Interim Director’s Log | July 2022
State Budgets, Summer Camp, Students and More!
The dog days of summer have arrived in North Carolina, bringing with them a newly passed state budget, planning for IEI’s third year of Summer Camp, new students engaging in our work and much, much more! Below are a few highlights from our summer so far.
Earlier this month, the North Carolina state budget was signed into law. With current IEI programs focused on educational attainment, increasing the workforce and digital inclusion, we were particularly interested in how the budget relates to these efforts. Here are just a few of many examples from the state budget:
- Expand College Advising Corps (CAC). The CAC provides support to underrepresented, low-income, or first generation postsecondary or certificate students entering and completing a postsecondary credential. Funds will be used to support new and existing college advisors, with a goal of at least one college adviser in every county in the state by the end of the 2023-2024 academic school year. Click here to read a recent article by EdNC on how College Advising Corps are helping students prepare for life after high school.
- Expand RISE Up training and credentialing programs. The NC Community College System will continue its partnership with the NC Retail Merchants Association and the Retail Consumer Alliance Foundation through 2023 to implement the RISE Up credentialing program. The program serves students attending cooperative innovative high schools and will now allow those attending community colleges.
- Expand the G.R.E.A.T. Grant. Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants offer funding to private sector broadband providers to deploy last-mile broadband infrastructure to unserved areas of the state. Funds are also available for wireless broadband. Earlier this month, the NC Department of Information Technology awarded $23 million to 12 NC counties to expand internet access across the state.
When not reading through the nearly 200 page budget law, we’ve been traveling for digital inclusion planning kickoff meetings in Northwest NC and educational attainment regional leadership meetings in several regions across the state.
We’ve also been preparing for our third annual Summer Camp on August 23 and 30. This year’s community capacity building program, offered at no cost to participants, will create a virtual space to discuss lessons learned “in these times.” Everyone is welcome to join in the conversation and share their experiences. Click here to learn more about our Summer Camp and register.
And like the rest of the NC State community, we look forward to welcoming students back to campus in the coming weeks, including our new Hunt Intern, Hannah Braun, who will focus her efforts on our Project Resilience program. She will join fellow NC State student Brodie Smith, who began working with IEI earlier this month as a policy intern on our Talent First Economics program. We look forward to developing their interest in public policy. Who knows… maybe one day they’ll be the budget bill builders of our future.
Enjoy your summer!