LOS logo


Land of Sky Regional Council's 2023 Annual Report is now available!

Racial Disparities in our Region

Racial Disparity in the Land of Sky Region Report 2023

The killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by law enforcement officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota was inexcusable and offensive to the fundamental promise of America that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator of certain inalienable rights.  While this heinous murder was far away from our home, we acknowledge that our region has significant racial disparities in most every aspect of our society.  On average, African American individuals in our region earn lower wages, have less educational attainment, and suffer significant health and criminal justice disparities compared to White individuals.  These disparities are unacceptable and are the result of many complex factors including, but not limited to, a history of enslavement and segregation of African Americans in our region.

See the full memo here.

Medicaid Expansion 

North Carolina is providing health care coverage to more people through Medicaid. Click here for Questions and Answers.


  • Join us for this month’s Future Forward WNC 2050 conversation on Wednesday, April 24 from 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm. This is a hybrid meeting; you can join us in-person or remote via zoom. Contact Nathan@landofsky.org for the remote meeting link.  See below for more details on the April Future Forward conversation.  

  • MOUNTAIN AREA COMPREHENSIVE FOUR-YEAR WIOA PLAN 2024 - 2028 In North Carolina, annually, each Local Area WDB, in consultation with the chief local elected official, is to provide updates to the Comprehensive Four-Year Plan. The WIOA Program Year (PY) 2024 Plan is to provide current information and be effective July 1, 2024-June 30, 2028. The Local Area Plan will support the alignment strategy described in the 2024-2028 NC Unified State Plan in accordance with WIOA Section 102(b)(1)(E), and otherwise be consistent with the NC Unified State Plan. Please send comments to Melissa@landofsky.org by April 23, 2024. WIOA Plan 2024-2028 

  • Land of Sky Regional Council Board of Delegates unanimously passed a resolution at their February 28 meeting to support the extension of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Full Press Release 

  • Land of Sky Regional Council celebrates Black History Month by recognizing our Executive Committee members Town of Fletcher Mayor Preston Blakely and City of Asheville Vice Mayor Sandra Kilgore. We appreciate their leadership and dedicated service on behalf of their local governments, the Council and our region.

  • The Western North Carolina (WNC) Passenger Rail Feasibility Study (the study) provides conceptual level capital costs, operating costs, and a range of ridership and revenue associated with a new intercity passenger service connecting Asheville, N.C. with passenger rail services in Salisbury, N.C. The Asheville-to-Salisbury service would operate along the Norfolk Southern (NS) AS-Line for approximately 139 miles.

  • Land of Sky Regional Council’s Annual Awards were conferred during the December Board of Delegates Meeting on November 29, 2023. The Robert G. Parrish, Sr. Intergovernmental Relations Award, The Charles H. Campbell Regional Leadership Award and The Robert E. Shepherd Excellence in Local Government Award were presented by the Council. In addition, there were three Extraordinary Public Leadership Awards and twelve Extraordinary Legislative Service Awards conferred this year. Press Release 

  • Land of Sky Regional Council is seekin qualified individuals for the position of Transportation Planner II.    Click here for more information. 

  • Land of Sky Regional Council Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS): Our Region, Our Future  - published 10/25/23 on the Development District Association of Appalachia

  • Land of Sky Regional Council Receives $952,963 from Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative - See full Press Release here.

  • Dr. Michael McKinney, UT Professor and Director of Environmental Studies, was awarded the inaugural George Masa Environmental Stewardship Award at the East Tennessee Development District's Annual District Celebration. See full Press Release here

  • An Inaugural Educational and Workforce Symposium in the Land of Sky Region -  Wednesday, November 8, 2023. The A3 Event (Align, Aspire, Achieve) will focus on our region’s innovative practices for educational attainment, and was planned by six local organizations alongside two statewide organizations. See the full Press Release here.

  • Discover the possibilities for a new future. Tap into free education, training and career opportunities. A unique funding opportunity to aid dislocated workers on this journey is now available thanks to a $7.5 million National Dislocated Worker Grant managed by the Southwestern Commission and Land of Sky Regional Council for an 11-county area of Western North Carolina. National Dislocated Worker Grant Of WNC

  • On Thursday, September 21st 2023 at 9:00 am Sara Nichols, Senior Planner with Land of Sky Regional Council, will testify before the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Communication and Technology Subcommittee hearing on “Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding”. To learn more about this hearing visit Communications and Technology Subcommittee Hearing: "Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding" (house.gov) • Full Press Release 

  • The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) has conferred three National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards to Land of Sky Regional Council for the following projects: INspire: Recovery to Career, Advancing Equity and Inclusion in Evidence Based Health Promotion Programs, and Regional Stormwater Services Program – MS4 Information Management System. See the full Press Release here

  • The NC Climate Action Corps (a partnership between VolunteerNC, Conservation Trust for NC, Conserving Carolina, and Conservation Corps NC) is now recruiting for open Resilience Project Coordinators and Community Stewardship Coordinators! The AmeriCorps programs Project Conserve (Hendersonville) and Resilience Corps NC (Raleigh) are overseeing placements across North Carolina in support of local nonprofits, cities, and council of governments as they address climate resilience needs in their communities. In our region, LOSRC, City of Asheville and RiverLink are all host sites. https://americorps.hiringthing.com/ 

  • Evergreen Closure Resources

  • The Buncombe County Justice Services and the Asheville-based National Institute for Racial Equity will host “CIVILITY,” a two-day training bringing together law enforcement and community leaders. This pilot program, endorsed by the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, teaches self-regulation techniques, cross-cultural communication skills, and addresses officers’ responsibilities under the Law Enforcement Duty to Intervene legislation passed in 2021. 

  • The Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition is tracking the use of alternative fuels in the region. Click here to add information on how your fleet contributes to cleaner air through the use of propane, compressed natural gas, biodiesel, hybrids, and electric vehicles.

  • More good news for our region - Pratt & Whitney production facility to bring $650 million, 800 jobs to Buncombe County

  • WNC without internet access - We want to know where you are able to still connect now that so many places are closed. We have developed a WiFi Lot Map that will help more folks find locations to do homework, business, and healthcare. If you have a facility that could offer this service we'd love to help with that too.

  • CONTACTING LAND OF SKY - We have a new phone system and our extensions have changed. You can reach us by calling 828.251.6622, press 1 and enter the new staff extension. For all general calls, please enter extension 1103. Click here for the new staff extension listing.



Meeting / Event Date Time
Workforce Board Meeting    
LOSRC Board Meeting  April 25, 2024 12:15 - 2:00 pm


Join us for this month’s Future Forward WNC 2050 conversation on Wednesday, April 24 from 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm. This is a hybrid meeting; you can join us in-person or remote via zoom. Contact Nathan@landofsky.org for the remote meeting link. 

This conversation will feature healthcare leaders from AdventHealth Hendersonville, Charles A George VA Medical Center, HCA/Mission Health, MAHEC and UNC Health Pardee. This conversation is part of a series to help guide us for where do we want our region to be in 2050? This conversation series started in August 2023. Past conversation series included Board of Commission Chairs, Mayors, Economic Developers, Transportation Leaders, and Local Government Planners. Future topics will include aging, higher education and more. 

Panelists will include the following Western North Carolina healthcare leaders: 

  • Dr. Bill Hathaway, CEO, MAHEC 
  • Brandon Nudd, CEO, AdventHealth Hendersonville 
  • Greg Lowe, President, HCA NC/Mission Health 
  • Dr. John Bryant, VP for Operations and Support, UNC Health Pardee 
  • Stephanie Young, Director, WNC VA Healthcare System and Charles A George VA Medical Center 

This conversation will be moderated by Julia Wacker with the NC Healthcare Association (NCHA). Julia is President of NC Healthcare Foundation, Senior Vice President of NC Healthcare Association and Executive Director of CaroNova. There will not be an opportunity for Q&A from the audience due to time limitations.