CAO's Note: Reflections on 2014

December 22, 2014
By Erika Ramirez, Community Affairs Officer

Reflections on the successes and challenges in 2014.

As we come to the end of another year, I find myself reflecting on the successes of 2014 as well as the ongoing challenges in the field of community development. To achieve our strategies and objectives, the community development team of the Kansas City Fed traveled far and wide. We visited all seven states in the District, other Reserve Banks as well as other locations to share expertise and knowledge, engage in conversations with practitioners on the front lines, and to hear firsthand emerging trends and challenges faced in low- and moderate-income (LMI) and underserved communities.

Additionally, we partnered with community organizations, local leaders, policymakers, funders, small business owners and other stakeholders by playing the role of convener and connector. The partnerships formed, along with research and the development of resources, are at the core of the strategies that were put into practice to move the needle of progress for LMI and underserved communities.

Among the resources and initiatives to emerge from these partnerships, gatherings, listening sessions and research are the development of a new disaster preparedness resource for families and small business that will help them Plan. Prepare. Prevail. if they are affected by a disaster; hosted two national conferences—Shift Innovation on how thinking creatively about community development can unlock new and innovative solutions, and Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century that focused on strategies and policies to develop a highly skilled, competitive and productive workforce; launched the Tenth District LMI Labor Report that provides a snapshot of LMI labor market conditions in the Tenth District; and, continued to work with residents through the Econ Avenue program.

In each bimonthly issue of Community Connections we highlighted many of the initiatives, research and resources that we focused our efforts on and the strategies that we pursued in 2014. I encourage you to visit past issues to learn more about our objectives and outcomes for the year as well as to identify resources that you can put into practice.

In closing, I want to wish all of you a happy holiday season and a vibrant start to the new year. Please contact me at with your com­ments, suggestions or ideas for 2015.