Most North Carolinians would likely agree that, in our 21st century economy, postsecondary education is essential to landing a job that pays a livable wage, has advancement potential, and offers critical benefits like health insurance and retirement savings. However, although the value of postsecondary education is almost universally acknowledged, too few North Carolinians are earning the degrees and credentials we know to be key to a stable and secure middle-class lifestyle—this problem is especially acute in our rural communities and amongst low-income populations.
The economic implications are quite clear. Employers increasingly report an inability to hire employees with the skills they need diminishing the state’s ability to recruit and retain high-quality jobs. And while our state has many high-quality education offerings, the student experience across the education continuum—from early childhood and K-12 to postsecondary education and workforce training—is often disconnected and disjointed. What North Carolina is missing is a strategic effort to create cohesion across its education systems in an attempt to increase the educational attainment of our citizens.
In recognition of these critical needs, the myFutureNC Commission was born. The Commission, which held its inaugural meeting in November of 2017, brings together top thought leaders from the education, business, philanthropy, faith-based, and nonprofit communities from across the state to tackle these challenges and generate policy recommendations focused on how all areas of North Carolina—regardless of geographic or demographic makeup—can increase educational attainment.
We believe this work to be critical to securing the economic future of North Carolina—for all North Carolinians.
We also believe that the public has an important role to play in ensuring that the Commission’s work is truly reflective of the state’s needs. In that spirit, the myFutureNC Commission and the Hunt Institute have collaborated to bring you a new blog series highlighting the Commission’s work and sharing ideas and insights on how to move North Carolina forward.
We hope you will meet us at The Intersection throughout 2018 for regular updates on the Commission’s progress and to hear from experts who can shed light on how educators and business leaders across North Carolina can come together to meet our attainment goals.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published by the Hunt Institute. It has been posted with the author’s permission.
The myFutureNC Commission will hold a listening session in Greensboro from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m on Feb. 28. To RSVP for this event, fill out the information below.