RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Commerce announced that Tarboro and Edenton have been designated Certified Retirement Communities. The General Assembly established the program in 2008 to designate communities that offer unprecedented quality of living that is desirable to retirees. “This designation will be a valuable economic development tool for both Tarboro and Edenton and their residents,” said Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “The people of Tarboro and Edenton recognize the valuable contributions that retirees can make to enhance their community.”
“North Carolina is experiencing a healthy in-migration of retirees to the state, and this program aims to attract retirees and persuade them to put down roots here,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of the Commerce Department’s Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development.
To gain certification, a local government must submit an application that includes a comprehensive community survey and assessment tool that spans numerous dimensions reflecting the city’s readiness for retiree attraction. Ratings criteria include:
• Local economy
• Leisure/cultural opportunities
• Services for retirees
"We are both excited and honored to be one of North Carolina's Certified Retirement Communities and look forward to the many opportunities the program will bring to Edenton and Chowan County as we continue to embrace folks looking for a new community in which to spend their retirement years,” said Roland Vaughan, mayor of Edenton. “Edenton has those amenities, both tangible and intangible, to deliver a quality of life that is desired by many when looking for a new home. Our door is always open."
“Being recognized as a NC Certified Retirement Community is a great honor for the town of Tarboro. It is our goal to provide a safe, healthy, affordable environment for all our citizens,” said Rick Page, mayor of Tarboro. “Our community is blessed to have such a rich history of meeting the needs of our residents. Our hospital, assisted living facility, senior centers and vibrant downtown are ideal. You immediately become a part of our community, not a visitor.”
Edenton and Tarboro each submitted an application in January 2014. Both communities were noted for many local amenities that are attractive to retirees. Communities with this official designation receive marketing and promotion assistance from the N.C. Division of Tourism, Film, & Sports Development.
The N.C. Department of Commerce accepts applications for the Certified Retirement Community Program in January and July of each calendar year. More information on the program can be found atwww.nccommerce.com/tourism/programs-services/certified-retirement.
North Carolina previously named the following cities as Certified Retirement Communities: Lumberton, Asheboro, Marion, Sanford, Mount Airy, Pittsboro and Eden.
The N.C. General Assembly, during the 2008 short session, recognized the inherent abundance of quality living that the state offers and established the N.C. Certified Retirement Community Program (S.B. 1627) as a vehicle to designate communities that offer this unprecedented, quality of living that is sought by the mature community.