Since 2005, ExCEED’s work in Missouri’s 11 regions has garnered nearly $1.12 million in community endowments and grants, $235 million in new business investments and 12,826 hours of volunteer work valued at $220,488.
Source: MU Extension Annual Report, FY 2009
MU Extension’s Community Development Program touches the lives of Missourians where they live. By providing leadership development and enhanced decision-making skills at the local level, the program helps build inclusive communities and promote economic development statewide. The effort also assists with community-wide emergency preparedness and recovery. In FY 2009, volunteers and program partners contributed more than 24,988 hours valued at $443,964.
Also during FY 2009, the MU Extension Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development program, or ExCEED, leveraged $609,080 in community endowments and grants, with new business investments accounting for $12.2 million. From those investments, 60 new businesses launched, including 23 youth-owned start-ups; nine businesses expanded, resulting in 60 new jobs and 16 being retained; 19 new business leaders emerged; and new networks developed statewide.
After severe storms across the state in FY 2009, MU Extension faculty and staff joined volunteers in multi-agency resource centers to provide relief to storm victims.
Emergency management efforts directly supported communities throughout the state in planning and recovery from severe storms as well as the initial outbreak of H1N1 flu. Information also was distributed through print and broadcast media and the Web. One local MU Extension center helped coordinate volunteers who provided more than 13,000 hours of service for chain saw teams, debris removal, wellness checks, and shelter and mass feeding operations. Many participants in the year’s 11 faith-based workshops developed family emergency plans. Eighty-five percent of participants said their congregations were more prepared for disasters because of actions taken by leaders who used MU Extension resources.
By facilitating planning with communities and nonprofits, the Community Development Program helps them lay the groundwork to obtain state and federal grants and other resources. Statewide, small nonprofit organizations partnering with the program leveraged more than $2.5 million in resources during the year. Over the past two years, Herculaneum and Hillsboro obtained more than $10 million in grants to implement their community plans.
In FY 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office used the socioeconomic benefit assessment system created by the MU Extension program’s Community Policy Analysis Center to assess and monitor its business and industry loans and grants across the country. Work by the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis contributed to the awarding of a $9.9 million federal grant to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
MU Extension worked with the Community Action Network to conduct issue forums across the state on closing the achievement gap. These events increased capacity for public dialogue, resulting in the collaborative development of an action brief used by participants to advocate for local and state policy change.