UMN Extension Center for Community Vitality
UMN Extension Center for Community Vitality St. Paul, MN
The Extension Center for Community Vitality makes a difference by engaging Minnesotans to strengthen the social, civic, economic and technological capacity of their communities. We help communities choose their future by:
- Informing the decisions they make.
- Improving the processes they use when they make decisions.
- Enhancing the skills, ability and confidence of the people who lead and decide.
- Increasing the number of people who step up to lead and decide.
Leadership and Civic Engagement programs help communities strengthen social capital, make informed decisions, encourage local leadership and create productive public forums.
Community Economics programs help communities retain and expand local business, know and grow their retail sector, make informed public finance decisions and develop successful tourism opportunities.
The Center also develops, implements and manages special initiatives to deal with specific issues. The Horizons program, for example, has worked in 32 communities to reduce the effects of poverty, with funding from the Northwest Area Foundation. The Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities program is helping business communities in 18 locations take advantage of high-speed internet to grow their economy, with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Farmer-Lender Mediation program provides trained, neutral mediation to assist in negotiations between farmers and creditors, with funding from the USDA.
The Extension Center for Community Vitality has partnerships with University Centers and Departments in order to tie programming to University research and resources. Partners include the Department of Applied Economics, the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, the Tourism Center, the Center for Small Towns in Morris, the Center for Economic Development in Duluth, the Center for Integrative Leadership, and others.
For program descriptions, links to Extension Community Vitality educators and educational resources, visit www.extension.umn.edu.