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Darts and Laurels: Grant will help those with criminal records

Laurels to Tuesday’s announcement that Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will receive $400,000 to train former inmates and help them return to the workforce.

More specifically, the grant, awarded by the NC Works Local Innovation Fund will create a new “RE-Build Your Future” project that will provide assistance and training for in-demand jobs in the construction and trucking industries. The two-year program is designed to serve 200 individuals in Rowan and Cabarrus counties.

We hear stories of employers having a tough time filling openings, whether because of a failed drug test or that there are simply not enough qualified applicants. If there are people eager to fill open jobs but held back by a criminal record and a lack of training, the grant announced Tuesday should help.

As Gov. Roy Cooper said in a visit to Kannapolis Tuesday, “We know that there are thousands of people coming out of our jails and prisons, coming back into society every year. I think all of us want them to be productive citizens.”

Dart to naked partisanship and the continued failure by both sides of the aisle to take meaningful steps toward nonpartisan redistricting when they hold the majority in Raleigh.

Last week, a judge ruled that constitutional amendments approved by voters, in part, were not valid because of gerrymandered districts in the N.C. General Assembly.

While there are valid arguments that the ruling goes against the will of the people, the solution seems simple — create a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

Laurel to the Rowan-Salisbury School Board for digging deep into data as it comes closer to making decisions about redistricting.

It’s not new that the school board is working closely with a consultant to understand how students might be affected by various redistricting scenarios. That’s a basic requirement of the process.

But this week, the school board, at the request of Superintendent Lynn Moody, heard a presentation from the Rowan County Planning Department that school enrollment is shrinking as some areas of our county are growing.

Amid discussion of closures, consolidation, redistricting and renewal, we stand at the precipice of a transformational time for our school system. The school board and other decision makers must understand the full picture if what comes next will change our county for the better.

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