Families in Transylvania County and the surrounding area benefit from the work of Get Set Transylvania. With a high concentration of resources and strong support network for young children, the initiative encouraged some families, like that of Kadie Sanders, to move there after driving over one hour for a year to take advantage of the programming.
Blog Author: Lea Efird
Work in Burke, rather than working with a single company or industry, uses its collaborative partnerships to highlight the variety of jobs available in Burke County and how students can gain the skills they need to be successful. This program has been replicated in other places as a scalable solution in workforce development to connect education and employers.
Both Digital Charlotte and the CDIA are recognized as leaders in the nation for this work and can inform efforts in other communities. CDIA’s goal of digital inclusion touches on themes of racial, age, socioeconomic, and educational equity. Bruce Clark, the executive director of Digital Charlotte, says it can have a profound positive effect on individuals and families. “No child should have to go to the public library or buy a Coca-Cola at a restaurant in order to do their homework,” he says in an interview. Affordable internet access in the home and having a computer, rather than just a smartphone, are some of the key metrics by which the CDIA is measuring, and reducing, the digital divide in Charlotte.
A $25.3 million Community Connect Grant from the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service in 2010 made it possible for a collaborative partnership between the counties and Country Cablevision to install fiber optic cables in Mitchell and Yancey Counties. Mitchell and Yancey Counties now have over 97% of homes and businesses connected to high-speed fiber optic broadband, with speeds up to 100 megabits per second for homes and 1 gigabyte per second for businesses. These are some of the fastest speeds in the state, competing with metro areas like Charlotte and Raleigh.
Since teacher pay in North Carolina is generally based on years of experience, many monetary incentives for teacher recruitment and retention are not particularly effective or sustainable. Therefore, other types of incentives, like affordable housing guarantees, can be a tool for school systems that struggle with turnover and/or local housing affordability.
Health outcomes vary by racial and ethnic background in North Carolina. Length and quality of life are worse for Native Americans and African Americans. Racial disparities begin early, as African American babies are more than twice as likely to die during childbirth than white or Hispanic babies in North Carolina. Additionally, a Black woman in North Carolina is three times more likely to die from childbirth than a white woman.
According to U.S. Census data in 2015, more than 288,000 households in North Carolina live at up to 50 percent of the poverty line, and face energy burdens of 35% or more. Another 371,000 households in North Carolina live at 51% to 100% of the poverty line and face a 19% energy burden. These data indicate that more than 650,000 households in North Carolina spend approximately 20% or more of their household income on energy costs.
More than 1.6 million people in North Carolina have a criminal record. A misdemeanor or felony conviction of a crime may have far-reaching consequences, both criminal and civil. When a person is convicted of a crime, the sentence imposed by the judge contains the criminal consequences, which may include imprisonment, probation, fines, and other punishments. Additional consequences, often called civil or collateral consequences, also occur because of a conviction, but they are separate from the criminal sentence—they may arise automatically from the conviction and not be specifically imposed or even mentioned at sentencing in the criminal case.
Although our incarceration rate per capita has declined since its peak in 2008, the United States still incarcerates more of its residents than any other nation. North Carolina’s prison population, for example, more than doubled between 1980 and 2016, and is projected to exceed capacity by 2025.
North Carolina has the fourth-largest active duty military presence nationally at 778,000 and the eighth-largest veteran population at over 683,000. However, according to a recent study by Wallethub, North Carolina currently ranks 21st in the nation for “ability to provide a comfortable military retirement’. Craven Community College is recognized as a leader in helping veterans transition to the civilian workforce via their Veteran Transition and Preparatory Training Program (VTPT).