As part of the ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity forum, the Institute for Emerging Issues chose five communities to tell their story of economic opportunity: What they’re doing and what’s working to improve community connections in their part of North Carolina. We chose five diverse initiatives each focused on successful efforts to connect adult, lower income earners to information or services related to sustainable-wage employment, effective skill-enhancing training models and employer-supported initiatives. 

A sneak peek at our ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity Community Cohort

Beaufort County

Partners: Beaufort County Community College, Beaufort County Schools, NCWorks, Region Q Workforce Development Board  |  All of Beaufort County including the towns of Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington Park and the City of Washington

Beaufort County is working hard on multiple initiatives related to economic opportunity. They are partners in the RAMP East project, collaborating with manufacturers to create Customized Training Programs, as well as grant recipients of Maximize Carolina. All of their initiatives are working to address skill gaps in the county and help individuals succeed in employment. Read More

Building with Our Veterans (Mecklenburg County)

Partners: Veteran Division of Mecklenburg County Community Support Services and Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC)  |  Mecklenburg County

Building with Our Veterans is a cross-sector collaboration that addresses the needs of employers and potential employees. The program was created in response to the lack of qualified code officials in the Mecklenburg community. The initiative pairs veterans with apprenticeships in code official training. Participants go through a 999-hour program, which includes coursework and training. At the end of the program, participants are able to take the state certification exam to become Level 1 code officials. Read More

Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (OIC) of Rocky Mount

Partners: Turning Point Workforce Development, Edgecombe Community College, Strategic Twin-Counties Education Partnership (STEP), OIC Integrated Health Services  |  Edgecombe County

The OIC of Rocky Mount is working to provide wrap-around services to participants in their Integrated Training Academy (ITA). ITA is designed to address the existing skills gap through four different pathways: advanced manufacturing, transportation and construction trades, health occupations and information technology. The academy provides essential skills, education, and job training programs that will result in careers in the four previously mentioned pathways. Read More

Partnering for Community Prosperity (P4CP)

Community Advisory Council (CAC)  |  Cleveland County

Partnering for Community Prosperity is a community wide project in Cleveland County. Through the Living Wage Subcommittee, P4CP has collaborated with the county to start Accelerate Cleveland, a program that connects underemployed individuals to a paid internship in order to obtain a living wage job. They are partnered with 6 companies and have begun hiring their first cohort of 15 individuals to participate. Read More

United Way of Greater Greensboro, Integrated Service Delivery Initiatives

Partners: United Way of Greater Greensboro, MDC, Guilford Child Development, Salvation Army of Greensboro, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central, Piedmont, Boys & Girls Clubs, City of High Point Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Cone Health Foundation, Cone Health Foundation Congregational Nurse Program, Enterprise Holdings, Goodwill Industries, Greensboro Area Health Education Center, Greensboro Housing Authority, Greensboro Urban Ministry, Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, Guilford Technical Community College, Housing Consultants Group, Inheritance Financial Coaching, Lincoln Financial Group, NC Cooperative Extension Service, NC Works, Peace of Hope, Reading Connections, Ready for School, Ready for Life, Senior Resources of Guilford, StepUp Greensboro, The Duke Endowment, Triad Goodwill, Turning Point 180, United Way of Greater High Point, Welfare Reform Liaison Project  |  Guilford County

The United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Family Success Center model is a collaborative effort focused on breaking the cycle of poverty. The model uses an integrated services delivery approach to connect families with services from 30 different partners. The areas of services include: accessing work and income supports, education, employment and career advancement, health and wellness, financial education, coaching and asset building. Read More