NCGrowth Partners with UNC City and Regional Planning Workshop to Measure Economic Impact of Rocky Mount Social Service Provider

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This fall NCGrowth partnered with Professor Bill Lester’s Economic Development Workshop in UNC’s Department for City and Regional Planning to provide recommendations to a faith-based social service organization on how to measure their economic impacts.

The Impact Center in Rocky Mount, NC was spun out of Word Tabernacle Church – a 3,000 member church led by Pastor James D Gailliard.  The Impact Center is a volunteer run non-profit that provides direct programming and connections to local social service providers; resources include counseling and case management, childcare, job training and emergency assistance.

NCGrowth first came across the Impact Center at a Shark Tank event hosted by Springboard NC in Rocky Mount.  Pastor James D Gailliard was the MC for the event and from his dynamic presence it was evident that he was passionate about improving the lives of the people in his church and community.

Measuring the exact economic impact of such activity is difficult – what is it worth to the community when one citizen is kept out of the prison system, or is helped to manage a chronic health condition and stay out of the emergency room, or one child is supported in a way that they can thrive?  Students waded in to these difficult questions, using IMPLAN to estimate the impact of direct expenditures associated with facility and program operations and generating methodologies that the Center can use going forward to track some of the more diffuse impacts.

Read more from DCRP students Chris Bendix and Rachel Wexler about this project and the other Fall workshops on the Carolina Angles blog: