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ncIMPACT Initiative and myFutureNC announce 15 local educational attainment collaboratives

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The ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government, in partnership with myFutureNC, announced Thursday 15 community collaboratives that will be part of their two-year pilot program to increase attainment of high-quality degrees or postsecondary credentials among local residents.

The program, called the myFutureNC Local Educational Attainment Collaboratives, aligns with the statewide goal of 2 million people ages 25-44 obtaining a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030.

“These collaboratives offer an organized way to respond to future of work challenges that no single institution or even an entire sector can effectively tackle,” said Anita Brown-Graham, UNC professor and director of the ncIMPACT Initiative, in a press release. “We are eager to begin this important work together.”

myFutureNC Local Educational Attainment Collaboratives. Courtesy of ncIMPACT

The 15 community collaboratives will be led by the following organizations and serve the following counties:

  • Cape Fear Workforce Development Board (Brunswick, Columbus, Pender, New Hanover)
  • Central Carolina Community College (Chatham, Harnett, Lee)
  • Central Piedmont Community College (Mecklenburg)
  • Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board (Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Wayne)
  • Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro (Guilford)
  • HIGHTS, INC (Jackson, Macon, Swain)
  • Land of Sky Regional Council (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, Transylvania)
  • Made in Durham (Durham)
  • McDowell County Schools (McDowell)
  • Elizabeth City State University (Pasquotank)
  • Sampson Community College (Sampson)
  • Strategic Twin Counties Education Partnership (STEP) (Edgecombe, Nash)
  • Surry Community College (Surry, Yadkin)
  • Wingate University (Anson, Union)
  • Work in Burke (Burke)

Over the course of the two-year program, each collaborative will receive the following resources through their participation in the network, according to the press release:

  • “Five regional forums at which teams will establish goals, identify strategies, set plans for implementation, collaborate across sectors, and learn from experts”
  • Technical assistance support
  • $15,000 to help hire a community project manager
  • $10,000 in project implementation funding
  • Evidence-based resources to help address learning loss concerns and long-term planning
  • “A Local Attainment Collaborative Toolkit to implement and sustain demand-informed local collaboration with regional employers”

“Building a strong talent pipeline will require a new level of cross-sector coordination,” said myFutureNC president Cecilia Holden in the press release. “Among others, key strategic partners in these collaboratives must include PreK-12, universities, community colleges, workforce development boards, economic developers, chambers of commerce, county commissioners, policymakers, and civic leaders. And most critical to the overall success is ensuring decisions are being made based on data and research, and the voice of communities, businesses, industries, and employers is in the center of these important conversations.”

The program is funded by the John M Belk Endowment, Dogwood Health Trust, and UNC Rural. For more, listen to the podcast below featuring Anita Brown-Graham and Cecilia Holden.

Editor’s note: The John M Belk Endowment supports the work of EducationNC.

Molly Osborne

Molly Osborne is the director of news and policy for EducationNC.