Hometown Strong is an initiative that offers a more personal and hands-on approach for state government’s reaction to the needs of North Carolina’s rural communities. Hometown Strong creates a partnership between state agencies and local leaders to champion rural communities. The effort leverages state and local resources, identifies ongoing projects and community needs, and implements focused plans to boost the economy, improve infrastructure and strengthen North Carolina’s hometowns.
When the Coronavirus Pandemic hit North Carolina in March 2020 and k-12 school was disrupted, State government began a rapid response effort. As part of that response, remote learning has become a critical public health measure in maintaining social distance and continuing to educate our young people. Hometown Strong, the Department of Information Technology, the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the Governor’s Education Advisor and the NC Business Committee for Education lead a partnership of state agencies and private organizations to rapidly connect students with remote learning under the banner of NC Student Connect.
Connecting to remote learning requires action on at least three levels:
- providing access to high-speed internet to every k-12 student and teacher outside the classroom,
- lowering the cost of connection, and
- providing support services for use of remote learning platforms.
The following are resources to assist with navigating remote learning and other helpful information.
Hometown Strong will expand its partnerships to serve all 80 counties immediately. In addition to our regular support of local priorities, Hometown Strong will work with the new NC Pandemic Recovery Office to focus on key initiatives that help small towns and rural areas recover from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. During a time when large in-person meetings are no longer advisible, Hometown Strong will combine the use of socially distanced one-on-one visits and online meeting tools to build and maintain partnerships with rural communities.