From: Gregory P. Pogue, Ph.D., Deputy Executive Director | IC² Institute
To Our Community Contacts,
A BIG THANK YOU for your support of the IC2 Institute’s Regional Recovery Program this Summer. This summer, 95 UT students are studying 80 communities in all parts of Texas and 3 Louisiana parishes. The students’ work will provide data and a new lens of viewing community future as leadership plans to address the health and economic shocks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Students assigned to your communities have completed excellent Community Profiles detailing key historical, human, environmental, built, cultural, economic, education and communication assets. Using the results as a basis, they will evaluate strengths, weakness and opportunities in the community revealed by these studies through online/phone interviews with community residents and an online broad community survey. For the interview and survey processes to be maximally impactful, we want to meet and survey a representative cross-section of your community.
Today we are halfway through the timeline for our research project, and our researcher assigned to your community is anxious to conduct as many interviews as possible. The data collected in these interviews will help us present to you as full and meaningful a report as possible. You are the key to helping us find a representative set of residents to interview and survey. Since Covid-19 restricts travel of our UT students, this work is being done remotely. They cannot buy coffee for interviewees, go to businesses or engage with key regional institutions directly – it often comes down to cold-calls and emails. This is the strategy – except for those people you introduce our students to! Your important role in the community helps our students get an “inside track” to meeting people, setting up interviews and inviting them to participate in the survey.
We appreciate your help with these introductions and your willingness to be interviewed yourself! Please engage with the UT student researching your community to introduce them to new people in the next week or two. Your support is critical and appreciated. If you need help connecting with you student, ask and I will link you up again.
We want to invite all of you to participate in our fall city accelerator program, “Regional XLR8.” This program will provide tools for community leaders to take the data and perspectives provided by our researchers and turn these into actionable economic development strategies for their communities. XLR8 activities will occur on Tuesday evenings in September and early October. More details are coming…
Thank you again for your support of this important project! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.