The services we provide to individuals and families in our four-county service area are designed to improve their lives. In the beginning of 2019 Community Action staff and Board of Directors began the work of updating the agency’s Vision and 2-year Strategic Plan. As the work progressed, it became obvious that technology and data would play an ever-increasing role not only in the work we do, but also in the lives of the community we serve. Community Action recognizes this and takes it into account during program design.
The agency’s pilot program for developing staff credentials in education is one great example. The program allows an on-line platform, with on-site instructors that enable staff to receive credentials almost 50% faster than some models. In order to address the digital divide barriers, technology is provided for the participants so that low-income community members can thrive.
In addition, technology can sometimes create isolation and the ability to take a step back from a person and their direct problem. Here at Community Action, we take pride in building relationships with those who we serve. Answering the phone, having in person intake, and helping to bring in the grocery bags are the some of the actions that build relationships and set us apart in our service delivery. Community Action’s results speak to how we are creating opportunities in challenging times.
Beginning in 2019 we have taken on the management of Kalamazoo County’s service area for Community Action programming. We are working to build efficiencies, put best practices to work across our service areas and build programming and relationships that can best utilize public and private investment to serve the community and make it stronger.
Our goal for the new year is to utilize data and technology to tell our story and advocate alongside the clients we serve. We look forward to the challenges and opportunities next year brings!