Responses to Defense Cutbacks: The Community Planning Approach. Research and Evaluation Report Series 97-B.Report as inadecuate

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Of the 19 projects conducted as part of the Defense Conversion Adjustment (DCA) Demonstration administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Work-Based Learning, 5 tested the community planning approach. The projects attempted to alleviate the negative impacts of defense cutbacks on communities, firms, and workers. The project sites included rural, suburban, and urban communities with unemployment rates ranging from 3%-3.5% to 15%-20%. The following were among the factors identified as critical to successful community planning: developing an inclusive goal statement; setting feasible project objectives; limiting the number of project objectives; building on existing capacity; establishing relationships to other planning activities; using subcommittees effectively; understanding the importance of local project leadership; balancing the need for an inclusive planning body with the need to achieve consensus; securing commitments from participating agencies; setting the project schedule; reaching consensus on the planning process early; using consultants effectively; using information as a strategic tool; anticipating obstacles to information-gathering efforts; appreciating importance of obtaining expertise and gauging the political climate; assessing strategies effectively; reaching community consensus; mobilizing resources; and building new relationships between the employment and training community and economic development efforts. (Appendixes contain profiles of the five DCA projects testing the community planning approach and fact sheets for five additional DCA projects.) (MN)

Descriptors: Adult Education, Case Studies, Community Planning, Cooperative Planning, Delivery Systems, Demonstration Programs, Dislocated Workers, Economic Development, Local Issues, Private Sector, Program Development, Program Effectiveness, Public Sector, Retraining, Strategic Planning, Structural Unemployment, Underemployment

Author: Social Policy Research Associates, Menlo Park, CA.; Berkeley Planning Associates, Oakland, CA.


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