Regional meeting set on community needs assessment

A follow-up forum is scheduled to consider draft report findings for a southwest Colorado Community Needs Assessment on Volunteerism and Civic Engagement

This is a follow-up meeting for those people who participated in the first phase of the needs assessment and who asked to review and discuss the draft report.

Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brian will participate in a portion of the forum, to be held 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Fort Lewis College. (a brown-bag lunch gathering). Participants are urged to R.S.V.P. to Janet Mickish (janet.mickish@state.co.us, (303) 866-6408.

The mission of the Governor’s Commission on Community Service (GCCS) is to “serve as a catalyst for the promotion and expansion of community service and volunteerism to all Colorado residents as an effective means to address civic and social issues and improve the overall well being of communities throughout the state.”

To ensure that Commission initiatives continue to address community needs in Colorado, every three years the GCCS produces a state service plan to guide development, determine service goals and priorities, and to recommend the distribution of resources. The current needs assessment will be the foundation for the development of the 2009-2011 State Service Plan. The needs assessment process will also help GCCS develop and enhance relationships, partnerships, and collaborations with individuals, organizations, foundations, and others who help build and maintain vital thriving communities throughout Colorado.

Framework

The framework for the needs assessment and the Colorado’s 2009-2011 State Service Plan is derived from the Governor’s Colorado Promise, 2006-2010 Strategic Plan for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), 1 the Lt. Governor’s Strategic Initiatives, and the mission of the GCCS.

Methods

General information about community needs across Colorado will be obtained by mining databases and information from needs assessments conducted by national, state and local entities along with GCCS administered surveys.

Deeper needs assessment in select communities will be obtained by convening community meetings, and conducting interviews in Alamosa, Durango, Greeley, Grand Junction, Lamar, and Pueblo. Input will be solicited from people from a variety of backgrounds and sectors, such as community leaders, appointed and elected officials, educators, business people, health care and human service providers, law enforcement, clergy, youth, non-profit organizations, private foundations, retirees, AmeriCorps service corps programs (VISTA, RSVP, NCCC, National Direct, etc.) and other individuals and agency representatives.

Focus

General Focus of the needs assessment is on what is important to communities, how citizens are involved in their communities, what is working to engage citizens in the civic life of the community, and what kinds of supports are needed to expand service, volunteerism, and civic engagement.

Specific Focus may vary by community and will focus on issues such as: education, early childhood development and learning, youth development, health care, people with a disability, conservation and the environment.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is the primary source of funding for GCCS initiatives, including AmeriCorps Formula Grants, Education Awards, and Competitive Grants programs.