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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.

July 15, 2020

Talent Recruitment & Retention: Work in Burke – Burke County

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.

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July 8, 2020

Urban Broadband – Mecklenburg County

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.

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July 1, 2020

Rural Broadband – Yancey and Mitchell Counties

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.

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June 25, 2020

Affordable Teacher Housing – Dare County

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.

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June 16, 2020

Overcoming Health Disparities – Edgecombe County

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.

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June 10, 2020

Responding to Energy Poverty – Halifax and Northampton Counties

…most cost-effective ways to reduce a household’s energy burden. Weatherizing a home can make it more efficient, lowering energy costs as well as mitigating the health impacts of energy inefficient…

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May 27, 2020

Collateral Consequences of the Criminal Justice System – Durham

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.

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May 26, 2020

Team Spotlight: 8th Judicial District Opioid Crisis Team

After a 2011 decision by the state of North Carolina to remove funding for drug court programs, communities and courts like North Carolina’s 8th Judicial District began collaborating to find another way. Advocates like Chief District Judge Elizabeth Heath were determined to keep drug courts open to help low-level offenders addicted to drugs receive treatment and avoid prison while on probation. “We began seeing an increase in use of opioids, heroin and meth around that time,” said Heath. “The commissioners and health departments from our three-county district immediately began looking at ways to collaborate and deal with the growing crisis.”

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May 26, 2020

Pretrial Reform – Haywood & Jackson Counties

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.

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May 19, 2020

Building Integrated Communities—Sanford

Immigrants represent an important segment of North Carolina residents, making up about 8% of the population, about 12% of self-employed business owners, and accounting for over $14 billion in spending power. The population of immigrants with limited English proficiency (LEP) represents 9 percent of the nation’s population. North Carolina experienced the second-greatest LEP population growth in the U.S. from 1990-2010.

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