A Commitment to Global North Carolina

A letter from Executive Director Rick Van Sant:

There can be no doubt that the United States finds itself in a period of changing and evolving global relationships. Actions taken by the leadership of our country have resulted in uncertainty about how we relate to the world. Many North Carolina residents question how these changes will affect them and what this means for our country’s, and state’s, engagement around the world.

Learning to navigate a changing world is essential to our progress. Despite the many questions and the challenges faced in this rapidly-changing climate, Go Global NC remains steadfast in our nonpolitical mission to bring North Carolina to the world and the world to North Carolina. We see opportunities for our great state to build on valuable relationships and create new ones that will continue growing North Carolina as the best place to live, work, study, visit, and call home.

Today in our state:

  • More than 240,000 North Carolinians report to work at a foreign-owned company.
  • International exports from North Carolina were worth $30 billion dollars as of 2015.
  • 11% of North Carolinians speak a language other than English at home.
  • 1 out of every 5 jobs in our state is now related to international trade.
  • We have gone from 360 students to over 14,000 studying Mandarin Chinese, one of the many languages studied by 22% of North Carolina’s K-12 students.

The question of should North Carolina engage with the world has been answered – it must and already has. The question now is how North Carolina can expand on its success in collaborating and competing with the rest of the world.

For the past 35 years, one of Go Global NC’s focuses has been empowering North Carolina’s leadership in its efforts to find success through becoming more globally literate and culturally competent. We have seen firsthand how this new understanding has led to informed decisions in today’s diverse and globally connected society. We at Go Global NC remain passionately committed to the work of opening minds and growing awareness. We ask you to join us by being an advocate for economic opportunity, strong communities, globally-relevant schools, and acceptance that there can be no turning back from our future, a future that reflects our roots as a compassionate, open, and caring place… a place all North Carolinians can call home.

Rick Van Sant
Executive Director, Go Global NC

To learn more about North Carolina’s global interactions, visit www.northcarolina.edu/snapshot or subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.