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Men and Women United Partners with MDC to Support Economic Mobility in North Carolina


Men and Women United for Youth and Families (MWUYF) is partnering with Durham-based non-profit MDC to develop community-based capacity for economic resiliency in Columbus and Bladen Counties, NC. The resiliency hub and workforce development project, funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), will address barriers to accessing workforce development and job skills programs.

Broadband access and reliable transportation make it difficult for many households in Bladen and Columbus counties to access job opportunities and training programs. These counties comprise some of the largest areas in North Carolina but are often left behind in job creation and workforce development. At the same time, employers in the area struggle to find employees with the skills needed to perform work at their organizations. To address these challenges, the EDA-funded project will complete needs assessment identify partnerships, resources, and gaps and ensure that employment opportunities are accessible with regional employers; engage regional stakeholders to develop strategies to address gaps or opportunities identified in the needs assessment; develop a partnership network to connect and expand existing programs; and build consensus for a collaborative, community-led action plan.

MWUYF and MDC will plan and host regional convenings of community stakeholders to develop action-based plans and develop networks of employers, educational partners, and others to promote economic growth and resiliency. Together, Men and Women United for Youth and Families and MDC seek to increase employment opportunities and the number of individuals with the skills to meet current and future workforce needs in Columbus and Bladen counties.

Data-driven strategies addressing the workforce challenges that prevent access to employment and living-wage careers will be developed to support a coordinated approach to building stronger communities and resiliency. Potential stakeholders include community colleges, workforce development agencies, nonprofits, and regional employers.

Men and Women United for Youth and Families

Men and Women United for Youth and Families is a non-profit organization located in Delco, North Carolina, that works to foster a culture of community and self-sufficiency throughout Columbus and Bladen counties. Their programs assist, enrich, and enlighten disenfranchised individuals by addressing barriers those individuals may face in accessing valuable resources and educational opportunities in underserved communities. For more on MWUYF visit:


MDC equips leaders, institutions, and communities with the necessary tools and strategies to advance economic mobility. Founded in North Carolina in 1967 as Manpower Development Corp, its mission was to design job training programs to help displaced workers in the transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy and from a segregated to an integrated workforce. Since then, MDC shortened its name and broadened its mission from a workforce development organization to a catalyzing force for advancing economic progress in the South. For more on MDC visit: