Read the results of our 2016 survey!
Looking ahead, what issue(s) do you see as having a positive impact on the welfare of the communities you serve and why? Be as specific as possible. The selected quotes below represent issues written verbatim by respondents.
“Focus on public and private sector financial grant funding support for entrepreneurship and innovation programs and initiatives for small business creation in blighted communities and vulnerable neighborhoods to fund solutions created by local law-abiding Americans and local entities who live in communities they love and [have] seen moved from solid middle class communities to lower middle and sometimes now high poverty communities."
—Urban/MSA Community Development Nonprofit
"Increased awareness that specific interventions can improve financial well-being and need to be integrated into the existing service delivery system (examples: EITC outreach, free tax prep, financial education/coaching, benefits screening).”
“As the unemployment rate remains low in this region and the apprenticeship programs continue to gain acceptance with local employers, these programs offer the likelihood that these participants will have the upgraded skills that employers require for the job openings that currently exist.”
—Local Economic Development Authority
“The availability of long-term, low-cost capital to finance community development projects through the CDFI Fund, financial institutions, and foundations will have the most positive impact on the communities we serve enabling the development of vibrant, sustainable, economically resilient communities.”
—Community Development Financial Institution
“The development and deployment of new and innovative financing schemes to help solve public and social problems, including, but not limited to, ‘pay for success’ and other such models.”
—Small/medium Established Company
“Our community is no longer considered to be the most unhealthy community in the U.S. [T]hanks to the efforts of our medical and recreational facilities and a strong movement within our community to move to a healthier lifestyle.”
—Habitat for Humanity Affiliate
Looking ahead, what issue(s) do you see as having a negative impact on the welfare of the communities you serve and why? Be as specific as possible. The selected quotes below represent issues written verbatim by respondents.
“A snapshot would include exclusion or omission of state resources and support for programs within academic institutions (or institutions themselves) that discourage or do not encourage academic and/or CTE access and support for people of color, women, and special populations. Simply stated, without resources and access to mid-high skill training and credentials (in their many forms), people will become unemployable in our ever evolving, emerging industries environment. This strategically puts America at a competitive disadvantage in the global market.”
—Nonprofit Public Foundation for Education & Workforce Policy
"There is a downward spiral in the local communities’ ability to attract high-wage technically skilled employers. There has been a reluctance from elected officials to adopt and fund a long-term strategic plan to support growth and development in targeted areas. The manufacturing base has further deteriorated in the last 10 years, and with it, the diminishing of middle-income job opportunities. … The largest town in the county imports about a tenth of its workforce but many of the jobs are linked to the tourism/hospitality and health care industry with lower wages. The fire companies have a difficult time recruiting volunteers because the younger population moves out of the area for higher and better employment opportunities. Many of the teachers, local government workers, and police officers cannot afford to live in the area and commute into the county for work.”
—Local Economic Development Authority
“Too many in this community are seeing ‘hopeless’ adults and are following their footsteps. ‘Hopeless’ as in low-skilled workers who cannot compete for the available jobs due to lack of skills or education. There are too few jobs that inspire people to build careers. There is a lack of technical education at the high school level to help inspire young people to start businesses in trades. They need to see and have a chance to try various jobs and try out skills and then an opportunity for training, including certifications for important but ‘less glamorous’ jobs (machinists, welders, plumbers, electricians).”
—Local Housing Authority
“Development that prices poor people out of communities. With the improved economy, what were once undesirable communities for development are attracting new investments. On it’s surface this investment would appear to be welcomed, but the resulting development is forcing (pricing) the long-time residents out of the community. The phenomenon is destroying the culture in once stable communities.”
—Community Economic Development Trade Association
“The lack of quality affordable childcare for all economic levels. Our larger businesses cannot grow without affordable quality childcare for recruits. Our single parents cannot afford childcare and our dual income families cannot find childcare and sometimes affordability is prohibitive. One dual income family pays $19,000 for two children under the age of 4. Our childcare workers are not paid a livable wage. This is a huge issue in our community.”
—Chamber of Commerce
“West Virginia’s economic strength has been on the decline for some time as the coal industry has been in decline. Now, 94% of the state has been declared a disaster area due to flooding in late June. Where there will perhaps be a short-term uptick in the economy due to insurance funds coming in to rebuild, I do have a concern about the longer-term effects of the double whammy of declining jobs in coal and coal related industries with the widespread flooding. West Virginia has already been experiencing a net outbound migration of population. I believe current conditions may prompt others to give serious consideration to leaving the state in search of better career/life options.”