Health Care Sector Can Help Community Development Organizations Create Jobs

Analysis of community development organization efforts to expand health services

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.