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Commission Capsule - October 2, 2012
The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners met October 2, 2012 and received an update from the Arts & Science Council on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg pilot project called the Center for Arts and Technology.

The Arts & Science Council (ASC) is leading an effort to create a local Center for Arts and Technology site, modeled after the nationally recognized curriculum and program of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) in Pittsburgh PA. The National Center for Arts and Technology (NCAT) was created in 2005 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3)subsidiary of MBC to oversee the replication of Centers for Arts and Technology around the nation. NCAT model uses art, technology and other after-school instruction as a means of reducing high school dropouts. NCAT also provides adult workforce training to build employment skills. The NCAT has been replicated successfully in Cincinnati, Grand Rapids and San Francisco.

This local initiative is being launched in response to a feasibility study completed on behalf of ASC and Mecklenburg County, and is funded in part by Mecklenburg County. Under the direction of the ASC in partnership with other community agencies including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), the local initiative is starting with a focus on drop out intervention and prevention. Called, Studio 345, the free, local after-school program will launch in mid-October at Spirit Square. Eleven teaching artists and a program coordinator (all part-time) have been hired for the program. All teaching artists and the program coordinator have been trained by NCAT staff either in Pittsburgh or Charlotte. The first semester target was to enroll 64 high school students. Program staff has done recruiting at all 20 CMS high schools, with 90 students registered, representing 17 different schools and resulting in a potential waiting list.

Medicaid Waiver Update
The Board also received an update from staff regarding MeckLink's progress in implementing the Medicaid Waiver and converting to a Managed Care Organization (MCO).  Philip Endress, the newly appointed director of the County’s mental health department, now called Mecklenburg County MeckLINK Behavioral Healthcare made the presentation. Mecklenburg County applied for and received State approval to manage Medicaid services through a system of care for consumers and providers. Under the waiver, the County receives a fixed amount of funding to manage behavioral health services for Medicaid recipients. View a PowerPoint Presentation about the County Medicaid Waiver here.

Watch streaming video of the Phil Endress Presentation here.

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