This work has a website all its own! Check it out at: https://coicruralcommunity.org/
Rural community and economic development is at the core of COIC’s mission. In the process of developing our 2017 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), we found that rural communities were lagging behind urban centers in economic development, and that some population groups were lagging behind in all communities, including women and BIPOC community members. In response, COIC started an ongoing conversation with our community partners to determine how we might help them bridge these gaps.
In 2017, COIC was awarded a Meyer Memorial Trust capacity-building grant to support community and economic development projects in four rural communities of Central Oregon, with the following goals:
- Work with rural community leaders to identify needed, tangible community and economic development projects.
- Guide and test new community outreach and engagement strategies, to ensure that projects are accountable to community priorities, successful implementation is more likely, and trust is improved between rural community members and local leaders.
- Include focused outreach and engagement efforts to populations that currently have less access to decision-making processes, including: Low-income, youth, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, and veterans.
- Increase local capacity to coordinate, build, and deliver on community goals for the future.
To achieve these goals, COIC formed a regional steering team to guide the project and a local team in each community. The steering team included COIC, Oregon’s Kitchen Table, Let’s Talk Diversity Coalition, and the Ford Family Foundation. Together, this team provided support, technical advising, and extra staff capacity to the local community building teams.