“Poverty affects individuals and families who lack the ability to provide for the means that are necessary to sustain a healthy and civically engaged life. It is for this purpose that the common and primary goal for community development programs should be improving individual and family wealth. Doing so empowers people to become self-reliant and actively engaged within the community, contributing tangible and intangible benefits. This should not be seen as merely job creation or skills training; it must be more far reaching. People must be given equal opportunities and choices for individual successes in order to become self-reliant, self-determined and self-empowered. This type of workforce development becomes a multi-faceted effort and at times may not look like the traditional ‘workforce development’ program.
Instead, decision makers must choose to look through a wide lens to recognize the intricate web that poverty has woven. It is at this point that the holistic approach becomes accepted as a realistic approach. Workforce development becomes the means to poverty reduction. Neighborhood revitalization can then begin to empower its residents producing a stronger community and region. Workforce development becomes part of economic development and vice versa–all in an effort to improve individual and family wealth” (p.4). The author examined the four vital capitals – physical, human, social, cultural – that community and neighborhoods possess and suggested that when these are combined, they become “neighborhood capital” that can lead to economic development, and therefore also workforce development. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)
Full publication title: Neighborhood Capital: A Multidisciplinary Holistic Approach to Neighborhood Revitalization Through Workforce and Economic Development
Major Findings & Recommendations
“There is an enormous amount of information on the national and state levels that shows why there is such a need for quality local workforce and economic development. State and local governments are in positions to become policy and program incubators for the nation, providing model initiatives; this can be recognized through the small sampling of programs…mentioned. Inspiration can be derived from such programs when developing site-specific initiatives. The building of platforms for collaboration, public awareness and support will lead to an all-important public investment –the community’s acknowledgement of the importance of collective efforts. A combination of needs-and asset-based approach can provide what may be considered unconventional, but appears to be a common sense approach that has been overlooked by policy makers” (p.39-40). (Abstractor: Author)