While the results of LCDC's "welfare to microenterprise" project will
continue to unfold over the next couple of years, certain change management
strategies have already proven effective. These include methods for sustainable
enterprise development and partnership strategies for changing state policies. As
with the Farmers' Market WIC program, the "welfare to microenterprise"
project positions LCDC as a community-based agent for changing state policies,
by demonstrating what works at the community level. It also enables LCDC to
enter into a variety of strategic partnerships at the local and state levels to
develop a collaborative model for social change.
It appears that a community-based approach with strong partnerships at the
state level can be a very effective means for rural communities in providing
comprehensive approaches to enabling individuals to transition to self-
employment. It remains to be learned whether the community-based
infrastructure for building social, economic, and community assets for
alleviating poverty will overcome the many challenges ahead in moving from
"demonstration project" to permanent changes.
The term "welfare" will be used throughout the text for simplicity and
consistency, even though the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 refers to individuals on
welfare as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) eligible.
A recently published national survey conducted by the Institute for Southern
Studies reveals that states with the healthiest economies Oobs, annual pay, business start-
ups, etc.) also have the healthiest environments (toxic emissions, spending on natural
resource conservation, etc.). The survey places West Virginia near the bottom nationally
for economic and environmental health. See
There is an emerging global consensus that a grass-roots, regionally-focused
approach to sustainable development can be the most effective approach to achieving
tangible results at the local level. See
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Small Town and Rural Economic Development:A Case Studies Approach.
Contributors: Peter V. Schaeffer - Editor, Scott Loveridge - Editor.
Publisher: Praeger Publishers.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 2000.
Page number: 225.
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