The 2014 edition of State of the South features analysis of state and regional data and calls on the region to develop and implement purposeful policies and systemic practices—an “infrastructure of opportunity”—to bolster the prospects for its 15- to 24-year-olds to achieve economic resilience as adults and a fulfilling social and civic life. A true, community-wide infrastructure of opportunity should reflect the breadth of the community: employers, education systems, community-based organizations, policy makers, civic and neighborhood leaders, philanthropy, and young people themselves.
The report profiles nine Southern communities—Brownsville, Texas, Charlotte, N.C., Port St. Joe, Fla., Danville, Va., Greenville, S.C., Northern Neck, Va., Houston, Texas, Durham, N.C., and regions of Arkansas— and examines the status of their opportunity infrastructures. It points out innovative ideas they are trying and what they may be missing, including a focused perspective on youth economic mobility as part of their education and economic development strategies. After publication, MDC will hold a series of sessions to engage Southern leaders, helping them find a common vision for mobility in their communities. Vist www.stateofthesouth.org to learn more.