United Way of Kennebec Valley, in partnership with dozens of community leaders, is spearheading a broad effort to establish 10-year community goals in health, education and financial stability. These measurable goals will be community-set and community-achieved by the people who live, work and/or play in Kennebec County. Ultimately, we aim to have hundreds of organizations and individuals united under our community’s shared vision, which we all will work together to create.
This work is being led by the Kennebec Valley Goal-Setting Council, comprised of 17 community leaders from the business, nonprofit and government sectors. Co-chaired by Chuck Hays of MaineGeneral and Katie Doherty of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Council will oversee the establishment of regional goals with associated indicators and strategies. Three expert panels will rely on community conversations with and surveys of diverse and numerous people, which occurred in spring 2021. In total, more than 70 local leaders are overseeing the process.
The Council will publicly announce goals and benchmarks in 2022 and will track community-wide progress over a 10-year period. We believe that businesses, nonprofits and government entities will recognize the value of regional goals and will sign on to endorse these strategies and actions in their own work.
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UWKV conducted a brief survey of community members who live, work and/or play in Kennebec County. The survey closed on June 15, 2021. UWKV hosted several public Community Conversations from April through June, 2021. We achieved participation from community members of various ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences.
Please check back in October 2021 for more information regarding the results of this effort.
UWKV worked with Plimpton Research to produce four white papers identifying community demographics, data trends and existing needs. These papers were published in February 2021. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to use and share this information in order to strengthen their own efforts in Kennebec County.
1. Population & COVID-19 Context – This paper provides background and context for the white papers on UWKV’s three priority areas: health, education and financial stability. The research offers an overview of the population in terms of size, age distribution, gender and sexuality, race/ethnicity, languages spoken at home, immigration, and people with disabilities. The paper also provides a snapshot of the immediate impact COVID-19 has had on local families.
2. Health – Health affects individual experiences as well as families, communities and schools. And health impacts the economy profoundly, both in financial and productivity costs. This paper reviews 12 key health measures, including premature death rates, access to care, infant mortality and low birth weights, immunization rates, mental health, overdose deaths, and domestic violence reports.
3. Education – Our ability to support children to reach their full potential academically impacts the well-being of the entire community. Educational achievement correlates with income, health and long-term success. This paper outlines nine broad measures spanning different aspects of education from early childhood through adulthood.
4. Financial Stability – Reducing poverty and increasing financial stability are sound social investments for Kennebec County, generating strong returns to society over time in the form of higher real Gross Domestic Product, reduced expenditures on health care and crime, and improved quality of life. This paper explores nine essential measures of financial stability, including income and wages, unemployment trends, poverty levels, housing and homelessness, transportation, and child care costs.
MEMBERS OF GOAL-SETTING COUNCIL
The Kennebec Valley Goal-Setting Council is comprised of 16 community leaders from the business, nonprofit and government sectors.