The City of Champaign was invited by the National League of Cities, along with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Enterprise and the American Planning Association, to participate in a focus group discussion on the issues of affordable housing, economic inclusion and workforce development. Rob Kowalski, Planning and Development Assistant Director and Kerri Wiman, Neighborhood Services Director participated in the conversation, called “Prosperity Playbook.”
The purpose of the focus group was to allow the National League of Cities to develop a new technical assistance training program that could be rolled out next year. The focus group brought together practitioners from the medium-sized cities of Champaign, Akron, OH, Charlotte, NC, Grand Rapids, MI and Rochester, NY. Participants shared challenges on the issues as experienced in their cities and strategies that could be explored for solutions, as well as sharing advice on what types of technical training services are useful for municipalities.
Once a program is developed, medium-sized cities will be invited to apply for technical assistance and participation in an ongoing peer group discussion. It is hoped that by participating in the focus group, the City of Champaign will be well positioned to take advantage of the technical assistance in the near future.