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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.






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

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.

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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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May 18, 2020

Transitioning Veterans to the Civilian Workforce – Craven County

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).

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April 30, 2020

Treatment for Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder—Cabarrus County

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid epidemic to be a public health emergency. More than 13,000 North Carolinians died of unintentional opioid-involved poisoning deaths from 1999 to 2017. Opioid use disorder affects populations all across North Carolina, including pregnant mothers. Mothers using opioids during pregnancy can result in a variety of birth defects, miscarriage, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), preterm birth.

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April 20, 2020

Building a Local Talent Pipeline – Alamance County

The ability to recruit and retain a skilled workforce is vital in today’s economy. Local employers in Alamance County need to build a talent pipeline from within the local labor market. Approximately one-third of residents ages 25-64 attain a postsecondary degree. Employers and the school system recognize the need to expand the talent pipeline for manufacturing specifically. Companies need workers with more specialized skills than what is learned in high school. Human resource managers complain it’s difficult to find enough qualified applicants for vacant positions created by a tight labor market and the surge of retirements from the Baby Boomer segment of the workforce.

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April 20, 2020

Improving Health Access in Rural Communities – McDowell County

McDowell County connects practicing physicians with students who are patients, right at their schools. Using telemedicine connections in public schools, students can meet with physicians online for a diagnosis or consultation.

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