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August 11, 2015 / Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Expanding opportunities necessary to growth in Fairfax County

A recent analysis by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity finds that inequities in income, employment, education and opportunity, are a hindrance to economic growth in Fairfax County. Though the county maintains its status as one of the most prosperous local jurisdictions, the report found that eliminating disparities will be necessary for continued economic growth – especially as demographics shift in the area. Patricia Mathews, WRAG board chair and president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, shared her thoughts on the study (NVHF, 8/10):

“If we don’t focus our attention on educating young people of color and making sure they are healthy, how will they thrive? How will they become the next wave of IT workers, public school teachers, and pharmacists?  And where will we be without that strong workforce?” said Patricia Mathews, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation (NVHF), which is partnering with a number of Fairfax County stakeholders to help bring attention to the report.


“Fairfax County is not alone—demographic shifts are taking place all across Northern Virginia,” said Ms. Mathews. “We hope this report spurs conversations and action across all sectors—from government officials and advocates to employers, city planners, nonprofits, and others. Making sure everyone has a chance at success is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” she added.

You can access the full report, “Equitable Growth Profile of Fairfax County,” here.

HOMELESSNESS/REGION | After a few delays a new homeless-services center is slated to open in Arlington County in late September. The center is expected to provide a number of offerings (InsideNoVa, 8/10):

The new facility “will be the first of its kind in the D.C. area, and is more than just a shelter – it will allow us to offer all our services under one roof, year-round, like meals, medical services, shelter and job training and, most importantly, will help us to move someone from homelessness to a home quickly,” Sibert said.

A January 2015 count of homeless across the region, conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), found 239 in Arlington – both those living on the streets and those in shelters. The number was down 18 percent from a year before, the largest percentage decline among the nine jurisdictions taking part in the count.

Since 2011, the COG count of homeless has seen a 48-percent decline in Arlington, compared to a 2.2-percent decrease regionwide.

CSR | Are you a nonprofit with a great corporate partner? Or a business who is dedicated to improving the communities where you work? Nominations for the Washington Business Journal’s annual Corporate Citizenship Awards are due by Friday, September 11, 2015.

FOOD | Locally and nationwide, school gardens are teaching students not only how to eat healthy, but also some math, science, and business skills, too. (NPR, 8/10)

EDUCATION/YOUTH | An analysis by the Brookings Institution and data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that many of the states that have the fastest-growing youth populations are also producing some of the weakest outcomes for those youth. Maryland and Virginia were found to be among the 15 states producing the best outcomes for kids. (Atlantic, 8/9)

ARTS/DISTRICT | The District will be getting some new public art soon. Check out one location’s possible new mural designs. (WCP 8/10)

Watch how these artists turn trash from the ocean into impressive works of art.


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