SERCAP celebrates 50 years and expands services

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- A local group is celebrating 50 years with a new initiative in communities that struggle with water access. The organization wants to spark entrepreneurship in rural areas.

The Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, also known as SERCAP, has an office on Campbell Avenue. The group might be in Roanoke, but for the past 50 years, it has served the entire state.
"When I turn on the tap the water comes on," said CEO Hope Cupit. "Some communities they have community wells when they turn on the tap, nothing may come out. That makes me sad, no one should not have access to clean water safety of sanitary waste."

SERCAP helps people gain access to clean water. Hope Cupit said building infrastructure for water and wastewater is connected to economic development. " A lot of our rural towns are seeing jobs leave, the population is leaving, and they can't support the people in the town. So we want to help people think entrepreneurial," said Cupit.

Now, SERCAP is offering entrepreneurship training for community leaders. It will be led by the Eli Institute.

Russell Rice, SERCAP: "Eli Training focuses on changing your mindset from one of employee that works for an employer," said Russell Rice, SERCAP. "to change it to being your own, you're going to be your own employer."

Rice said they want to give others a hand - up to create their own opportunity. "It makes us feel really good. to be able to offer new and innovative types of training, "said Rice. The program begins in June.