Richmond VA > Office of Community Wealth Building > Year One

Last Updated: 2017-04-26

Year One

Since 2014, we have already taken significant steps to advance this multipronged agenda:

RPS Logo

Substantial collaborations with Richmond Public Schools and with strong community partners have been built to tackle the impact of poverty on educational outcomes, focusing on three key areas: early childhood education, out-of-school-time, and access to college and career opportunities.

Effective Systems

Our collaborative approach to building a stronger, more effective early childhood system has attracted national recognition.

Next Up

A major new public-private initiative aimed at providing high quality out-of-school time programming and academic support to adolescents, NextUp, launched at Henderson Middle School in 2014-15 and expanded to Boushall Middle School in 2015-16.

RVA Future

In 2015-16, the innovative RVA Future program launched as the critical first step of a long-term effort to increase the number of RPS graduates going on to college or career training opportunities through the provision of both financial and non-financial support. Future Centers are now open in all 5 comprehensive high schools.

BLISS Logo

The City’s Center for Workforce Innovation (CWI) expanded operations in Fiscal Year 2015, and continued its mission of connecting residents to employment opportunities and providing a variety of training programs to participants. In addition, CWI launched the BLISS (Building Lives of Independence and Self-Sufficiency) program in 2015 to provide holistic wrap-around support services to families seeking to escape poverty by transitioning to full-time quality employment.

MBD Enterprise Logo

The City has launched an innovative Social Enterprise initiative aimed at developing a strong sector of local firms committed to hiring residents in poverty into living-wage jobs. The initiative, a collaboration between the Office of Community Wealth Building, Minority Business Development, and Economic and Community Development, drawn on multiple policy levels, including finding ways to leverage the buying power of local anchor institutions to support emerging social enterprises.

GRTC Pulse Logo

The Broad Street Bus Rapid Transit project (GRTC Pulse) represents a major investment in a modernized public transportation infrastructure for the City. This project is the first step towards developing a genuinely regional transportation system that connects the region’s residents together and opens up access to job opportunities for residents without reliable access to a private vehicle. GRTC Pulse will begin service in the Fall of 2016.

Good Neighbor Logo

In conjunction with the Richmond City Health District and collaboration with the Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority, (RRHA) the Good Neighbor Initiative has been launched to connect RRHA residents to opportunities and provide education and assistance on lease compliance issues.

City of Richmond Logo

Last but not least, the Office of Community Wealth Building has assembled a strong staff — a team of highly committed professionals prepared to carry this ambitious work forward, while continuing to build collaborative relationships across the public sector and in the community that can help sustain this vital agenda over the long term. Of particular importance is the Maggie L. Walker Citizens Advisory Board, formally created by City Council in December, which assures an ongoing active citizen voice in the process, especially for residents of higher poverty neighborhoods.

While we are pleased with the progress these initiatives have made in year one, we recognize that much more work needs to be done to bring these emerging initiatives to full fruition and make sustained community impact. Building a strong capacity within city government to implement a multifaceted poverty reduction and community wealth building agenda is a critical step in laying the foundation for lasting change. But achieving systemic change will also require the support, encouragement, ideas, and contributions of the entire community.

Last Updated: 2018-02-28

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