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How should the South — and in particular North Carolina — respond to stunning evidence of sluggish upward mobility, even in its most economically robust cities?  The question posed a challenge to the nine-person research team at MDC, the Durham-based nonprofit at which I am a “senior fellow,” as we developed the 2014 State of the South report.  

The complex answer that emerged became encapsulated in the phrase: “infrastructure of opportunity.” That State of the South report focused on bolstering the life-prospects of 15- to 24-year-olds through strengthening the education-to-career continuum. MDC also published a companion report on education and economic mobility in North Carolina with a look at

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