Skip to main content
Institute for Emerging Issues

Institute for Emerging Issues receives grant from the Economic Development Administration to support project on workforce and economic development

RALEIGH, NC—The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University has received a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to analyze and assess current workforce challenges and opportunities and how these can be leveraged to support equitable economic development across North Carolina’s 100 counties. IEI will work with key stakeholders to complete a workforce analysis and develop a set of recommendations for economic and workforce development professionals to help them collaborate more effectively post-pandemic.

The EDA grant provides $440,749 over 2 years.

“IEI’s efforts will help grow North Carolina’s workforce by connecting and engaging those who have historically, or as a result of COVID-19, been underrepresented in the labor force,” said Sarah Langer Hall, IEI’s Interim Director. “Getting these workers off the sidelines and into jobs will support our businesses and have a far reaching impact on the worker, their families, and their community.”

This project seeks to bridge a significant ongoing disconnect between economic and workforce development leaders. It will ultimately result in clear, actionable strategies that state, regional and local workforce and economic development professionals can take together to more effectively advance economic opportunity for all North Carolinians. This enhanced collaboration and cohesion will support the greater adoption of strategies that lead to economic recovery and resilience. This project will include two key deliverables: 1) Engaging stakeholders in developing recommendations and 2) Disseminating recommendations widely and facilitating impact.

The first deliverable (a set of written recommendations) will be achieved through a working group to develop the initial set of strategies, and a statewide Emerging Issues Forum (February 13, 2023) of approximately 500 leaders to lift these strategies up and refine them.

The second deliverable (distributing the recommendations and facilitating impact) will include a cohort of five communities across the state participating in a peer learning network. The cohort will participate in the inaugural North Carolina Workforce Development Academy being developed at NC State University, resulting in 30 local economic development and workforce development professionals who will receive training to better collaborate on the region’s economic development needs. At a series of regional forums, cohort teams will develop a set of planning steps for each of their communities. IEI will also track impact through case studies and annual progress updates on the strategies.


About the Institute for Emerging Issues

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University is a nonpartisan public policy organization focused on the state’s vibrancy and economic competitiveness. Since 1986, the Emerging Issues Forum has attracted leaders in business, education and public policy to discuss issues with profound implications for North Carolina’s future prosperity. For more than three decades, the Forum has helped catalyze the policy reforms, public investments and other proactive responses required to build an enduring capacity for progress in North Carolina.

About the Economic Development Administration

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers – innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use their strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.