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Lenoir County Update

By CED Program Interns & Students

Published April 18, 2010


Adam Parker is a Masters in Public Administration student at UNC Chapel Hill and works as a Research Assistant in Lenoir County, North Carolina.

The past few months have been full of activity in Lenoir County. This update will bring readers up to speed on recent events and future activities of the Community Campus Partnership involving STEM education reforms, the Harvey Beech papers, student trips to Lenoir County to perform service projects, and a study of the direct health care workforce in Lenoir County.

STEM Progress

On Monday, April 12th, the Lenoir County STEM Design team met with NCSTEM staff, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) staff, and Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) staff. Lenoir’s vision of a “STEM Hub” was discussed and compared to STEM efforts in Texas (TSTEM) and the OSLN. TSTEM is a much different approach than the one envisioned by Lenoir County. TSTEM created, successfully, a large number of high performing high schools in Texas to meet anticipated demand for semiconductor and other high tech companies. Ohio approached the problem in a different way, hoping to build collaborative networks between institutions. Jan Morrison, the Executive Director of TIES, spoke of how Lenoir was well positioned to form these networks within the county and beyond.

After the larger meeting, a management team meeting was held discussing next steps for the Lenoir County STEM Design Team. This includes drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to gauge local interest and investment in the STEM project, taking trips to the Dan River Information Technology Academy (DRITA) and  the MC2STEM High School on a GE corporate campus in Ohio. Maurice Ferrell of the UNC Center for Public Technology will also help assist the Lenoir County STEM Design Team as they complete their MOU and then a business plan to build the STEM Hub organization.

Direct Health Care Workforce Study

This semester, several UNC students worked on a study regarding the direct health care workforce in Lenoir County and the potential for greater use of career ladders within this field. Direct care workers are the front-lines of health care, and include individuals working with the disabled, elderly, and others who cannot live without assistance. Their work is often low-pay and highly difficult, causing a large amount of turnover in the industry. In addition, this sector appears to be lacking clear channels for advancement.

A presentation was made to RHA Howell on Monday, April 5th by students from the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning and the Masters in Public Administration Program. The study included a survey of quantitative data in the region as well as several semi-structured interviews conducted with stakeholders in Lenoir County. Interviewees included:

Major findings of the report will be discussed in greater depth in a future blog post. The first iteration of the report centers around potential options to expand the WIN career ladder program in Lenoir County, including an internal growth model and an external county-wide approach. The report will be modified and re-presented to a larger regional audience this summer.

Harvey Beech Papers

Since the last blog post on this subject, some papers were collected and archived at the Southern Historical Collection (SHC) @ UNC. Below is an email from Tim West, Director of the SHC:

“Just to let you know that I met Pam Whaley Sunday morning at the Harris-Teeter near the NC 86/I-40 interchange(!)–she was en route to Atlanta–and she gave me a few items to start the Harvey Beech Papers in the SHC.  I’m glad to have something in hand… She said she’d be going back to Kinston in a couple months and would be in touch.

Thanks again for making this possible!
Tim”

Student Trips and Next Steps in Lenoir County

During the fall of 2008, numerous MPA students made the trip to Asheville, visiting numerous sites and learning the story of the city. Additionally, a service project was begun in the spring semester of that year with the Civics Education Consortium. Both projects were great, and I hope to combine these service projects with programmed learning in a community. While the project has not been identified as of yet, I envision MPA students and potentially other disciplines traveling to Kinston during fall and/or spring break to perform a service project with an identified deliverable at the end of the week. This can be any number of items, such as review of a Capital Improvement Plan. I also envision visits with Lenoir County Economic Development, Spirit Aerosystems, Mother Earth Brewing, and others.

In addition, the pro bono program at the UNC School of Law has done great work in other parts of Eastern North Carolina, sending over 20 students to New Bern and Greenville to provide low-income residents with legal services. Over the next couple of months, CCP will try to coordinate with the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the pro bono program to design spring and/or fall break programming for students to provide similar legal services to the residents of Kinston.

Published April 18, 2010 By CED Program Interns & Students

Adam Parker is a Masters in Public Administration student at UNC Chapel Hill and works as a Research Assistant in Lenoir County, North Carolina.

The past few months have been full of activity in Lenoir County. This update will bring readers up to speed on recent events and future activities of the Community Campus Partnership involving STEM education reforms, the Harvey Beech papers, student trips to Lenoir County to perform service projects, and a study of the direct health care workforce in Lenoir County.

STEM Progress

On Monday, April 12th, the Lenoir County STEM Design team met with NCSTEM staff, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) staff, and Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) staff. Lenoir’s vision of a “STEM Hub” was discussed and compared to STEM efforts in Texas (TSTEM) and the OSLN. TSTEM is a much different approach than the one envisioned by Lenoir County. TSTEM created, successfully, a large number of high performing high schools in Texas to meet anticipated demand for semiconductor and other high tech companies. Ohio approached the problem in a different way, hoping to build collaborative networks between institutions. Jan Morrison, the Executive Director of TIES, spoke of how Lenoir was well positioned to form these networks within the county and beyond.

After the larger meeting, a management team meeting was held discussing next steps for the Lenoir County STEM Design Team. This includes drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to gauge local interest and investment in the STEM project, taking trips to the Dan River Information Technology Academy (DRITA) and  the MC2STEM High School on a GE corporate campus in Ohio. Maurice Ferrell of the UNC Center for Public Technology will also help assist the Lenoir County STEM Design Team as they complete their MOU and then a business plan to build the STEM Hub organization.

Direct Health Care Workforce Study

This semester, several UNC students worked on a study regarding the direct health care workforce in Lenoir County and the potential for greater use of career ladders within this field. Direct care workers are the front-lines of health care, and include individuals working with the disabled, elderly, and others who cannot live without assistance. Their work is often low-pay and highly difficult, causing a large amount of turnover in the industry. In addition, this sector appears to be lacking clear channels for advancement.

A presentation was made to RHA Howell on Monday, April 5th by students from the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning and the Masters in Public Administration Program. The study included a survey of quantitative data in the region as well as several semi-structured interviews conducted with stakeholders in Lenoir County. Interviewees included:

Major findings of the report will be discussed in greater depth in a future blog post. The first iteration of the report centers around potential options to expand the WIN career ladder program in Lenoir County, including an internal growth model and an external county-wide approach. The report will be modified and re-presented to a larger regional audience this summer.

Harvey Beech Papers

Since the last blog post on this subject, some papers were collected and archived at the Southern Historical Collection (SHC) @ UNC. Below is an email from Tim West, Director of the SHC:

“Just to let you know that I met Pam Whaley Sunday morning at the Harris-Teeter near the NC 86/I-40 interchange(!)–she was en route to Atlanta–and she gave me a few items to start the Harvey Beech Papers in the SHC.  I’m glad to have something in hand… She said she’d be going back to Kinston in a couple months and would be in touch.

Thanks again for making this possible!
Tim”

Student Trips and Next Steps in Lenoir County

During the fall of 2008, numerous MPA students made the trip to Asheville, visiting numerous sites and learning the story of the city. Additionally, a service project was begun in the spring semester of that year with the Civics Education Consortium. Both projects were great, and I hope to combine these service projects with programmed learning in a community. While the project has not been identified as of yet, I envision MPA students and potentially other disciplines traveling to Kinston during fall and/or spring break to perform a service project with an identified deliverable at the end of the week. This can be any number of items, such as review of a Capital Improvement Plan. I also envision visits with Lenoir County Economic Development, Spirit Aerosystems, Mother Earth Brewing, and others.

In addition, the pro bono program at the UNC School of Law has done great work in other parts of Eastern North Carolina, sending over 20 students to New Bern and Greenville to provide low-income residents with legal services. Over the next couple of months, CCP will try to coordinate with the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the pro bono program to design spring and/or fall break programming for students to provide similar legal services to the residents of Kinston.

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