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Bright Spots – Case Studies on Education & Workforce Innovations

decorative image with sparkling spots (bright spots)

The ncIMPACT Initiative issued this report that profiles 10 efforts—which we refer to as “Bright Spots”—that demonstrate how local communities are working to increase educational attainment in North Carolina. Their efforts reflect the fact that, across our state, there is a growing recognition that a high school education and a willingness to work hard are no longer sufficient to secure a job with wages that will adequately support a family. Our economy is locked in a global competition for jobs that, increasingly, require training beyond high school. The implication is clear: Unless our plan is to import talent, on top of working to foster home-grown talent, both today and into the future, North Carolina must produce more people with postsecondary educational credentials.

The My Future NC (myFutureNC) Commission recommended that, by 2030, North Carolina should strive to ensure that 2 million of the state’s 25- to 44-year-olds (which is about two-thirds of the projected state population in that age range) obtain a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree. This goal balances a desire to measure and promote ambitious, near-term improvements with the longer time horizon required to realize systemic change across the education spectrum. Success will depend on innovations at both the state and local levels. To get there, we will need many more Bright Spots.

The myFutureNC Commission prepared a full report addressing these and other related questions.

It can be accessed on the myFutureNC website: