The Importance of Community Vitality
What differentiates a thriving community from one that struggles? When choosing to put down roots, what are the “deal makers and breakers” that families and businesses cite? Is there a formula that can be employed that communities can aim for to increase their chances of long term vitality and growth? These are among the many questions land-grant universities and community and economic development extension specialists seek to answer through sound science and education. Through exploration of key community and economic development interests like leadership, workforce development, entrepreneurship, civic engagement/volunteerism, community planning and disaster preparedness, faculty and agents discover and share evidence-based and promising practices that build upon existing strengths, while responding to community concerns.
The Division of Family & Consumer Sciences (DFCS) supports community vitality by focusing on the socio-economic potential of rural/urban interdependence and addressing the critical needs of people and places through:
- Workforce Development
- Community Resource and Economic Development
- Rural Health and Safety
- Urban Extension
NIFA’s community vitality portfolio is critical to family well-being and supports Research & Evaluation.
In partnership with the Land-Grant University and Cooperative Extension System, DFCS supports research, education, and extension work to build strong, vibrant, and sustainable communities by:
- Growth of local economies and businesses
- More affordable and energy-efficient housing
- More efficient use of public and private resources
- Increased rural vitality and farm sustainability
- Enhanced rural-urban interdependence
NIFA’s Community Vitality portfolio utilizes Regional Rural Development Centers as a primary vehicle to organize multi-disciplinary teams around these impacts.