We Listened. This is what you said.
In September 2021, the Carolina Across 100 team conducted a survey to stakeholders across the state. The survey primarily targeted leaders in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to gauge the impacts of COVID-19 on their organizations and in their communities. The response was overwhelming. We heard from over 4,000 people, resulting in almost 3,000 usable surveys. This includes input from individuals living in, working in, and serving all 100 North Carolina counties.
Survey questions focused on long-standing challenges exacerbated by and new challenges associated with COVID-19. The survey also asked about expected long-term effects of the pandemic, expectations about the timing of ongoing impacts, and the populations that have been most impacted by COVID-19. What we have uncovered so far indicates deep, lingering worries about the effects of this pandemic.
Survey questions focused on long-standing challenges exacerbated by and new challenges associated with COVID-19. The survey also asked about expected long-term effects of the pandemic, expectations about the timing of ongoing impacts, and the populations that have been most impacted by COVID-19.
Our comprehensive report provides an overview of the findings and insights from the first phase of the Carolina Across 100 initiative and describes next steps for the work that lies ahead.
Certain issues are clearly of greatest concern. These include employment instability, loss of small businesses, risk of business closures, and educational disruptions, which repeatedly rise to the top of our survey rankings as the areas of greatest challenge for communities.
These are also the issue areas that respondents expect will have the longest-term impacts on their communities. In other words, the issues that are having the most negative effects on communities now and they are also issues that may have the most lasting effects on communities.
While no one has been spared from the devastation of the pandemic, some individuals have been disproportionately affected. Survey respondents indicated that working class individuals, people of color, and mothers were among those most affected by COVID.
There is still significant work ahead in the next phases of the Carolina Across 100 initiative.
Carolina Across 100 is ready to partner with communities across North Carolina as we begin this first program and dive deeper into the research and collaboration. With the help of the Carolina Engagement Council, our first program will launch in March 2022. A request for proposals will be announced, inviting communities to apply to join this collaborative work.
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