LAURINBURG – Representatives from the North Carolina Department of Commerce were in Laurinburg to present city and county officials with the city’s recognition as a North Carolina Certified Retirement Community.
Laurinburg joins the 13 other North Carolina communities that are currently part of the program. The Certified Retirement Community designation means a city has completed a comprehensive evaluation process with requirements outlined by the state General Assembly.
Certified Retirement Communities are recognized for providing the amenities, services and opportunities retirees need to enjoy active and productive lives. The North Carolina Department of Commerce created the program as a means of recruiting retirees and future retirees to consider relocating to the state.
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina — a division within N.C. Commerce — and VisitNC – the tourism arm of N.C. Commerce, administer the program.
On Friday, Wit Tuttell and Andre Nabors from the EDPNC presented Mayor Tommy Parker and other civic leaders with the certificate. The certification ceremony was conducted on the grounds of the John Blue House.
According to Cory Hughes, executive director of the Scotland County Tourism Development Authority, the program provides long-term economic development opportunities for the community.
“Statistics indicate that each year hundreds of thousands of people in the northeast retire or begin planning for their imminent retirement,” Hughes said. “Additionally there are over 1 million retired military personnel — many of whom have cycled through Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. These are the folks N.C. Commerce targets in their marketing efforts.
“As a certified community, Laurinburg will now work closely with N.C. Commerce to attract these folks not just to North Carolina, but Laurinburg.”
In addition to the involvement of the city, county and Scotland County Tourism Development Authority, more than a dozen other partners have joined the effort as financial partners. These partners include: Scotia Village, Scotland Health Care System, St. Andrews University, Richmond Community College, Laurinburg/Scotland County Chamber of Commerce, Scotland County Parks and Recreation, The Optimist, Becca Hughes State Farm Insurance, First Capital Bank, First Baptist, WLNC – Home Town Radio, Storytelling and Arts Center, and Quick Copy. Representatives from these partners were also in attendance for the ceremony.