extensionevents

Innovations in Workforce Development Webinar- Thursday February 16, 2016 11 am- 12 pm

Economic Development Strategy Tapas Webinar Series

Workforce development is one of the foundations of successful local and regional economic development strategies.   Local, new and emerging businesses need a well-trained and accessible labor force. In light of recent industry location decisions in the state, more than ever, communities are recognizing the importance of talent in keeping and attracting business in a global economy.  Attend this webinar to learn more about the key factors affecting Connecticut’s workforce and examples of how communities are innovating to build on existing assets.

Download the PDF of the presentation here

Attend this webinar to learn:

  • What’s happening in Connecticut’s labor market
  • Collaborative and innovative strategies for workforce development
  • How workforce development can grow collaboration and support businesses in your region

Agenda

  • Overview of the Workforce in Connecticut – Patrick Flaherty, Assistant Director of Research, Connecticut Department of Labor Office of Research and Information Connecticut Department of Labor
  • Eastern Connecticut Workforce Pipeline Mark Hill Chief Operating Officer Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board, Inc.
  • Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc Bridgeport Adrienne Farrar Houel, President & CEO The Green Team; Park City Green; Next Chapter Books

 

This is a free webinar co-sponsored by the Connecticut Economic Development Association and UConn as part of the “CEDAS Academy” Economic Strategy Series.. The audience will be economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, planners, community development professionals, and community leaders.

 

 

UConn Extension’s First Impressions Community Exchange Program accepting applications for Spring 2017

 

First Impressions Community Exchange Program “great reminder of what matters”

1ST IMPRESSIONS LOGO NO TAG FINAL CroppedTightAs a new holiday season approaches, most of us know how hard it is to take time off from our commitments and busy schedules to do something new. But recent research by organizational psychologists and neurologists finds that having new experiences – new sounds, sights, or smells – changes our perspective, sparks creativity and even builds new neural pathways in our brains. A new program called the First Impressions Community Exchange aims to bring these benefits to communities across the state by providing a “fresh set of eyes” on community challenges. The program, sponsored by the University of Connecticut-Extension in partnership with the Connecticut Main Street Center, is a structured community assessment designed to help communities learn about their strengths and shortcomings through the eyes of first-time visitors. Participation in the program requires a volunteer commitment and a $200 application fee. Applications are being accepted through December 15, 2016 for communities interested in participating in an exchange in the Spring of 2016.

How It Works

Once communities are accepted they are matched with a similar community or neighborhood in terms of size, location, amenities or natural features. Both communities agree to recruit volunteer teams of 4-8 people, participate in training, conduct unannounced visits and report on their findings within a timeline of 3-4 months. Participants become “secret shoppers” for the day and follow procedures to document their visit using a guidebook and uploading photos and comments. The guidebook ensures that evaluations and reports are thorough and uniform and requires minimal training. Reports from the program are often used as part of broader community assessment or planning processes to inform community policy and action.

Hundreds of communities across the U.S. and Canada have implemented the First Impressions Program since it was developed by the University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension in the early 1990s. The program was introduced in Connecticut in 2015 and four communities – Canton, Putnam, Windsor Locks and Portland – have participated in pilot exchanges. As a result of the program, communities often gain a new perspective on their own assets, learn about small changes that can make a big difference, or replicate development projects that other communities have used successfully. According to one Connecticut team member it was “…a great reminder of what matters; of the opportunity for enhancing what we have. I’m reminded that one town shouldn’t try to be like another in all cases. Each town has its unique assets.”

Communities interested in participating can learn more and download the short application form at http://communities.extension.uconn.edu/firstimpressions/. For more information contact Laura Brown UConn Extension, laura.brown@uconn.edu, 203-207-0063 or Susan Westa, CT Main Street Center, susan@ctmainstreet.org, 860-280-2032.

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More information about the first Impressions Program including community reports, can be found at http://communities.extension.uconn.edu/firstimpressions/

 

About UConn Extension
Over 100 UConn Extension specialists work in communities across Connecticut as educators, problem solvers, catalysts, collaborators and stewards. To many Connecticut residents they are the face of UConn. Our eight regional Extension Centers, the Sea Grant program at Avery Point, the 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm, the Home and Garden Education Center and the UConn Extension office in Storrs all collaborate to fulfill our land grant university’s third mission of outreach and public engagement.

UConn Extension’s off campus classrooms include: high-tech greenhouses, coastal estuaries, elementary school gardens, community centers for high risk teens and municipal town halls. We use an interdisciplinary approach and take knowledge directly to the public. UConn Extension enhances small businesses, the economic and physical well-being of families and offers opportunities to improve the decision-making capacity of community leaders.

About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC’s mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut’s Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities. CMSC is dedicated to community and economic development within the context of historic preservation, and is committed to bringing Connecticut’s commercial districts back to life socially and economically.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and Eversource Energy. CMSC is also supported by its Growth Sponsors, UIL Holdings Corp.  and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org.

 

 

Farming Opportunity – Food Systems Strategies for Economic Development Webinar Thursday Dec 15

Thursday December 15, 2016 11 am- 12 pm

Farming Opportunities: Food Systems Strategies for Economic Development

Access the PDF of the slide presentation HERE

From farming to fishing, processing, distribution, restaurants and agritourism, food and agriculture play an important role in Connecticut’s economy.  Interest is growing among consumers to connect with regional farmers and producers and communities are trying out new strategies to facilitate this. Attend this webinar to learn more about the various aspects of food systems that overlap with economic development and examples of community and business efforts to build a more connected sustainable food supply chain.

Attend this webinar to learn:

  • Connections between food and agricultural systems and economic development efforts
  • Collaborative regional efforts to build efficient food distribution and aggregation systems
  • How food producers support the local food economy
  • Who’s involved and resources available for food based economic development strategies

Agenda

  • What does food have to do with economic development? Laura Brown – CEcD, Community & Economic Development Educator, UConn- Extension
  • Northwest Connecticut Food Hub Feasibility Study  Jocelyn Ayer – Community & Economic Development Director, NW Hills Council of Governments
  • Ocean Farming and Economic Development – Emily Stengel- Deputy Director, Greenwave

About Our Speakers

headshotjaJocelyn Ayer is the Community & Economic Development Director for the Northwest Hills Council of Governments which serves 21 town in CT’s northwest corner. She is currently working with a team to help launch a Food Hub in NWCT in 2017 to support farmers and access to local food. She has a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and one of her first jobs was pulling weeds on a farm in Vershire, Vermont.

 

 

 

emily-on-boat Emily Stengel is the Deputy Director of GreenWave, where she leads and supports programming and operations, overseeing internal operations, implementation of programming, and fundraising strategy and execution. She brings to GreenWave a background in sustainable food systems, working for several years at a B-Corp catering company in NYC dedicated to supporting the regional farm and food economy, and more recently, working on a research team focused on workforce development in agricultural communities. Emily has an MS in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a free webinar co-sponsored by the Connecticut Economic Development Association and UConn. The audience will be economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, planners, community development professionals, and community leaders.

Leadership for Civic Renewal: Reinvigorating America’s Civic Life

You are invited to the 2015 Martel Lecture by Peter Levine titled “Leadership for Civic Renewal: Reinvigorating America’s Civic Life” on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium at Dodd Center- UCONN Stors.

Peter Levine is the Associate Dean for Research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.  You can find out more about him here:

website: http://peterlevine.ws

“Ruins Reborn”, Hugh Bailey offers revitalization strategies

2015-10-08 15.00.49

Former Bristol Babcock complex in Waterbury, photo by John McDonald

 

Hugh Bailey, urban planner, columnist for the Connecticut Post, and member of UConn class of 1999, will be speaking on the issue of the post-industrial challenges posed by the numerous abandoned buildings in Connecticut’s urban areas. His presentation, “Ruins Reborn: Revitalizing Post-industrial Cities”, scheduled for 10/28 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm at the Waterbury campus of the University of Connecticut, promises to tackle this issue in a fashion which would integrate historical preservation and community economic development. I am looking forward to hearing Mr. Bailey speak. The harsh realities of the post-industrial decline hit Connecticut’s cities in the 1970s. Many communities have never fully recovered. The legacies of our reliance on heavy industry have included fiscal insolvency and environmental degradation. While underutilized, polluted buildings and land abound, it is important to remember that the scale of the problems we currently face are lesser than they once were.

I was born in Waterbury in 1973. My first inkling of the post-industrial decline came with my father’s layoff in 1980. Food stamps soon supplemented our meagre income. We bounced back somewhat during the Reagan years, but another recession was around the corner. I left high school in the thick of it, with no concrete plans for my future. I became a college student only recently, after a lengthy odyssey that included Job Corps, an apprenticeship, and many low-paying service jobs. My memories of post-industrial Waterbury are vivid and my experiences in this landscape shaped my environmental attitudes, in this case meaning my enduring orientations to the physical environment. I remember riding in my parent’s minivan along Silver Street, en route to the Naugatuck Valley Mall on Wolcott Street. I looked out the window in awe at the derelict Scovill Brass buildings. This massive complex covered nearly 200 acres. I remember some ten years later, walking down East Main Street, still in the shadow of the Scovill buildings.

Waterbury’s landscape has already been greatly altered. The Brass Mill Center currently occupies the former Scovill site. True to my blue-collar roots, I worked as an apprentice electrician, wiring a few of the stores in the new mall which was completed in 1996. Other industrial sites in Waterbury have since been demolished. There are similar instances throughout the Naugatuck Valley. Naugatuck has also been transformed as the former U.S. Rubber complex has largely been razed. Those familiar with the region’s industrial heyday are no doubt surprised to see how much of the built environment has been changed. Mr. Bailey advocates a different sort of approach than widespread demolition, which sometimes results in polluted lots sitting vacant for years, or conversion to retail space, which would further dissipate the area’s limited consumer base. In his article, which has been published in UConn Magazine, Mr. Bailey discusses other ways to deal with the problems posed by abandoned factory buildings.

One of Mr. Bailey’s suggestions is to link the proposed Naugatuck River Greenway with factory complexes restored as industrial heritage sites. As Mr. Bailey reports, this strategy has worked well in the Ruhr Valley of Germany, one of Europe’s most heavily industrialized areas. Mr. Bailey also discusses instances where factory complexes have been converted into successful mixed-use developments. Mr. Bailey believes that these type of developments can help post-industrial cities regain their lost identity by connecting their rich past to their uncertain future. In this sense, these cities can be reborn, as the title of Mr. Bailey’s lecture suggests.

From my experience assisting with the economic impact study of the Naugatuck River Greenway, I understand that these sort of projects can be costly and may not provide the type of economic boost Naugatuck Valley municipalities are looking for. They are long-term solutions to a pervasive problem whose benefits will accrue over time and ultimately create stronger communities. The Naugatuck Valley cities and towns must be made aware of such concepts as amenity value, preservation value, and social capital; intangibles that are often difficult to quantify. That may prove to be as big of a challenge as restoring factory buildings that have been abandoned, in some instances, for nearly 40 years.

 

Event information: http://events.uconn.edu/event/41793/2015-10-28

Mr. Bailey’s article: http://magazine.uconn.edu/2015/04/ruins-reborn/

 

– John McDonald, Extension Intern

Save the date – Wed, Aug 19: 10-11:30 am/eastern Evaluating the Effectiveness of the First Impressions Program in the Northeast

Save the date! Join us for the final webinar in this series:  

  • Wed, August 19: 10-11:30 am/eastern Evaluating the Effectiveness of the First Impressions Program in the Northeast:  A Discussion of Scholarship

This webinar series is made possible through a  “Regional Collaboration of Successful CRD Extension Programs Planning Grant”  from the North East Regional Center for Rural Development. 

Thurs July 23 – Adaptations of the First impressions Program: Engaging Millennials, Youth, Main Streets, and Urban Neighborhoods

Thursday, July 23

Webinar – 10:00 – 11:30 am/Eastern

Presenters:  

Geoff Sewake, Extension Field Specialist, Grafton County, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Neil Klemme, Youth Development Agent, Iron County, University of Wisconsin Extension

Myra Moss, Associate Professor & Extension Educator, Heart of Ohio EERA, Ohio State University Extension

Ann Weid, Community Development Educator, Waukesha County, University of Wisconsin Extension

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Use the following link to join the webinar:

First Impressions Webinar 3

Thu, Jul 23, 2015 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM US Eastern Standard Time

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/912881837

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States : +1 (872) 240-3312

Access Code: 912-881-837

The original First Impressions program, developed in the 1990s by Andrew Lewis, University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension, and James Schneider, has undergone a variety of changes according to audience, place, and purpose. Each location has its own needs, challenges, population, and unique characteristics that should be encompassed in a meaningful assessment.  In this webinar, presenters will share more of the innovative adaptations that have been developed  to ensure program participants receive a valuable, relevant assessment of their communities, Main Streets and urban neighborhoods, and how youth and Millennials are included in the process.

Save the date! Join us for the final webinar in this series:  

  • Wed, August 19: 10-11:30 am/eastern Evaluating the Effectiveness of the First Impressions Program in the Northeast:  A Discussion of Scholarship

This webinar series is made possible through a  “Regional Collaboration of Successful CRD Extension Programs Planning Grant”  from the North East Regional Center for Rural Development. 

Wednesday, June 24- Webinar Adaptations of the First impressions Program: Tourism Destinations and Small Communities

CTFirstImpressionsNewHeader

Adaptations of the First impressions Program: Tourism Destinations and Small Communities

Wednesday, June 24

Webinar – 10:00 – 11:30 am/Eastern

Presenters:  

Doug Arbogast, Extension Specialist, Tourism, West Virginia University Extension Service 

Laura Brown, Community & Economic Development Educator, University of Connecticut Extension 

Robin Frost, Program Coordinator, Community Resources & Economic Development, West Virginia University Extension Service

Cynthia Messer, Extension Professor, University of Minnesota Extension

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Use the following link to join the webinar:

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/825905701

Audio connection:

+1 (646) 749-3122

Access Code: 825-905-701

The original First Impressions program, developed in the 1990s by Andrew Lewis, University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension, and James Schneider, has undergone a variety of changes according to audience, place, and purpose. Each location has its own needs, challenges, population, and unique characteristics that should be encompassed in a meaningful assessment.  In this webinar, presenters will share some of the innovative adaptations that have been developed  to ensure program participants receive a valuable, relevant assessment of their small communities, neighborhoods, tourism destinations, or tourism facilities.  Updates made to the manual to assess web presence, social media use, and other modern technologies will also be discussed.

May 27, 2015 Introduction to the First Impressions Program Webinar

CTFirstImpressionsNewHeader

A tool for community assessment and improvement

Wednesday, May 27

Webinar – 10:00 – 11:30 am/eastern

Presenters:  

Daniel Eades Extension Specialist, Rural Economics, West Virginia University Extension Service 

Laura Brown, Community & Economic Development Educator, University of Connecticut Extension 

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Use the following link to join the webinar:

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/292212341

Audio connection:

+1 (872) 240-3212 Access Code: 292-212-341

As the old saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” For first time visitors, the way a community presents itself is of equal importance. The look and feel of the community experienced by a visitor will most likely influence how long they stay, if they will return, and whether or not they will speak about the community positively or negatively. The First Impressions program is a structured assessment and participation tool designed to provide communities with a fresh look at strengths and shortcomings through the eyes of first-time visitors.  The program is often integrated into existing planning processes and is a dynamic way to engage new audiences and leaders in planning processes.  Through the program, volunteer teams undertake unannounced visits, record observations, and give constructive feedback to an exchange community. Team members receive training, conduct the visit and develop presentations and reports that may be used by the partner community inform community policy and action. Participants in the webinar will learn how the First Impressions program works, how to use data collected from a First Impressions visit, and roles for Extension colleagues in implementing the program.  Future webinars will discuss innovative adaptations that focus on tourism, revitalizing urban neighborhoods, and engaging new and diverse audiences including youth and millennials as well as a proposed regional evaluation project.

The First Impressions Program was first developed by Andrew Lewis, University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension, and James Schneider in the early 1990s. Since then the program has been evaluated extensively at the community level and adapted for use by Extension programs across the United States and Canada. The program draws from goals and processes of both traditional needs assessments (Watkins, Leigh, Platt, & Kaufman, 1998) and asset-based community economic development strategies (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993; Mathie & Cunningham, 2003) to construct an inventory of a location’s assets and challenges that can be used to raise local awareness and guide public action from within.

Save the date! Join us for additional webinars in this series:  

  • Wed, June 24:  10-11:30 am/eastern Adaptations of the First impressions Program: Tourism Destinations, Small Communities, Main Streets, Urban Neighborhoods
  • Thursday, July 23: 10-11:30 am/eastern Adaptations of the First Impressions Program for unique audiences:  Engaging youth and millennials
  • Wed, August 19: 10-11:30 am/eastern Evaluating the Effectiveness of the First Impressions Program in the Northeast:  A Discussion of Scholarship

This webinar series is made possible through a  “Regional Collaboration of Successful CRD Extension Programs Planning Grant”  from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.