Opioid Settlement Planning Process

The Southwestern Commission Region will receive approximately $29mm over an 18-year period to address the region’s opioid crisis.  To ensure that these funds are utilized as effectively and efficiently as possible, the region’s seven counties are joining together to create a strategic plan that will help guide their investment.  The Southwestern Commission is overseeing this effort and has … Read more

Opioid Focus Group Sessions

Join us for a 1.5-hour virtual focus group to discuss opioid use, resources, treatment, and prevention in your community. Your experience is a critical part of the opioid needs assessment that is happening in your region. The needs assessment will then inform how opioid settlement funds will be spent to combat the opioid epidemic in … Read more

Evergreen Regional Economic Impact Report

Strong Partnerships and Sustained Efforts Help Region in Times of Uncertainty  The news that Pactiv Evergreen Packaging would close its Canton facility after 115 years sent shockwaves throughout western North Carolina. Concerns quickly spread beyond Haywood County, and within 48 hours we were hearing that companies as far away as Cherokee County would be closing … Read more

Request for Proposals – Strategic Plan for Opioid Settlement Funds

The Southwestern Commission requests proposals to create a strategic plan for the utilization of opioid settlement funds for Region A. Geographic area to be served: The Region A counties in North Carolina to include Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain. Background: In the summer of 2021, national settlements were reached with opioid distributors … Read more

New Grants Make Public Internet Access Available for Many Across the Region

It’s no secret that broadband connectivity is a challenge in western North Carolina, directly affecting the education system. But the Southwestern Commission is working with our regional partners to alleviate some of those challenges. In the last quarter of 2021, more than $180,000 was distributed across project sites in six counties for public internet access. … Read more

Graham County Students Receive Upgraded Equipment

Eighty Graham County students are sporting new Chromebooks to assist in their academic growth, thanks to a grant from the Southwestern Commission. The $30,000 Graham County award was one of six projects the Southwestern Commission funded within its service area, which includes the seven far-westernmost counties in North Carolina. The state of North Carolina awarded … Read more

Swain County Residents Have New Hotspot

Swain County residents can now find a new hotspot to connect to at the Swain County Recreational Park, thanks to a grant from the Southwestern Commission. Leonard Winchester, a member of the Swain County Broadband Committee, says the addition of a hotspot at the Swain Rec Park is an ideal location. “It’s conveniently located, everybody knows … Read more

Strong Local Partnerships Lead to Public Broadband Access for Downtown Sylva

The new year brings free Wi-Fi internet to downtown Sylva, providing a safe, public space for students and residents who may not have access in their homes, and allowing visitors to stay in town longer. The new service is a result of a partnership between SkyFi, Inc., BalsamWest, the Southwestern Commission, Jackson County Economic Development, … Read more