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North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Focus-Group Report

Community Leaders shared perspectives, contributing to the state’s continued recovery from COVID-19

Regional and Statewide insights from North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Focus-Groups will be available this week! Findings from regional focus group sessions and expert interviews held during February and March 2024 include 16 regional summaries and 6 expert interviews. The North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) is making the report available to state and local leaders in April. 

ncIMPACT Initiative is proud to have partnered with the North Carolina Regional Councils of Government and NCPRO on these regional focus groups which identified issues of greatest concern about pandemic recovery. We designed the focus-groups to offer feedback on past survey results, assess the success of state, local, and federal pandemic-era programs, address top community concerns, and help formulate recommendations for continuing to build resilient communities across the state. Find the full report along with regional focus-group summaries to help continue conversations about recovery in your community. 


Coming Soon…

Regional Summaries

Region A
Southwestern Commission

Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties


Region B
Land of Sky Regional Council

Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties

Region C
Foothills Regional Commission

Cleveland, McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford counties

Region D
High Country COG

Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties

Region E
Western Piedmont COG

Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties

Region F
Centralina Regional Council

Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties

Region G
Piedmont-Triad COG

Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties

Region J
Central Pines COG

Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, and Wake counties – formerly Triangle J Council of Government

Region K
Kerr-Tar COG

Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, and Warren counties

Region L
Upper Coastal Plain COG

Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, and Wilson counties

Region M
Mid-Carolina COG

Cumberland, Harnett, and Sampson counties

Region N
Lumber River COG

Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties

Region O
Cape Fear COG

Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, and Pender Counties

Region P
Eastern Carolina COG

Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, and Wayne counties

Region Q
Mid-East Commission

Beaufort, Bertie, Hertford, Martin and Pitt counties

Region R
Albemarle Commission

Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington

Thank You

This report was made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). Data analysis and visualizations associated with the Community Engagement Survey and the Business Engagement Survey were provided by Carolina Demography.

The sixteen regional focus-group sessions were promoted and hosted by the following members of the North Carolina Association of Regional Councils of Government (COGs):

  • Albemarle Commission Council of Governments
  • Cape Fear Council of Governments
  • Central Pines Regional Council
  • Centralina Regional Council of Governments
  • Eastern Carolina Council of Government
  • Foothills Regional Commission Council of Governments
  • High Country Council of Governments
  • Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments
  • Land of Sky Regional Council
  • Lumber River Council of Governments
  • Mid-Carolina Regional Council
  • Mid-East Commission
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council
  • Southwestern Commission Council of Governments
  • Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments
  • Western Piedmont Council of Governments

Members of the following External Review Committee were instrumental in focus-group recruitment and protocol feedback.

  • Dr. Stephanie Hawkins, RTI International
  • Dr. Evan Johnson, UNC Public Policy
  • Dr. Jonathan Q. Morgan, UNC School of Government
  • Dr. William J. Rowe, East Carolina University’s College of Business
  • Lee Worsley, Central Pines Regional Council

Focus-group sessions were conducted by Anita Brown-Graham, Chelsea Brock, Michael Welker, Abigail Holdsclaw, Hallie Springer, and Richard Livingston with the support of Yolonda Woodhouse. This team authored the final report with support from Claire Cusick and Mary Parry.