving Highland County


The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and its partners are excited to announce the first cohort of Economic Recovery Corps (ERC) fellows and host communities. Launched in 2023 through a $30 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), ERC is designed to build capacity in some of the hardest-hit and most economically distressed areas across the United States while cultivating the next generation of economic development leaders. This month, 65 Fellows will commence their two-and-a-half-year field placements with host organizations across the nation.


Here’s Highland Economic Development Authority Chair George Hogshead to explain the importance of Highland County being chosen as an ERC site.


“We started the process back in June of last year. We became aware that there was an opportunity to get a person in Highland County dedicated to doing EDA work,” said Hogshead. “It’s a full-time position that lasts for 30-months, and we didn’t think we had a snowball’s chance in getting it. There were 500 localities that applied for this position, and we found out in early December that we were one of 65 localities across the country that got an ERC fellow to come help us do full-time EDA work. It’s something we’ve been talking about in the EDA for a number of years, the only problem was, we couldn’t figure out how to fund it. The good news is, this person is fully funded by the federal EDA and costs Highland County zero. She’s a young lady coming to us from North Carolina, worked for a municipal government there, and she’ll be here on the (January) 19th to start. Please welcome her, her name is Landdis, and I think she’ll be a great addition to Highland County.”


Authorized under the CARES Act, ERC was created to address long-standing economic issues

in America that surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for historically underserved populations and communities. These communities, like Highland, and regions have undergone economic distress that led to vastly different outcomes that continue to impact economic recovery today. By connecting 65 Fellows with communities across the country to deliver intensive capacity building support for 2-and-a-half years, the ERC program will help activate regional economic development strategies and promote innovation and knowledge-sharing between urban, rural, and tribal areas across the U.S. to elevate new practices and transform the field of economic development.


View the full press release and information on the organizations involved below.

ERC Final Cohort Announcement_Feb 5 2024_IEDC

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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