Developing And Implementing A Measure Of Sustainability For Workforce And Economic Development Projects In Northeast Pennsylvania

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David M. Gilfoil
Robert T. Brill

Keywords

sustainability index, economic development, financial services, BARS assessment, sustainability, evaluation criteria, workforce development, measurement

Abstract

As part of a Wall Street West (WSW) grant, a project team was assembled to investigate the effectiveness of other WSW grantees working on various projects to impact the long term economic development of the financial services sector of the Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) corridor.  Because sustainability of grant work was deemed critical by project leaders, a literature search was undertaken to identify factors that contribute to sustainability.  Twelve factors were culled from the literature, reviewed with WSW executives and project grantees, and ultimately combined (using a BARS assessment methodology) to form an economic or workforce development Sustainability Index.  This paper reviews the logic and the steps taken to develop the Sustainability Index, discusses the validity and reliability of the instrument, and shows how it was used to measure and report the relative importance of sustainability factors in economic development activities.  The authors issue a call to action to further develop and refine the instrument across a variety of application venues.

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