GEDC Partners with UT IC2 Institute Interns to Develop Regional Recovery Report
14 Sep 2020
IC2 Institute @UT Austin
Pandemic Recovery Survey Results
<< Community Asset Mapping Project >>
Giddings, TX (September 13, 2020) – The GEDC's participation this summer in the University of Texas IC2 Institute Regional Recovery Initiative has led to the creation of a community asset map and pandemic recovery document completed by a team of student researchers. The IC2 Institute engaged communities throughout the state to support students in their work mapping community assets, measuring the impact of Covid-19 on health and economy, and creating a database of qualitative and quantitative data to understand the “state” of Texas communities outside the urban corridor. The program involved working with >90 students in 80 communities in both Texas and Louisiana. This was the largest internship program at UT Austin this summer.
The GEDC participated as a member community by assisting student researchers in distributing surveys and connecting with stakeholders. In return, Giddings received a community report with recovery recommendations and insight into how the community is perceived through the eyes of a young, external visitor.
"It is challenging to “get to know” a community remotely, as the pandemic necessitated, and in only two months! So, we understand that this report is but an introduction to your community and may not be complete. We appreciate your patience and feedback. However, we hope that the student’s findings are insightful and useful in your community’s future planning. The report details student findings related to your community assets, learnings from community interviews, impact of Covid-19 through survey analysis and summary of findings with a few suggested next steps. We hope that seeing your community through the eyes of the “talent of the future” helps give new perspective to your internal assets," Dr. Gregory Pogue, Deputy Executive Director, IC2 Institute, The University of Texas at Austin.
Subsequently, the GEDC accepted an invitation to participate free of charge in the University of Texas at Austin’s Regional XLR8, a new type of “accelerator” for economic development hosted by the university’s IC2 Institute. The program is slated to begin on September 15 and via an online platform, participants will engage in regional collaboration, identify opportunities for growth befitting regional assets, and develop a recovery plan with maximum impact that rapidly turns “opportunity into reality.” The accelerator program builds on IC2’s +40 years of “thinking and doing” and takes an entrepreneurial approach to creating community resiliency. "I'm looking forward to the neworking opportunities offered through this program and to become more familiar with some of the "academic trends" in impementing programs and measuring economic impacts. We have a lot of challenges ahead so this support could not have come at a better time," stated Tonya Britton, GEDC Executive Director.