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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.


February 22, 2024

North Carolina’s Aging Population

North Carolina ranks in the top 10 states in the U.S. for the number of people 65 and older. Aging population issues include increasing healthcare costs, inadequate mental healthcare, social isolation, ageism, elder abuse, inequitable access to resources, the need for affordable and accessible housing and transportation, burdens on family caregivers, and caregiving workforce needs.

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January 18, 2024

The Secret Sauce to Improving Social Capital for Public Service Leaders

Effective social capital can be seen in everyday activities that build connections among people, from someone opening a door for a stranger to bringing a community together to solving a complex issue. Public service leaders must apply this knowledge of social capital to help build strong communities, grow trust, and establish a better future for all.

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January 18, 2024

Scouting and Social Capital – Improving Civic Engagement and Economic Mobility

The Boy Scouts of America, through its current work and through the methods identified here, can make a meaningful difference in improving civic engagement and economic mobility in the United States through the development of social capital among participants. This organization and others can play an important role in strengthening America’s social fabric and building connections among an increasingly fractured population.

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January 17, 2024

After-School Staff as Potential Public Health Information Channel

Network analysis reveals gaps via network density and fragmentation metrics and key actors via degree centrality and betweenness centrality metrics. This information can better inform public administrators on how to disseminate information about public health resources and services through after-school staff.

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January 17, 2024

Leveraging Social Capital to Revitalize Theater Engagement Post-Pandemic

Utilizing social capital presents an innovative strategy for reigniting theater engagement, emphasizing a crucial question: Who constitutes our audience, and what entices their return?

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June 30, 2023

Conserving the Landscape in the Face of Growth Blog

People are increasingly choosing where they live based on the quality of life they can experience, and green spaces are seen as essential components of that quality of life. Collaboration between communities is also emphasized to align with a master plan and connect with each other.

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June 30, 2023

The Arts as an Economic Engine Blog

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data and analysis of the economic impact of the US arts and cultural sectors for the year 2021 on the country’s overall gross domestic product (GDP). The report notes that these sectors comprised 4.4% of the nation’s GDP with just over $1 trillion, and art industries employed nearly 4.9 million workers in 2021.

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June 30, 2023

Engaging Disconnected Young Adults Blog

Recent research indicates pronounced differences in outcomes such as employment, income, homeownership, and health when comparing young adults who have become disconnected from school or work versus those who have remained consistently connected.

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June 29, 2023

The Need for STEM in Rural Communities Blog

Students in STEM classes report increased confidence and motivation to continue their education. Greene County program successes are attributed to valuable partnerships in the rural community, which have helped bridge the opportunity gap by providing student resources, opportunities, and support. Teachers have noted a significant culture shift in the district, with students acquiring the skills employers seek.

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June 29, 2023

The Lack of Rural Healthcare Options Blog

According to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Service Research, North Carolina’s rural communities have faced 152 rural hospital closures and conversions since 2005. The loss of access to healthcare is particularly harmful to those in rural communities who already face health disparities. It makes them more vulnerable to untreated health issues like strokes and heart attacks.

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