Roll over, Spot, and wait for the government to drop a job on your doorstep. Adding value to natural resources for trade at a profit is such a laughable excuse for an economy. We create jobs when leaders sit around a table and speak of expanding their kingly realms.

The key to economic and community development in Western North Carolina is for leaders of the public, private and nonprofit sectors to reach beyond town limits and county lines to embrace a more regional approach, steeped in a spirit of cooperation and partnership.

That was the message heard again and again Wednesday, Nov. 12, from speakers and participants at LEAD:WNC, a one-day summit convened by WCU to discuss solutions leading to sustainable economic and community development.