Initative Moves Into Phase II

2cwb 1CWB Working GroupSince May 2017 when the topic of Community Wealth Building, a systems approach to economic development, was introduced at our Innovation Breakfast Series event, the Community Foundation has been working with a robust team of community leaders to determine the best way to implement Community Wealth Building in our region.

In recent months, the team has completed Phase I of the project by selecting South Fairfax County as a focus geography, and low income youth and young adults, ages 16-24 as a focus population. The team also identified priority challenges and gaps in the system connecting young people entering careers with the supports to help them qualify for jobs and with opportunities that offer wealth-building features.

cwb 1CWB Working GroupIn order to make potential interventions more concrete, the group made recommendations from Phase I research. These included shorter-term steps to build on existing career pathways supports and longer-term initiatives to create business ownership opportunities by starting up social enterprises and promoting conversion of existing businesses to employee ownership.

Recently Community Wealth Building moved ahead with stakeholder meetings in South County. We continue to engage in Community Wealth Building, a systems approach to economic development in South County.

Over the past month, members of the Community Wealth Building team, who are also members of the Emerging Leaders Institute at Leadership Fairfax, have hosted and facilitated focus groups with low income youth and young adults, ages 16-24 for direct feedback and to gain a better understanding of their needs.

Over the next few weeks, Community Wealth Building project  volunteers will reach out to anchor institutions, small businesses, and community organizations  to raise awareness of and  determine the interest level of Community Wealth Building in South County. Meetings with various stakeholders will continue to allow us to test our understanding of the system we are working to improve.

democracycollaborative CMYK H2 lowres trans vvThe Community Foundation's relationships with business, nonprofit and governmental networks places it in an ideal position to facilitate community wealth building thereby giving Northern Virginia’s economically disadvantaged residents opportunities to attain financial success and economic stability.

For more information about our Community Wealth Building work or to get involved on the volunteer team, please contact Sari Raskin, sari.raskin@cfnova.org.