Triangle Business Journal Apr. 4, 2007

North Carolina programs make Harvard list

Harvard University has included a trio of North Carolina programs in its annual list of the "Top 50 Government Innovations."

The state's Learn and Earn initiative, Community Care program and Ecosystem Enhancement Program all ranked among the top 50.

Harvard's Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation in the John F. Kennedy School of Government selects 50 of the nation's most innovative government programs that link citizens with public services.

Under the state's Learn and Earn initiative, students have the opportunity to attend five years of high school and attain both a high school diploma and an associate's degree or two years of university credit at no cost.

North Carolina's Community Care program is a physician-led, Medicaid-managed care program of local provider networks serving nearly 750,000 patients. The networks improve quality and access to care while attempting to save money.

The state's Ecosystem Enhancement Program proactively compensates for unavoidable environmental damage to North Carolina's wetlands and waterways. The program restores, enhances and protects natural resources and promotes "responsible economic growth."

All 50 of the programs selected by Harvard are semifinalists for the Innovations at American Government Awards and are eligible to win one of seven $100,000 grants.