Skip to main content

Signs of Strain in Local Social Safety Nets in NC: Observations for CED Professionals

April 21, 2020

Not Normal CED professionals rely on nonprofits, large and small, for a huge array of services – or work for nonprofits directly. Small businesses value community connections and are frequent supporters in times of community need. After a typical disaster, nonprofits work next to first responders an … Read more

Student Corner: Durham’s Blueprint for Equitable Community Engagement

February 24, 2020

What started as community push-back on Durham’s proposed rails-to-trails development has turned into a model for standardizing equitable and inclusive engagement. Here’s how community concern about the Durham Belt Line resulted in a shift in culture development and the creation of Durham’s Equitable … Read more

The NC Workforce of Tomorrow: the Condition of Community College Students Today

January 21, 2020

The students at community college today represent the workforce available tomorrow.  If they are in trouble, it is a major red flag for CED professionals.  CED professionals need to understand the world of community college students if they are to help them develop into the workforce in the next ten … Read more

Managing Community and Economic Development Staff

May 16, 2019

This is part of a series of posts on the topic of leadership and management as applied to community and economic development, authored by UNC School of Government faculty member Willow Jacobson. Community and economic development (CED) professionals are often responsible for managing and coordinatin … Read more

The Rural Dimensions of Workforce Development

December 4, 2018

  Last month, a major three-volume book, Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers, was launched at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York[1].  This blog focuses on just one of the 90 chapters, The Rural Dimensions of Workforce Development[2]. The chapter make … Read more

New Report Examines the Nation’s Workforce Related to Water

September 25, 2018

Recently, the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution released a comprehensive report on the state of the workforce related to water in the United States—jobs tied to drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, green infrastructure, private wells, septic systems, plumbing, and other fie … Read more

Citizens Academies and Civic Infrastructure

August 14, 2018

A key conceptual cousin to community economic development is the idea of “civic infrastructure.” A recent article by University of San Diego professor Keith Pezzoli defines civic infrastructure as “formal and informal institutional as well as sociocultural means of connectivity used in knowledge–act … Read more

Preparing for a Presentation

May 8, 2018

This is part of a series of posts on the topic of leadership as applied to community and economic development, authored by UNC School of Government faculty member Willow Jacobson. We find ourselves in many situations in which we need to make a convincing argument — sometimes as part of a public pre … Read more

Lessons for CED from Europe: Housing, Job, Food, or Fuel Poverty…All Roads Lead to a Social Inclusion Model

January 16, 2018

For the past five months I served as a visiting scholar to the University of Ghent in Belgium.   The link between food insecurity, a particular focus on my work in North Carolina, and larger overall economic insecurity issues has been getting increased focus across a number of European countries. Be … Read more

What Barn Raising Looks Like in Petaluma, California

December 12, 2017

My last post argued that we should think of the role of local government in communities more in terms of “barn raising” than the more transactional metaphor of a vending machine. This idea was put forth in the great book Community and the Politics of Place by former Missoula, Montana mayor Daniel Ke … Read more