Reflections on Collaborative Community Development

September 1, 2015
By Erika Ramirez, Community Affairs Officer

Erika Ramirez

Where has the year gone? It seems like I blinked and it was the end of summer. As I reflect on the first part of 2015, I am reminded of the important role collaboration plays in improving neighborhoods and communities. Residents, community-based organizations, businesses and other stakeholders must come together, under one shared vision and goal, to enhance conditions for neighborhoods and low- and moderate-income communities. Collaboration in the community development field is not new, but it never has been more important. To truly make neighborhoods sustainable and healthy we must tackle the challenges through coordinated efforts. 

Successful collaboration requires:
  • Dedicated and committed local leaders
  • Diverse funding sources
  • A shared goal among all involved
  • Strong project management
  • Active engagement from residents, educators, community and housing developers and small businesses

  • Collaboration is the key to sustainable community change.
    The topic of collaboration is an underlying theme in this issue of Community Connections. You will read about a workforce partnership strategy that is training residents in Wichita and putting them to work. To move the needle on workforce issues, the partnership relies on several organizations working together. One of our summer interns shares his experience with collaboration and the role it played in his success and development. Other stories and resources also demonstrate the role of collaboration. 

    I challenge each of us to create one new partnership before the year’s end as we work to solve community issues. It takes all of us to make a difference. Please contact me at with your comments and suggestions or if the Community Development team and I can be of assistance.