ECSU announces new statewide economic development collaborative

North Carolina

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — On Friday afternoon, officials at Elizabeth City State University announced that they had been selected to be one of the myFutureNC Local Educational Attainment Collaborative communities across North Carolina.

The two year pilot program, launched by ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government, supports local education collaboratives that work to significantly increase the number of students successfully completing a degree, credential, or certification.

“This is an exciting opportunity to advance ECSU’s mission to educate, and strengthen the economic foundation of Northeastern North Carolina,” said ECSU’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Gary Brown.

ECSU will be partnered with the College of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Northeast Workforce Development Board, the City of Elizabeth City and NENC Pathways for the program.

The goal of the collaborative is to develop local economic impact by increasing opportunities for education and establishing connections among regional institutes of learning, employers, local governments and other community partners. In addition, the program will work to bring resources to communities such as federal, state, and philanthropic funding.

“These collaboratives offer an organized way to respond to future of work challenges that no single institution or even an entire sector can effectively tackle,” said Anita Brown-Graham, UNC-Chapel Hill professor and director of the ncIMPACT Initiative. “We are eager to begin this important work together.”

The community will benefit from five regional forums designed to help them establish goals, identify strategies, set plans for implementation, collaborate across sectors, and learn from experts; technical assistance support throughout the process.

Financial assistance including $15,000 to assist with the costs of hiring a community project manager and an additional $10,000 in implementation funding for the project will be available.

“Building a strong talent pipeline will require a new level of cross-sector coordination,” said Cecilia Holden, president of myFutureNC. “Among others, key strategic partners in these collaboratives must include PreK-12, universities, community colleges, workforce development boards, economic developers, chambers of commerce, county commissioners, policymakers, and civic leaders. And most critical to the overall success is ensuring decisions are being made based on data and research, and the voice of communities, businesses, industries, and employers and most importantly our youth, is in the center of these important conversations.”

ECSU was selected from 46 applications spanning 82 counties of North Carolina.

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