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Listen | myFutureNC and ncIMPACT leaders discuss the need for local attainment efforts and a pilot effort to support collaboratives

On the latest edition of the Awake58 podcast, we are joined by Cecilia Holden, CEO and president of myFutureNC, and Anita Brown-Graham, director of the ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government.

Their two organizations, with support from the John M Belk Endowment, recently announced a pilot program to support 10 community-centered collaboratives across the state that will work to bolster attainment of high-quality degrees or postsecondary credentials among local residents.

This effort aligns with the statewide education attainment goal of 2 million people ages 25-44 obtaining a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030.

Brown-Graham described the importance of such local initiatives: “How are communities going to play their part in helping the state reach this goal? Well, one thing we know, it’s not going to be just up to our educational institutions. Everyone who understands anything about how people go into careers, recognizes that getting those credentials and getting connected to work takes a village. And so these cooperatives are really just that.

“It’s about figuring out at the local level: What is the village that comes together to support people, both youth and adults who are seeking to upskill themselves? Who’s in that village, along with educational institutions? We’re talking local governments, we’re talking employers, we’re talking social services. We’re talking not-for-profit organizations. Think about all the people who have to touch in order for there to be success.”

To hear more details of what Brown-Graham and Holden promise to be a “laser-focused” effort on bolstering attainment, the genesis of the idea, and what success looks like, click below to give the podcast a listen.

If your community is interested, ncIMPACT and myFutureNC have extensive information on their website. The application deadline is March 29.

Behind the Story

Nation Hahn did the reporting and conducted the podcast interview. Alli Lindenberg produced the podcast episode.


There are 58 community colleges in the state of North Carolina. This podcast, by, dives deep into top news and commentary on postsecondary education and community colleges by talking to leaders, educators, and students.