The Poverty and the Economy Faculty Research Grants Program Return on Investment
Jeff Jordan, a professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia-Griffin Campus, received two Poverty and the Economy Faculty Research Grants:
- $21,857 in 2006 for his research entitled Addressing Poverty through Strong Schools and Strong Communities: A Service-Learning Approach, and
- $19,321 in 2008 for his second proposal entitled Why Do Dropouts Happen? Exploring Education, Homeownership and Poverty.
This represents a total investment of $41,178.
Return on the Investment
Griffin-Spalding County started an anti-poverty initiative.
- First grant led to creation of the Partners for a Prosperous Griffin Spalding (PPGS).
- Eight local entities formed a collaborative process to address poverty:
- Jordan is co-director of PPGS.
- Second grant supported the work of the PPGS education committee.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the community $1 million dollars to further work started by both of Jordan’s Poverty and the Economy Grants.
- Jordan was instrumental in receiving a HHS grant for $1 million to help fund the Partners for a Prosperous Griffin Spalding. The grant — part of the Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF), created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — aims to improve the ability of nonprofit organizations to promote the economic recovery of people with low incomes.
- Jordan cites UGA’s Initiative on Poverty and the Economy, specifically the Poverty and the Economy Grants Program supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research, as the catalyst for the community’s success in obtaining this grant.
The $1 million Strengthening Communities Fund from HHS will be used by PPGS to do the following:
Encourage economic development and relieve poverty in Region 4
- Georgia’s Region 4 (R4) — comprised of Carroll, Coweta, Heard, Troup, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Butts, Lamar, and Upson Counties — is currently, and historically, a distressed community when compared to state and national rates of poverty, unemployment, and educational attainment.
- Closings of area textile mills have exacerbated economic distress in the region.
Increase capacity of non-profit organizations (NPOs) in Region 4.
- Operational capacity of local NPOs will be enhanced through assessment, planning, implementation, training, one-on-one technical assistance, funding, and mentoring.
- 60 NPOs will participate in a series of 20 capacity-building workshops over 24 months.
- Through a competitive process, the PPGS will select 40 NPOs for the one-on-one technical assistance and financial sub-awards of $15,000 each on a tier-level based on performance outcomes designed to further strengthen and expand their organizational capacity.
Create a Community Resource Center (CRC) to provide long-term support for local NPOs.
- A CRC will provide office space for participating NPOs.
- The CRC will offer a one-stop option to access services provided by NPOs.
- The CRC will contribute to the sustainability of NPOs by providing facilities andpotential cost-sharing of other operating expenses.