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What does the future hold for rural North Carolina after COVID-19?

“What issues facing rural North Carolina keep you up at night?”

I recently had the chance to ask a dozen leaders from across the state what the future might look like now that the COVID-19 pandemic has had such a profound impact on our state.

In more normal times, our team travels more than 60,000 miles annually throughout the state. We believe it is vitally important that we are out in communities building relationships, lifting up important stories, and identifying the trends that are shaping our present and will shape our future.

My colleague Mebane Rash always tells folks that our offices are in community colleges, schools, churches, and coffee shops across the state. And we are proud of that.

As COVID-19 limits our face-to-face interactions, I decided to hold a series of conversations online to better understand what is happening in communities across our state. Check out the highlights from these conversations below:

Interview participants were:

Dan St. Lewis, Executive Director, Manufacturing Solutions Center

Garrett Hinshaw, President, Catawba Valley Community College

Seth Saeugling, Co-Founder, Rural Opportunity Institute

Tabari Wallace, Principal, West Craven High School

Former Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, President, Isothermal Community College

Anita Brown-Graham, Director, ncIMPACT Initiative

Inez Ribustello, Owner, On the Square and Tarboro Brewing Company

Jen Zuckerman, Director of Strategic Initiatives, World Food Policy Center

Pamela Senegal, President, Piedmont Community College

Lisa Chapman, President, Central Carolina Community College

Donnell Cannon, Principal, North Edgecombe High School

Robert Shackleford, President, Randolph Community College

Behind the Story

Nation Hahn conducted the interviews, and Carol Bono created the video. 

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.

Carol Bono

Carol Bono is the Communications Manager of LatinxEd and an award-winning bilingual multimedia storyteller.