Leoneda Inge

Changing Economy Reporter

Leoneda Inge is WUNC's Changing Economy Reporter. She came to North Carolina in 2001 and has spent most of that time tracking job loss and other major changes in the state's Tobacco, Furniture, and Textile industries. In 2006, Leoneda and a team of journalists won an Alfred I. DuPont Award from Columbia University for the series - North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty.  

Leoneda has won several other first place awards - including three Gracie Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, several Associated Press Awards and a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.  

Leoneda has worked in commercial and public radio for many years and has produced reports for news magazines on NPR, Marketplace, and Voice of America.  Leoneda is a graduate of Florida A&M University.  In 1995, Leoneda was named a Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.  In 2008, she received her Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University where she was a Knight-Bagehot Journalism Fellow in Business and Economics.  In 2009, Leoneda traveled to Tokyo, Japan as a fellow with the Foreign Press Center.

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Business & Economy
2:24 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Fast Food Workers Shut Down Street in Durham, NC; 26 Arrested

Fast food workers wearing uniforms and 'Raise Up for $15' t-shirts sat in the middle of Morgan Street in downtown Durham.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Fast food workers in North Carolina rallied Thursday in support of a $15-an-hour minimum wage.  As in New York City, Detroit and Chicago, some workers chose civil disobedience.

Fast food workers came from Charlotte, Raleigh and other cities to lock arms with workers in Durham.  And at lunch time, right in the middle of Morgan Street, across from a McDonald’s, dozens of demonstrators sat down, and chanted.

“We can’t survive on $7.25! We can’t survive on $7.25!”

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Business & Economy
8:58 am
Thu September 4, 2014

NC Women Earnings High For South, Low For Nation

Angelina Koulizakis-Battiste, a known cook in Pittsboro, opened her own restaurant in the past five years, 'Angelina's Kitchen.'
Credit Leoneda Inge

North Carolina is in the middle of the pack nationwide when it comes to women’s employment and earnings.  That’s the latest from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

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Business & Economy
7:33 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Will Lack Of NC Business Incentives Push Lawmakers Back Into Session?

Credit Dave DeWitt

Leaders in economic development circles across the state are speaking out against the General Assembly's decision to end the short legislative session without passing an economic incentives package.

For the past decade, the state has used the Job Development Investment Grants program, or JDIG, to help lure large businesses to the state, but money in the fund could run out by late October.

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Business & Economy
7:28 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Solar Bright Spot In The NC Economy

The Erwin Solar Farm in Harnett County has operating life of over 30 years.
Credit Strata Solar

Strata Solar has constructed more than 60 clean energy projects across North Carolina, and they hosted a ribbon-cutting Thursday.

It’s just another example of how fast the solar sector is growing in the state.

Betsy McCorkle is Director of Government Relations for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.  She says solar represents $1.5 billion in investments across North Carolina, and growing.

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Business & Economy
9:24 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

NC Jobless Numbers Show Slow Economic Recovery

The July 2014 jobless rate shows little movement, little recovery.
Credit Thinglass / Shutterstock.com

North Carolina’s unemployment rate hasn’t moved much in the past several months as the state continues its slow trek towards job growth.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce reports a July jobless rate of 6.5 percent.  That’s one-tenth higher than the month before, but 1.6 percentage points lower than a year ago.

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Politics & Government
8:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Wake County Welcomes Millionth Resident

Wake County is close to having one million residents.
Credit www.wakegov.com

Wake County is celebrating a major milestone this week. Latest numbers show the county will welcome its one millionth resident.

So, bring out the pulled pork and the craft beer!  If calculations from the Census Bureau and the Carolina Population Center are correct, Wake County will have one million residents by Friday.

Phil Matthews is Chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

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Business & Economy
8:42 am
Mon August 18, 2014

NC Teachers Get Close-Up Look At German Work Education Model

Asheville High School Media Coordinator Michelle Mills visits Siemens Professional Education Center in Berlin.
Credit Leoneda Inge

North Carolina’s manufacturing story is old and complicated.  In just the past decade, the state has seen many traditional manufacturing operations shut down, devastating tens of thousands of workers and their families.

But this decade has also witnessed the growth of a new kind of manufacturing. Next Generation manufacturing is cleaner and more nimble and requires highly-skilled workers.  And you have to start early building a talented workforce.

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Business & Economy
7:29 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Mass Job Loss Connected To Suicidal Behavior

Duke study says girls and African American teens experience spike in suicide-related behavior when there is major job loss in their communities.
Credit www.teensuicideprevention.org

A new study out of Duke University shows there is a direct correlation between mass job layoffs and a spike in suicide-related behavior among girls and African American teenagers.

Anna Gassman-Pines found when 1 percent of a state’s working population lost their jobs, suicide-related behaviors increased by 2 to 3 percentage points among girls and black adolescents in the following year. 

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Business & Economy
12:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday From Texas To Maryland, But Not In NC

All the states surrounding North Carolina have a Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.
Credit waaytv.com

This weekend would normally be North Carolina’s Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.  But that ended last year.  The state Retail Merchants Association is asking business owners to track sales anyway.

The state legislature’s argument for doing away with the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday was it cost North Carolina $13 million dollars in lost sales tax revenue.

But supporters of the popular sales tax holiday say consumers saved $13 million dollars.

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Business & Economy
1:38 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

'SPENT', Hit Game About Money And Resources, Goes Mobile

Screen-shot from the Spent videogame.

In 2011, a new videogame premiered that not many expected would be a hit. The game is called Spent and it is about surviving homelessness.

Spent is a collaboration  between Urban Ministries of Durham and the interactive firm, McKinney.

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