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Digital Access and Equity

April 29, 2024

The Internet can connect us to the world from the comfort of our homes, but only if we have digital access. This requires not only a connection to broadband, but also an affordable internet subscription, a suitable device, and the skills to use it. Supporting this system is a digital infrastructure of sensors, hardware, and software called information and communication technologies (ICT) to collect, process, analyze, and store data, and route it among users. Together, digital technologies can help us expand our knowledge, improve service delivery, and facilitate new capabilities like e-commerce, remote work, computer visualization, and artificial intelligence. As a result, a growing number of communities are drafting digital equity and inclusion plans and working with internet service providers (ISPs) and the state and federal government to help make sure everyone has affordable access to broadband.

AI Uses in North Carolina

April 10, 2024

AI has the potential to help communities large and small across North Carolina. Communities have the chance to pilot and use AI technologies to increase productivity and save money. Examples include traffic signal management, property appraisal, and gunshot detection.

The Arts as an Economic Engine Blog

June 30, 2023

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.

Building a Diverse Business Community Blog

May 8, 2023

Small business owners need a strong ecosystem to thrive. That ecosystem provides technical assistance, connections to space, and other resources and capital to launch and grow. Indeed, minority entrepreneurs sometimes struggle to find and gain access to the small amount of capital they need to launch or expand their businesses.

Sports Tourism Boom Blog

May 8, 2023

Youth sports can require a significant financial investment for travel to out-of-town tournaments. The expenses for food and lodging quickly add up, and communities in North Carolina are capitalizing on the increased interest in amateur sports by integrating them into their local economy.

Where Are the Workers?

May 4, 2023

…and what employers are providing in terms of attracting and retaining young workers.     “Where Are The Workers?” Webinar Series This American Work Life – Challenges and Opportunities in…

The Arts as an Economic Engine

April 21, 2023

There is a growing trend among communities to build what is called a creative economy, with the goal of building awareness about a town’s cultural assets and leveraging them to spur economic development. Learn how Stokes and Montgomery counties are … Read more

Engaging “Disconnected” Young Adults

April 14, 2023

  A young adult not connected to school or work may experience long-lasting adverse life effects. Learn how communities in Columbus, Bladen, Brunswick, and Person counties are helping turn opportunities into careers. Counties featured in this episode: Columbus, Bladen, Brunswick, and … Read more