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.

Ways to Connect

Millennials
Kenan Flagler Blog

It’s been a tough job market for the young worker since the last recession and economic downturn.  Many in that under-35 age group have been squeezed out for lack of experience or credentials.

But a growing number of companies are seeing the benefits of hiring Millennial workers.  Two North Carolina companies in the Triangle stand out.

It’s hard to keep up with all the “best places to work” lists that include analytics software giant SAS.

Fayetteville State University, Nursing Program, FSU
Fayetteville State University

North Carolina has more nursing schools and programs than most states its size.  So when Fayetteville State University suspended its Bachelor’s Degree nursing program in 2009, it was a big deal for the state and the school.

Today, the nursing program is open and admitting students.  In fact, the first class of graduates have all passed their national board exam.

There's a radio ad playing on Fayetteville's commercial stations.

A teenager locking down a summer job as a lifeguard used to be a big deal.

But this summer, several parks and recreation departments and YMCA's across the country are reporting a shortage of lifeguards. And an improving economy may be playing a big role.

The Ridge Road swimming pool in Raleigh, N.C. is packed. There are easily 200 people here competing in a swim meet, some of them as young as 5 years old.

Minimum Wage, Home Care Workers
Leoneda Inge

From California to New York, a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour is becoming more of a reality.  Durham workers rallied Thursday in support.

Most of the people rallying outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Downtown Durham were longtime home care and child care workers, like Tolanda Barnette.   Barnette says after more than a decade of working in child care in North Carolina, she still only makes $10 an hour.

“We do the hardest and the most work in the child care center and we are the least and most underpaid," said Barnette.

Produce, Shopping, Grocery Stores
www.usda.gov

A new study out of Duke University shows people shopping with reusable bags often make surprising choices.

Bryan Bollinger is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He says they examined the habits of close to 900 families who shopped at a California supermarket. Bollinger says here’s what happened if they shopped with their own, reusable bag.

Lucille Ervin, Durham, St. Mark AME Zion
Leoneda Inge

There was a special birthday celebration for one of Durham’s long-time residents Tuesday.

Lucille Ervin turned 108 years old.  About 30 people gathered on the lawn of St. Mark AME Zion Church to wish her well and sing "Happy Birthday".

Ervin moved to North Carolina from South Carolina 80 years ago.  And she’s been here ever since.  She was born in Charleston and raised by an Aunt and Uncle who lived on land handed down by their slave owners, according to Dorothy Fuller, Ervin's cousin.

Durham Art, Mariott City Center, Durham Sculpture
Leoneda Inge

Durham community leaders, artists and residents are working to make sure downtown remains people-friendly as it grows.

After a year of getting to know Durhamites, award-winning Landscape Architect and Environmental Artist Mikyoung Kim presented an art infused vision plan for downtown Durham.  Kim’s job was to connect the corridor between the Old Durham Bulls Ballpark and the new one.

Google Fiber, Google, Internet Construction
Google Fiber

Folks in the Triangle cheered when Google announced it was bringing ultra-high-speed internet and TV service to the area.  Google officials say now it’s time for patience as they start digging up and building new infrastructure to accommodate the technology.

A lot of lobbying and planning went into the Triangle and Charlotte being chosen for Google Fiber, which can deliver data 100 times faster than your basic Internet service.

Governor Pat McCrory was one of the biggest cheerleaders at the announcement five months ago.

Deborah Woodward, St. Paul AME Church, Piano, Vigil
Leoneda Inge

Hundreds of people of multiple colors and creeds filled St. Paul AME Church in Chapel Hill Friday.  It was a vigil to remember the slain members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Vivian Howard, Cynthia Hill, A Chef's Life
Leoneda Inge

Kinston is the heart of Lenoir County in eastern North Carolina.  Longtime residents say it was heart-breaking to see their hometown fall apart as traditional industries like textiles and tobacco disappeared.  But during the past decade a new, more diverse economic landscape has developed. 

One person who is getting a lot of credit for helping to transform her hometown of  Kinston is Chef Vivian Howard.

Nothing brings Kinston residents together like the annual BBQ Festival on the Neuse.

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