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myFutureNC Local Educational Attainment Collaboratives

Launched by ncIMPACT Initiative

Building Local Capacity to Achieve the State’s Goal of #2Millionby2030


The ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government (ncIMPACT) and myFutureNC, with support from the John M. Belk Endowment, are launching a two-year pilot program that supports 10 local educational attainment collaboratives across North Carolina that seek to significantly increase the number of students successfully completing post-secondary credentials of value in the workforce: a degree, credential, or certification.

These collaboratives offer an organized way to respond to community challenges that no single institution or even an entire sector can effectively tackle.

This effort aligns with the state’s legislative goal of 2 million individuals between the ages of 25-44 who possess a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030.


The application deadline was March 29.

Download information about the program:

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

Recorded Information Session:

Preparing the Workforce for Economic Recovery:

Education NC Podcast Feature:

Watch our Brief Explainer Video:

Is your community ready to lead the way for our state?

Your community’s talent development potential remains key to your economic competitiveness or disadvantage in today’s economy, whether high-tech or service industries dominate your region. Prior to the pandemic, 67% of jobs in North Carolina required some form of post-secondary attainment. The pandemic accelerated this trend, while decelerating attainment: dropout rates may triple, and first-time community college and university enrollment declined 21%.  We must expand our education to career connections to meet the economic realities we face.

Selected North Carolina collaboratives will serve as leaders in implementing positive strategies for post-secondary educational attainment in their communities and will pilot practices that benefit communities across the state.


Program Basics

North Carolina communities must apply as teams to participate in this two-year program focused on increasing educational attainment and equity in attainment. Teams will become the inaugural myFutureNC Network of Local Educational Attainment Collaboratives. This network will:

  • Have deep local impact by increasing the effectiveness of the local attainment collaboratives and connections among educational systems, employers, local governments, and other stakeholders within the participating communities;
  • Build capacity across the state by creating collaborative cross-community learning and partnerships, and delivering model policies to inform North Carolina’s broader policy landscape; and
  • Leverage key resources including federal, state, and philanthropic funding, as well as data tools and metrics to measure collaborative progress toward achieving their goals.

Network collaboratives will also receive these benefits:

  • Valuable resources that respond to immediate concerns about learning loss during the pandemic and help prepare for longer-term planning;
  • Deep expert and peer support during five forums at which teams will develop goals, make plans for implementation, and collaborate across sectors;
  • Robust technical assistance throughout the process;
  • Critical financial support in the form of $15,000 to compensate a community project manager and $10,000 of implementation funding for their action plan; and a
  • Local Attainment Collaborative Toolkit to implement and sustain demand-informed local collaboration with regional employers.

Community Selection

Through an application process, a panel of ncIMPACT and myFutureNC representatives will select 10 North Carolina communities to participate in the two-year program. Communities may apply as individual county teams, a municipal-county partnership, or a multi-county collaborative.

Communities will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Identification of a core team composed of individuals from different sectors,
  • Demonstration of community commitment through at least three letters of support,
  • Prior experience with educational attainment efforts,
  • Barriers to educational attainment in the community, and
  • Diversity of geography, economy, and demography.

Team Formation

After selection for the program, the core team identified in the application will identify the full community team (local collaborative). The collaborative will include a diverse team of community stakeholders, all committed to active participation in the two-year program. ncIMPACT will assist communities with stakeholder identification to build the collaborative team. Given differences between communities, the composition of the teams will vary.

Commitments: Each community collaborative must be prepared to meet monthly over the course of the program to develop and implement a cogent strategy that (1) leverages existing assets and activities, (2) increases the community’s educational attainment by 3%, and (3) improves equity in attainment. A community project manager will support this work (with funding provided by the program) in addition to the technical assistance provided by the partners. 


Case Studies on Sample Collaboratives from 2019


Data Resources


Promising Approaches Profiled by ncIMPACT Initiative

Contact Us

Anita Brown-Graham, Professor & Director,

Emily Williamson Gangi, Policy Engagement Director,


This project is a collaboration between:


Funding for this work was provided by: