Dislocated Worker Initiative
The Rural Dislocated Worker Initiative addressed critical problems caused by layoffs and plants closings in North Carolina communities in the aftermath of the 2001 recession. For too many North Carolinians, these job losses resulted in prolonged unemployment and reduced earnings. As part of the initiative, the center and partnering agencies released the Dislocated Workers Action Agenda, a set of 10 recommendations to address problems facing laid-off workers. The agenda continues to reshape North Carolina's response to worker dislocation, its causes and consequences through research, demonstration projects and public policy development. A second report, Back on Track: 16 Promising Practices to Help Dislocated Workers, Businesses and Communities, describes successful programs helping workers find new jobs at decent wages. The center also conducted demonstration programs testing other innovative strategies.
Staying in School/Preparing for Life: A Roundtable on Rural Dropout Prevention
North Carolina falls in the bottom tier of states for the percentage of students graduating from high school. Each year, more than 23,000 drop out of the state's schools — the equivalent of three busloads every school day — hamstringing their futures and the state's economic potential. On June 6, 2008, state leaders came together to discuss how to address the dropout problem in rural areas, where resources are already stretched thin.
The Impact of Economic and Political Developments on North Carolina’s Tobacco Farm Workers
This report, issued in 2008, examines the repercussions of the 1998 tobacco settlement and end of the quota system on livelihoods of tobacco farm workers. It examines the issues against the recent history of tobacco farm workers; explores who makes up the tobacco farm work force; identifies further challenges and opportunities facing North Carolina farm workers; and suggests areas for public policy consideration.