Introduction to the ERC
Strengthening Our People
and Economy Through Education and Research
The Education and Research
Consortium (ERC) of the Western Carolinas is a non-profit
Charles H. Taylor of the 11th Congressional District of
North Carolina. The ERC’s goal is to work cooperatively
to bring to WNC and the upstate of South Carolina, as an
region, the economic and quality of life benefits that
new technology offers. In support of the work of the ERC,
Taylor has pledged to work toward $100 million of funding
which would be a part of achieving that goal.
The first goals
of the ERC were: (1) to immediately foster activities and
programs to enhance the quality of WNC education,
kindergarten through university, including public, charter,
private and home schools; (2) to work to establish and
substantially expand technology infrastructure including
high speed Internet access for schools and industries;
(3) to work with state and local government officials,
chambers of commerce, financial institutions, and private
capital sources to promote an understanding of the need
for the development of new technology in the region.
The success of the consortium and its endeavors has moved
expectations since it was first conceived in 1997.
the consortium, WNC was chosen as the first in-the-nation
pilot program entitled An Adventure of the American Mind.
This program trains teachers to use the vast digitized
primary resources of the Library of Congress in the classroom
and provides them the hardware and software needed to do
so. The program has reached over 600 teachers directly
and many times that number through a “teacher to
teacher” mentoring program. Of course, our students
will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this innovative program.
Because of it's success this program is expanding throughout
The ERC is also actively involved in obtaining
and administering other grants such as:
The funding of a regional
workforce development center which includes high tech training
tools as well as laboratories
for lasers and robotics in manufacturing.
The Pisgah Forest
Institute, dedicated to science-based instruction, that
conducts accredited Earth/Environmental
for high school science teachers. These ERC-sponsored
workshops are held at Brevard College and the Cradle of Forestry
and use the Pisgah National Forest as a laboratory.
Adventure of the American Mind Computer Literacy Initiative,
a computer training program for at-risk 6th, 7th, and
8th graders. This program is conducted at at UNC-Asheville.
Taylor and the Library of Congress are designing and funding
a plan to bring affordable high-speed Internet
access to the schools, hospitals, libraries, and businesses
of WNC. This is a project that will provide the needed
infrastructure for the new economy of the Western Carolinas.
Education and Research
Consortium of Western North Carolina
is a funded program, administered through the .
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