The American Rescue Plan

Find out what it means for our region



The Foothills Planning and Development Commission (Foothills Regional Commission/The Commission) is the Council of Governments for the Foothills Region, which includes Cleveland, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties in Western North Carolina. The membership of the Commission consists of the local governments within the Foothills Region.

The Commission serves its members and their citizens by fostering regional collaboration and providing professional and technical expertise. The organization houses the region’s Area Agency on AgingHousing ProgramsRural Planning OrganizationWorkforce Development Board and provides services through its Economic & Community Development and Workforce Development programs and Technical Assistance programs. 

The Commission functions to aid, assist and improve the capabilities of local governments in administration, planning, fiscal management and development. It is a local government organization and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.


The Commission was created in 1966 as a Local Development District (LDD) serving McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties, under the Appalachian Regional Development Act.  The State of North Carolina enacted legislation in 1969 creating 16 regional Councils of Government (COGs), adding Cleveland County to Region C.

The Commission depends on a variety of funding sources, including membership dues, as well as state, federal and other grants and funding sources.


We are a regional coalition which values economic diversity and collaboration. Together we share risks and rewards in order to build opportunities for our citizens. We are a network of the surrounding economic engines with internal and external partners that enhance economic growth.


To be a regional brokerage of assets and talent development that improves individual, household and business prosperity and strengthens local communities.

Organizational Chart

View Foothills’ organizational chart here.

The Benefits of a Regional Council

As members of the Foothills Regional Commission, local governments:

  • Share information to solve common problems
  • Avoid duplication of efforts and better coordinate services
  • Work through a single agency to obtain and administer funds from numerous federal and state agencies, as well as from private foundations and corporations
  • Use the Commission’s professional expertise to aid in local operations
  • Promote cooperation between the public and private sector
  • Determine ways of improving our quality of life

Annual Legislative Breakfast

A highlight for the staff of Foothills Regional Commission is the annual Legislative Breakfast, which began in 2018 and is typically held within the first quarter of the calendar year. This event provides local representatives an opportunity to mingle with state and federal legislators representing the region and discuss the issues that are most important to their respective jurisdictions.

You can read about and see photos from our most recent Legislative Breakfast here.