I recently attended the WealthWorks training for coaches and coordinators in Pendle Hill, PA. I was not sure what to expect and was excited to learn about “value chains” and how this could enhance and expand the work I am currently doing in rural communities.
As a WealthWorks “coach,” I am eager to use this framework with the communities I work with. This demand driven approach is comprehensive and encourages looking at the opportunities available in changing rural landscapes. Linking market demand to community assets makes so much sense and is in complete alignment with assisting rural communities design and create their futures.
Many impoverished rural areas desperately seek change but are not sure of how to go about creating it. The WealthWorks model brings to light communities assets and pushes you to think about how they can be leveraged to create not only jobs but wealth for rural residents.
As I work in rural areas, I primarily focus on assisting communities improve their housing stock in quality, diversity and affordability. The WealthWorks model pushes you to look beyond the immediate community’s needs to long term opportunities by finding the nexus between market demand and community assets. This encompassing model brings both local and regional partners to the table discussing how to leverage opportunities and turn the tide of diminishing assets in rural communities.
Carol Cohen, Rural Development Specialist, Utah
Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) | Housing & Community
Note: Carol Cohen is a participant in the first WealthWorks Training session, which runs December 2013 to September 2014. We're delighted to share the perspectives and experiences of our colleagues and partners participating in WealthWorks Trainings. You can read more about the trainings at our WealthWorks page.