NIMBY Crowd Turns to COVID-19 Sites

By Gabe McFadden – Project Associate

Adding more testing sites seems like a reasonable method to help stop coronavirus, yet a plan as simple as increasing testing sites, faces all too common of a foe in development: NIMBYS. The “Not in My Backyard” folks who exacerbated the housing affordability crisis are now fighting proposed testing and quarantine sites.

Not only does the United States need to continue to test for public health reasons, but the affordability crisis, amplified by economic impacts of the virus, must be addressed. Cities and local governments can allow more engagement from all residents in the short term as well as in the long-term through structural change.

Raleigh, North Carolina, disbanded its Citizen Advisory Councils of NIMBY activism in favor of a systematic approach to public outreach. In Minneapolis, neighborhood and development groups must meet “minimum performance” standards for outreach or risk losing city funds.

Seattle is aiming to dismantle the NIMBY power structure entirely by defunding and cutting formal ties with Neighborhood District Councils. Policymakers created a new Community Involvement Commission, which prioritized finding “authentic and thorough” ways to reach ALL city residents, including low-income and homeless people. Additionally, a Seattle Renters Commission was created to advise city departments on policies and monitor enforcement and effectiveness of the new policies.

Ultimately, communities thrive when they include metrics beyond property ownership to a range of economic and quality-of-life markers. Cities that have taken steps to address these NIMBY issues are laying the groundwork for a COVID recovery that is collaborative and inclusive and encompasses short and long-term needs of the community.

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Finding Balance with Regulatory Information

By Kristen Barry – Director of Workforce Solutions


Government programs and regulations tend to be too prescriptive or not prescriptive enough. Inflexibility can block creativity and the ability to meet customer needs, while too little direction enables some program administrators to avoid changes that are necessary for progress.

The answer lies somewhere in between. Finding that balance is one of the most difficult parts of writing and interpreting legislation and policy. However, these guidelines can help you determine what should be specified and what should remain flexible:

  • Prescriptive elements: the what and the why A good policy should be prescriptive about its goal and desired outcomes and the key partners that must be involved.
  • Flexible elements: the how The activities implemented to reach the specified outcomes should be customized based on the needs of local communities and partners.

For example, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) outlines that local workforce development boards must convene partners across workforce development, economic development and education, and must engage employers to understand labor market demand and provide effective services to the industry. However, this should be completely customized based on local geography, targeted industries, and community assets and resources.

Creating this gray area when writing and implementing policy is critical to promoting innovation and allowing implementors to determine the best paths to real solutions that will lead to lasting impact.

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TPMA Education Team Has Deep Talent

By Jonathan Faris – Director of Business Development

Education is evolving rapidly in the COVID-19 environment. K-12, career and technical education (CTE) centers, colleges and universities, and adult training providers are bracing for fall 2020 with contingency plans for online learning. What to do? How to meet state and local requirements and still provide high-quality education and training?

At TPMA, we have a qualified team in place to meet your needs.

Senior Project Consultant Nioka Clark specializes in curriculum design and classroom instruction. She previously served as curriculum director for Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. There, she directed the switch to the new graduation pathway requirements for its charter school network, resulting in a record number of post-secondary and employment-ready high school graduates.

Nioka also led the creation of an emergency eLearning curriculum during the COVID-19 school closures, including virtual CTE course instruction and safe administration of exams for various industry-recognized credentials.

Senior Project Consultant Rebekah Gaidis, Ph.D., specializes in providing data-driven recommendations to improve organizational structure and programming in higher education, leveraging her extensive quantitative and qualitative social-scientific research background.

Rebekah previously worked in higher education at both public and private 4-year institutions for 14 years as a teacher, leader, and researcher. As an assistant professor of communication, she designed a curriculum driven by student needs in preparation for the workforce while advising students in career planning.

Senior Director Steve Catt, Ed.D., links higher education, workforce, and economic development strategy. He has served as a community college administrator for 30 years, a 5th grade teacher, and an adjunct professor teaching organizational development.

Steve previously was deputy director of education and workforce development at Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM), a national initiative focused on Industry 4.0. He has built his career on promoting collaboration with an emphasis on solving workforce challenges, and helping companies and students adapt to new technologies.

We’re here to help. Contact us to learn more!

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