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Director's Log

Director’s Log | June 2023

Sarah Langer Hall headshot
IEI Director Sarah Langer Hall

It’s officially summer! Even though school is out and most students have left the halls of the Hunt Library here at NC State University for a well-deserved break, Team IEI is continuing our important work of connecting North Carolinians, while also taking time to enjoy the summer sun and spend time with our families and friends.

Earlier this month, we released the Talent First Economics Recommendations Report. This comprehensive report – compiled by the Talent First Economics Task Force and refined at the 2023 Emerging Issues Forum – identifies challenges faced by five groups of underrepresented workers seeking to engage in the workforce, and solutions that will help these workers overcome these barriers. I want to thank our task force co-chairs Dr. Annie Izod with the NCWorks Commission and Change Agent Philip Cooper for leading this monumental effort and the entire task force for their dedication to supporting and advocating for underrepresented workers in North Carolina. 

Now that the recommendations report is out, you may be asking yourself “what’s next?” 

In the coming months, we’ll be meeting with organizations across the state to present these recommendations. If you’re interested in having us present to your group or organization, please use this request form. In case you missed it, you can learn more about Talent First Economics, the task force and their recommendations in our recent Talent First Tuesdays podcast series.

Starting later this summer, we’ll be working with our Talent First Economics Community Cohort to bring some of these recommended strategies to life across the state. We’ll be tracking this effort and look forward to sharing more information with you in the coming months.

Speaking of regional efforts, our BAND-NC program is currently working with community leaders in northeastern North Carolina on their digital inclusion planning. This important work moves us one step closer to our goal of having a digital inclusion plan in all 100 counties – the most localized planning effort of any state. 

We’re also continuing to check in with members of our educational attainment cohort on the work they’re doing to boost educational attainment levels in their communities. So far we’ve shared updates from Wake Forest University’s Pre-College Programs and Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County. You’ll be seeing updates from our other cohort members later this summer!

If your summer travels take you across the state, whether to the mountains or the coast or communities in between, I hope you’ll join me in taking a moment to pause and reflect on the important work we can all accomplish when we come together to support a more vibrant and prosperous North Carolina.