Durham, N.C., boasts a thriving, knowledge economy with a strong employer base and employment growth rate  projected to outstrip state and U.S. averages by 2021. Yet too few of Durham’s young people are getting these good jobs, and too few have the academic and workplace skills to compete with more qualified candidates from other cities and states.

Community leaders, armed with knowledge, analysis and technical assistance from MDC, formed a nonprofit and community partnership, called Made in Durham.

The coalition of business, government, education, youth-serving nonprofits and young people are working to create a education-to-career system that will ensure more of Durham's young people find academic and career success in their community.


Made in Durham grew out of an effort begun in June 2013, when the Made in Durham Task Force, composed of local business CEOs, education and public sector leaders, and community advocates, convened to translate the recommendations of a 2012 MDC report, Made in Durham: Building an Education-to-Career System, into a blueprint for an education-to-career system.

Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the Institute of Medicine (formerly president & CEO of Duke University Health System), served as chair of the Task Force and Anita Brown-Graham, then-director of the Institute for Emerging Issues, as vice chair. The task force was supported by a Policy Working Group, composed of public sector deputies, academics, employers, and community representatives, bringing additional subject knowledge and a critical operational perspective to recommendations for task force deliberation. 

The task force determined that a new, small, independent nonprofit was needed to execute the Made in Durham Action Plan, and the process of establishing a new nonprofit was completed in 2015. 

Many local business and community leaders who envisioned and created the partnership, including MDC President David Dodson, now serve on its board of directors and advisory team.

For information on MDC’s development and incubation of MID, contact MDC senior program director Julie Mooney at jmooney@mdcinc.org