When David Dodson made his first trip to Danville, Va., in 1993 to meet with the president of Danville Community College, it was the beginning of a 20-year-and-counting relationship between Danville and MDC. The results of that work are proof that significant economic change can be accomplished with a long-term commitment to lifting communities out of poverty by improving education and job opportunities, broadening the local leadership base, and building capacity in community organizations.
How Community Colleges Can Respond to Economic Crisis: Community colleges are increasingly expected to solve some of our most intractable problems. These institutions have historically played an important role in helping individuals move up the career ladder and into themiddle class through job training and educational credentials. However, the financial collapse of 2008 brought extraordinary levels of unemployment, foreclosure, and declining income, and with it the need for a different approach to retraining—especially for those most in need.
The "Made in Durham" report sets out a vision that every young person in Durham should have the opportunity to achieve a postsecondary credential and begin a rewarding career by the age of 25. Its central premise is that all Durham’s youth and young adults are entitled to a first-rate education and training system that prepares them for successful adulthood and good jobs in Durham’s labor market.
Reflecting the Region's Best Trends
The Durham Herald Sun (October 2010) - Education matters for lots of reasons, but the MDC report offered a perspective that may not be widely grasped. Higher levels of education roughly translate to higher incomes and greater job safety.
Read an 2008 interview with MDC President David Dodson about what MDC has discovered in its research on disconnected youth in North Carolina's Research Triangle area and the gravity of the problem.
The News & Observer (NC) (September 2011) - Poverty has increased among children faster than any other age group. More than 1 million young people have fallen into poverty in the South since 2007. Nearly onein five children, a total of 84,420, lives below the poverty line in the Triangle.
The News & Observer (NC) (January 2011) - We need to fix an education system bound by early industrial-era structures at a time when we need schools to prepare young people for coping with a 21st century of lifelong learning. And everyone's well-being depends on eliminating chronic and profound achievement gaps, as today's Latino and African-American adolescents and young adults will become an integral core of the workforce further into this decade and the next.
The Charleston Gazette (WVa) (June 2010) - Now, even as it copes with the effects of a severe economic downturn, the South must show it has the civic strength to update its economic vision, refashion its public policy, and forge a social contract that puts itself back on an upward trajectory in the post-recession era.
A report to the governor of North Carolina on manpower needs of the 1970s. Published January 1971