Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has received a $3 million grant to launch a new center to study the barriers to economic mobility in East Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

The WSSU Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) will serve as a hub for faculty research, undergraduate student research scholarship, and community outreach. The grant comes from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Center for Advancing Opportunity, an initiative supported by The Charles Koch Foundation and Koch Industries.

Children from low-income families in Forsyth County are less likely to move up the income ladder as adults compared to kids almost anywhere else in the United States, according to a study by economist Raj Chetty. Only two counties in South Dakota are worse. Even residents in neighboring counties Yadkin, Stokes and Surry have better economic mobility outcomes.

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Originally written September 7, 2017.