MDC has long taken a comprehensive approach to the needs of people and communities to achieve economic stability and success. That’s reflected in our organizing formula: Education + Work + Assets = the Pathway to Opportunity. It is a simple way of saying that getting a postsecondary credential, a job paying a living wage, and the financial tools to create savings are the surest way for people to “learn, earn, and save their way into the middle class.”
So MDC works in all three areas, often simultaneously, always to create systemic change that endures long after a specific program is over. In the Partners for Postsecondary Success project, we are helping community leaders in four cities align their efforts to help more young people make it to college. In the Developmental Education Initiative, we are helping colleges identify more efficient and effective ways to get students through (or bypass) remedial classes and move on to credit courses. In the Work Supports Initiative and The Benefit Bank of North Carolina, we are making a one-stop, laptop-based expert service available online and with counselors in people’s neighborhoods for them to get the financial supports they need, and In the Center for Working Families at Community Colleges we are bringing financial tools and resources to students to make it easier for them to finish what they start.
The work often includes changing either institutional or governmental policies, or both. And using our demonstration and incubation model, we try to insure that a program is not only effective but sustainable after the initial funding has ended.