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Facts That Matter Blog

At the ncIMPACT Initiative, we ground our research in the challenges faced by North Carolina’s state and local leaders and their communities. Through compelling story telling, the Facts That Matter blog shares data and evidence about collaborative problem solving efforts that chart a path forward in communities across the state. We share these stories for the benefit of other communities in pursuit of our mission to improve the lives of North Carolinians.






May 23, 2022

Communities Improving School Safety through Collaboration 

School safety encompasses a number of issues, such as student mental health, peer-to-peer interactions and bullying, and the physical safety of students while they are at school. Gates County is one of three rural counties (including Duplin and Stanly) partnering with RTI International on their All Hands on Deck program. Henderson County partners implemented a new safety plan to enhance both the physical safety of students in the schools and their mental and emotional health. 

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May 16, 2022

Addressing Law Enforcement Labor Shortages 

During 2020-2021, resignations among police officers nationwide increased by 18% when compared to previous years. During the same period, retirements among officers increased by nearly 50%, while new officers hired decreased by 5%. Efforts around North Carolina to alleviate police staffing shortages focus on better preparing and training future officers and placing emphasis on the community service aspects of the position. 

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May 9, 2022

Helping Students Recover from Learning Loss in the COVID-19 Pandemic 

The abrupt shift to online learning in March 2020 meant many children were not able to have the full educational experience they would have otherwise had in person, which led to decreased retention of educational material across the board. Programs offered statewide and in local communities like Alamance and Craven counties seek to help students recover from various forms of learning loss. 

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May 2, 2022

Mental Health Services Designed for Agriculture Workers 

Often a lonely and isolating profession, farmers experience increased rates of anxiety and depression. Studies find farmers have a higher than average suicide rate when compared to the general population. One solution serving farmers struggling with mental health concerns helps them talk to people they do feel comfortable opening up to: other farmers. 

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March 4, 2022

The ncIMPACT Initiative Approach to Cross-Sector Collaborations

What are cross-sector collaboratives? The short answer is that these challenges are too complex for any single individual, organization, or even sector to solve alone. Sometimes referred to as “wicked problems,” addressing these challenges requires a wide range of expertise from diverse stakeholders working in the non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors. ncIMPACT Initiative specializes in bringing these stakeholders together.

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February 2, 2022

Student Thoughts on Student Success

If you’re a student today, it’s easy to feel like every academic term brings a new, history-making event. But COVID is in its own category. The pandemic has upended the educational landscape in huge and novel ways. The ncIMPACT Initiative team recently took some time to speak directly with students about the changing nature of school and youth engagement, and to learn more about the path they see ahead.

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February 1, 2022

Community Guide by Opioid Response Project

The Community Guide produced by the Opioid Response Project is available to assist communities interested in pursuing a similar process for addressing “wicked” problems using a collective impact model. While the Opioid Response Project is used as an example throughout this guide, the process, resources, worksheets, and lessons provided could be used to address any number of complex, inter-jurisdictional problems.

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January 25, 2022

Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Fayetteville Region

Early on in the pandemic, the City of Fayetteville recognized the impact that COVID related conditions would have on small businesses. Many would have to close their doors without income or employees. To combat these challenges, the City’s economic and community development department partnered with local organizations to set up a microloan program targeting small businesses.

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January 11, 2022

Where are the Workers?

Coming off a busy holiday season, it’s probably clearer to many of us just how strained the American labor market is right now. Maybe you had to wait in a long line to check out while doing your Christmas shopping, or some of the ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal weren’t available on the shelf at the local grocery store. Maybe a friend wasn’t able to attend a holiday party due to a flight cancellation because of limited crew, or some packages were late to arrive on your doorstep. In each case, we can point to a tight labor market that’s yielded fewer workers where we need them, and disrupted the normal flow of goods and services to which we have become accustomed.

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December 21, 2021

How Social Capital Can Improve Job Opportunities

Focusing on social capital’s impact on job acquisition may reshape the current way nonprofits and local governments approach employment assistance. By refocusing the problem not just on how to connect job seekers and potential employers, organizations can instead look to build relationships that will open doors for employment today and in the future.

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