Celebrating Our Community's Response

Leading on Opportunity

When Charlotte was ranked last among major US cities in economic mobility for children, our community took action. Although we still have a very long way to go, our commitment is already showing tangible results.

The Impact of Segregation

  • On the Table CLT, funded by the Knight Foundation, convened 6,000 residents to discuss the impact of segregation in October 24, 2018.

Early Care and Education

  • Mecklenburg County increased its budget for early care and education by $15 million.
  • $9 million was earmarked for free, high quality pre-K, resulting in 33 new classrooms serving 600 additional children.
  • The Board of County Commissioners is crafting next year's budget with a larger commitment to universal pre-K.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools partnered with a Harvard professor to improve early literacy.
  • The Howard Levine Child Development Center opened, providing quality care to more than 100 young students.

College and Career Readiness

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools new career outreach program quadrupled the number of students receiving industry certifications to 2,500 over the past two years.
  • The Charlotte Executive Leadership Council partnered with Charlotte Works and Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont to launch customer service and construction training programs.
  • Central Piedmont Community College, with the support of 22 major donors, launched the Opportunity Scholarship Initiative for students from high-poverty Charlotte Mecklenburg high schools.
  • The workforce training nonprofit Year Up launched a site in Charlotte, preparing students for entry-level technology and customer-facing roles.

Child and Family Stability

  • Voters overwhelmingly approved tripling the City's Housing Trust Fund.
  • Foundation For The Carolinas launched a private housing fund. To date, the private sector has donated XXXX million, plus an additional XXXX million in other support of affordable housing efforts.
  • Novant Health and Atrium Health raised their minimum wage to $12.50 and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools increased wages for bus drivers to $15.00 per hour.
  • Foundation For The Carolinas, Mitchell's Fund and the Children's Medical Fund reported on gaps in mental health resources. In response, Thompson opened three new residential programs.
  • Charlotte Area Transit Systems implemented a new bus grid system, which has reduced commute times by 15%.

Social Capital

  • Communities in Schools launched their "All in for Social Capital" campaign, resulting in new paid internships opportunities.

Our Efforts Are Igniting Change.

  • Charlotte City Council mapped its budget to the report's recommendations.
  • United Way of Central Carolinas realigned its focus, investing more than $13 million in economic mobility.
  • The Charlotte Executive Leadership Council structured its work to align with Leading on Opportunity's strategies and recommendations.
  • Harvard University's Economic Opportunity Institute has selected Charlotte as a pilot city, using big data to inform policy and philanthropic decisions.
  • Charlotte is participating in Living Cities' Project on Municipal Innovations, which supports innovations in city government to improve the lives of residents.
  • Multiple stakeholders have committed millions to directly support economic mobility programs and initiatives.