More in NC moving to non-profit sector

In this changing and challenging economy, a new report says more North Carolinians are going to work in the non-profit sector.

In the early eighties Camilla Herlevich worked as an assistant district attorney in wake county. After a frustrating year and a half watching repeat offenders get recycled through the justice system, she decided to find something more fulfilling. She now works for the North Carolina coastal land trust, a non-profit that conserves natural resources.

“It’s very rewarding,” Herlevich said. “There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes at the end of the day from having done something that’s going to make a better world for your kids.”

Herlevich represents a growing segment of North Carolina’s workforce. Between 1995 and 2003, nonprofit employment in North Carolina grew by 35.4 percent. That’s a rate of growth six times that of the business sector during the same period.

In fact, one in 18 North Carolina workers is employed by a non profit. That’s six percent of the state’s workforce.

One reason the non-profit sector may be growing so rapidly is the need for essential services like education and healthcare, which Herlevich says the government is having a harder and harder time providing.

“These services are needed, they are necessary,” Herlevich said.

There’s also an added economic benefit. Non-profit organizations like the coastal land trust that aim to improve North Carolina’s quality of life can help draw employers to the region. In turn, that creates more jobs and provides an economic boost for North Carolina.

The average weekly paycheck for a nonprofit worker was four percent lower than in the business sector and eleven percent lower than in state government

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