Health Care Sector Can Help Community Development Organizations Create Jobs

From October 1994 through September 1995 Community Information Exchange, Washington, examined how community development organizations have used health care as a dual strategy to improve access to basic health care in the community and to create jobs.

Community Information Exchange identified and documented in case studies 19 model community-based projects that included health care and employment components and analyzed the factors that contributed to their success or failure.

Community Information Exchange is a nationwide non-profit information service that provides detailed information on strategies and resources for community development.

Key Findings

  • The case studies highlighted a range of projects that fit into three categories:

    • Health care facilities.
    • Health care business ventures.
    • Job training programs.
  • The majority of the health care facilities were primary care clinics, but some facilities—a nursing home, detox center, and adult day care center—provided specialized care.

  • Three of the business ventures were worker cooperatives, one was a small business, and another was an information and referral service.

  • All the job training initiatives addressed job readiness, training, and placement, but only about half pursued a systematic analysis of different market sector's of employment. Twelve of the 19 initiatives employed people.

  • All of the projects were housed at sponsoring organizations and all but two had partners.