Cohort 1: Jobs

The Issue at Hand

Even in the current economy, when the official unemployment rate is low and parts of the state are thriving, many families struggle to earn enough to put food on the table, afford a decent place to live, cover basic health care expenses, provide adequate care for their children, and otherwise enjoy the essential elements of a decent life. As a result, the American social compact seems broken for too many in North Carolina. They can no longer rely on the promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can expect to enjoy a good life for yourself and a better life for your children.

NCLF brought 35 leaders from across the state to meet five times during 2017 — three times for a full day and twice for a day and a half. Participants included legislators, non-profit, and business leaders to discuss topics including inadequacy of compensation, unavailability of jobs, lack of skills, personal obstacles to work, and financial vulnerability. 

Even in the current economy, when the official unemployment rate is low and parts of the state are thriving, many families struggle to earn enough to put food on the table, afford a decent place to live, cover basic health care expenses, provide adequate care for their children, and otherwise enjoy the essential elements of a decent life. As a result, the American social compact seems broken for too many in North Carolina. They can no longer rely on the promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can expect to enjoy a good life for yourself and a better life for your children.

NCLF brought 35 leaders from across the state to meet five times during 2017 — three times for a full day and twice for a day and a half. Participants included legislators, non-profit, and business leaders to discuss topics including inadequacy of compensation, unavailability of jobs, lack of skills, personal obstacles to work, and financial vulnerability. 

Front Page of 2017 Final Report. Blue background with angular shapes. Light grey box atop with text that says "The North Carolina Leadership Forum, 2017 Final Report, Policy Challenge, "How can we enable North Carolinians to earn enough to support their families?""

Cohort 1: Jobs Final Report

This report summarizes the proceedings and findings of the first year of NCLF. During five sessions, we explored the question, “How can we enable more North Carolinians to earn enough to support their families?”

The group concluded on promising approaches; Notably, they said North Carolina should close the skills gap, increase job availability, address inadequate wages, eliminate obstacles to work, and strengthen financial literacy. There was further discussion on the minimum wage, tax credits, criminal histories, apprenticeships. 

Finally, the report notes NCLF’s success and how the forum’s approach can adapt in the future. As the inaugural group, the organization oscillated between wanting to have conversations on values or having conversations on policy — noting both were vital but had different utility to participants.

Download the Final Report Here (PDF)

Cohort 1: Jobs Final Report

This report summarizes the proceedings and findings of the first year of NCLF. During five sessions, we explored the question, “How can we enable more North Carolinians to earn enough to support their families?”

The group concluded on promising approaches; Notably, they said North Carolina should close the skills gap, increase job availability, address inadequate wages, eliminate obstacles to work, and strengthen financial literacy. There was further discussion on the minimum wage, tax credits, criminal histories, apprenticeships. 

Finally, the report notes NCLF’s success and how the forum’s approach can adapt in the future. As the inaugural group, the organization oscillated between wanting to have conversations on values or having conversations on policy — noting both were vital but had different utility to participants.

Download the Final Report Here (PDF)

Participants from Cohort 1

Anita Brown-Graham*, Institute for Emerging Issues

Pete Brunstetter, Novant Health, Inc.

Pearl Burris-Floyd, Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce

Jack Cecil, Biltmore Farms, LLC

Dan Clodfelter, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP

Gene Cochrane*, The Duke Endowment

Sharon Decker, Tryon International Equestrian Center

Martin Eakes, Self-Help Credit Union

Dan Gerlach, Golden Leaf Foundation

Rick Glazier, North Carolina Justice Center

Ann Goodnight, SAS

Maurice “Mo” Green, Guilford County Schools

Robin Hayes, Cannon Charitable Trust and Cannon Foundation

Hank Henning, Commissioner of Guilford County

John Hood*, John William Pope Foundation

Bob Hunter, North Carolina Court of Appeals

Jeff Jackson, North Carolina Senate

Raquel Lynch, Crisis Assistance Ministry

Esther Manheimer, Mayor of Asheville

Frederick “Fritz” Mayer*, Sanford School of Public Policy,

Duke University

Chuck McGrady, North Carolina House of Representatives

MaryBe McMillan, North Carolina AFL-CIO

B.J. Murphy, Mayor of Kinston

Chuck Neely*, Williams Mullen

Jim Phillips, Brooks Pierce

Art Pope, John William Pope Foundation

Robert Reives, North Carolina House of Representatives

Tom Ross, UNC President Emeritus and Terry Sanford Distinguished Fellow

Richard Stevens, Smith Anderson Law Firm

William Thierfelder, Belmont Abbey College

Eugene Washington, Duke University Health System

Andy Wells, North Carolina Senate

Brad Wilson, Blue Cross & Blue Shield North Carolina

Stelfanie Williams, Vance-Granville Community College

Leslie Winner*, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Anita Brown-Graham*, Institute for Emerging Issues

Pete Brunstetter, Novant Health, Inc.

Pearl Burris-Floyd, Gaston Regional Chamber of

Commerce

Jack Cecil, Biltmore Farms, LLC

Dan Clodfelter, Parker Poe Adams &

Bernstein, LLP

Gene Cochrane*, The Duke Endowment

Sharon Decker, Tryon International

Equestrian Center

Martin Eakes, Self-Help Credit Union

Dan Gerlach, Golden Leaf Foundation

Rick Glazier, North Carolina Justice Center

Ann Goodnight, SAS

Maurice “Mo” Green, Guilford County Schools

Robin Hayes, Cannon Charitable Trust and

Cannon Foundation

Hank Henning, Commissioner of Guilford County

John Hood*, John William Pope Foundation

Bob Hunter, North Carolina Court of Appeals

Jeff Jackson, North Carolina Senate

Raquel Lynch, Crisis Assistance Ministry

Esther Manheimer, Mayor of Asheville

Frederick “Fritz” Mayer*, Sanford School of Public

Policy, Duke University

Chuck McGrady, North Carolina House

of Representatives

MaryBe McMillan, North Carolina AFL-CIO

B.J. Murphy, Mayor of Kinston

Chuck Neely*, Williams Mullen

Jim Phillips, Brooks Pierce

Art Pope, John William Pope Foundation

Robert Reives, North Carolina House

of Representatives

Tom Ross, UNC President Emeritus and Terry

Sanford Distinguished Fellow

Richard Stevens, Smith Anderson Law Firm

William Thierfelder, Belmont Abbey College

Eugene Washington, Duke University Health System

Andy Wells, North Carolina Senate

Brad Wilson, Blue Cross & Blue Shield

North Carolina

Stelfanie Williams, Vance-Granville

Community College

Leslie Winner*, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

*Denotes NCLF Steering Committee Member

Supplements

Policy Memos

The John Locke Foundation and the North Carolina Justice Center put together solutions that were presented and discussed at the Forum. The two groups proposed policies on career development, small business entrepreneurship, and increasing wages/earning.

Download the Policy Memos Here (PDF)

Policy Memos

The John Locke Foundation and the North Carolina Justice Center put together solutions that were presented and discussed at the Forum. The two groups proposed policies on career development, small business entrepreneurship, and increasing wages/earning.

Download the Policy Memos Here (PDF)

Background Research

Two data supplements were prepared for participants, one in March 2016, and one in June 2016. The first report outlines economic outcomes, including income, assets, poverty, mobility, assistance, and life expectancy as well as factors relating to economic outcomes including education, family composition, work, wages, development, business climate, and barriers. The second report outlines a wide range of topics including state wage profiles, cost living, economic well-being, and more. 

Download the First Data and Research Packet Here (PDF)

Download the Second Data and Research Packet Here (PDF)

Background Research

Two data supplements were prepared for participants, one in March 2016, and one in June 2016. The first report outlines economic outcomes, including income, assets, poverty, mobility, assistance, and life expectancy as well as factors relating to economic outcomes including education, family composition, work, wages, development, business climate, and barriers. The second report outlines a wide range of topics including state wage profiles, cost living, economic well-being, and more. 

Download the First Data and Research Packet Here (PDF)

Download the Second Data and Research Packet Here (PDF)

Videos

Participants were presented five videos throughout the forum, listed below. Each story captured a different aspect of the problem and revealed how multifaceted the challenge was that we were seeking to address. The stories also reminded us that real people and their struggles often do not fit neatly into any single explanation we might have for why they struggle.

Videos

Participants were presented five videos throughout the forum, listed below. Each story captured a different aspect of the problem and revealed how multifaceted the challenge was that we were seeking to address. The stories also reminded us that real people and their struggles often do not fit neatly into any single explanation we might have for why they struggle.

Making Ends Meet: Ian Trent

Transitioning from Furniture Industry: Dale Crouse

From Behind Bars: Stefan Gilliam

Finding Skilled Workers: Joshua Mauney

 

The Challenge of Growth: NoDa Brewing