Why inclusive economy?

More opportunities for more people.

Research and community input tell us that Forsyth County, N.C., has been plagued by barriers to living-wage employment, pockets of concentrated poverty, lack of investment in effective public transportation, and poor coordination of community resources. That’s why we’ve decided to focus our Local Impact in Forsyth County efforts on addressing these root-cause, systemic issues. We’re partnering with our community to build capacity, so members raise their voices to share challenges and ideas, and play a fundamental role in developing solutions.

 

Our Goals

Build will for economic mobility through systems change.

What we know: Economic mobility is a central part of what is known as the “American Dream.” Still, children who grow up in low-income families in Forsyth County have less upward economic mobility than virtually any other county in the country.

What we do: We work with the community to identify and support high-impact policies and programs that connect excluded groups to greater economic opportunities, as workers, consumers, and business owners. We’re focusing on residents that are working, but still have difficulty earning enough to support themselves and their families.

 

Increase education and economic advancement of parents of young children.

What we know: Children cannot thrive in homes where their parents struggle to make ends meet. Conversely, parents with low incomes cannot succeed without meaningful support for their children.

What we do: Using a two-generation approach, we are exploring investments that will improve the probability for economic mobility of children by supporting the educational attainment and career advancement of parents. Working with our Great Expectations early childhood initiative, we are aligning efforts to advance outcomes and opportunities for families with low incomes in Forsyth County.

Increase the number of disconnected youth who move into living wage jobs.

What we know: Forsyth County’s disconnected youth—young people aged 16-24 who are not in school and not working—totals approximately 14% of the County’s population. These young adults may be parents or likely to become parents, yet few resources seem to be focused on this group.

What we do: We’re developing ways to launch the next generation through systemic, multisectoral opportunities. We’re supporting evidence-informed and evidence-based programs focused on improving job information accessibility and connection of youth to employers, community-based research and evaluation of existing programs to identify and correct gaps in programs that may be inhibiting success, as well as innovative approaches for grassroots community-based organizations who have been marginalized.

Pre-K Classroom

Maintaining the safety net.

What we know: Many resources exist in Forsyth County to help those who are struggling to make ends meet. However, these services are  often under-publicized and underutilized. Better coordination of safety net resources could increase the future economic stability of those needing crisis support.

What we do: We’re working to create resiliency to shocks and stresses, experienced by people with low incomes. We’ve developed a funding strategy to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the local safety net system via coordination and alignment.

 

Updates and Reports

ncImpact

The Trust engaged ncIMPACT to give advice on developing an overall strategy for its Local Impact Funding. The ncIMPACT team analyzed demographic data, the results of an electronic survey of Forsyth residents and workers, and comments recorded during interviews and focus groups to distill the county’s present challenges.

Funding Opportunities

Find out what we’re funding now.

Past Funding Opportunities

The following funding opportunities are no longer accepting applications.

Maintaining the Safety Net

The Trust has long supported safety net organizations in Forsyth County to ensure people have access to basic human needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. As we shift our work toward building an inclusive economy for all, we also will continue to support the strengthening of the safety net so that no one falls behind.

Our Team

Program Officer

Project Manager