2017 Unpaid Extension Internship or Project Opportunities in Community & Economic Development

For all opportunities below please submit resume and short cover letter explaining your interest to Laura Brown, Community & Economic Development Educator, UConn Extension laura.brown@uconn.edu.

 
Downtown Market Analysis Toolbox Housing Section Update  

Over the past several decades, small cities in the northeast and across the country have seen continued economic leakage from downtown to outlying areas.  Many small city downtowns, including those in Connecticut, suffered physical dissolution from the urban renewal projects of the 1960’s and have faced disinvestment, high vacancy rates and a poor mix of retail tenants.  At the same time, these communities see a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on increased interest in walkable, transit oriented small downtowns among boomers and milennials, but lack the market research support available to the big retailers and shopping center developers.[1] The Downtown and Business District Market Analysis toolbox https://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/ was developed to address these issues by helping businesses understand their trade area to improve sales helping communities demonstrate the economic importance of downtown.  This toolbox is the result of a collaborative effort involving University of Minnesota Extension, Ohio State University Extension, and University of Wisconsin-Extension and is based on and supportive of the economic restructuring principles of the National Trust Main Street Center. This project will involve assisting with an update to the Housing portion of the Downtown Market Analysis Toolbox  https://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/analysis-of-opportunities-by-sector/housing/ Specific tasks /responsibilities include editing and writing, gathering appropriate US Census data, conducting some analysis, updating examples in the toolbox with new data from the US Census, reviewing current literature on housing in downtowns, work closely with nationally recognized faculty at UConn and University of Wisconsin as well as CT Main Street Center.  There will be opportunities for sharing this scholarly work with peers through presentations, conferences and webinars.  Potential for paid work pending grant funding.

 

CEDAS Academy TAPAS Series Educational Resources Development

CEDAS Academy-ED  Strategy Series is a web-based educational learning series developed by UConn Extension in collaboration with the Connecticut Economic Development Association and the Connecticut Economic Research Center.  Intended for an audience of economic and community developers, planners, elected officials and other community decision-makers in economic development, the goals are to help these stakeholders increase their understanding of timely, relevant economic development issues and strategies available to address them, become aware of specific examples as best practices or community successes, and learn about relevant local resources available to address these issues. The program is offered as quarterly one-hour webinars (Spring – early May, Summer- mid-June, Fall – October Winter December) which includes a 30-40 minute presentation with a focus on community based examples/case studies followed by 15-20 minutes Q&A and discussion.  This project will involve creating educational materials based on resources shared during each webinar.  These will take the form of “fact sheets” posted to the UConn Community Development website http://communities.extension.uconn.edu/ Specific tasks /responsibilities include writing an overview of each topic area and its relevance to economic development, compiling resources provided during the webinar, and posting to the website.  Topics include food systems based economic development , workforce development, co-working spaces, business retention and expansion, and entrepreneurship development.  The student will work closely with work closely with faculty at UConn and economic developers in the CT Economic Development Association.  There will be opportunities for sharing this scholarly work with peers through presentations, conferences and webinars.


Understanding Links between Multi-Use Trails and Public Health   

The Connecticut Trail Census is a statewide volunteer data collection program intended to inform a better understanding of multi-use trail use in the state of Connecticut and to make this important information available to trail user groups, administrators, government agencies, and the general public.  The goals of the project are to understand when, who, how, and why people make use of Connecticut’s multi-use trail, educate trail user groups, administrators, state and local government agencies, and the general public about trails and their impacts, obtain multi-year information about trail use, user demographics, economic impacts, and trail amenities for identification of patterns and trends, to promote active citizen participation in monitoring and understanding the value of trails, and to encourage sound trail building and maintenance programs based on data.  As part of the CT Trail Census project, this project will involve updating a preliminary literature review and conducting in depth analysis on public health focus group data.  The student should have familiarity with academic journal searches, ability to read and summarize literature, excellent writing and organizational skills.  Specific tasks /responsibilities include updating a bibliography specifically related to public health and multiuse trails and writing a summary of existing literature, assisting with an in depth analysis of existing focus group data with public heath professionals about health impacts of trails, locating and inventorying existing public health data related to levels of fitness for CT residents.  There will be opportunities for sharing this scholarly work with peers through a peer reviewed journal piece, presentations, conferences and webinars.


Literature Update on Economic Impact of Multi-Use Trails and Property Valuation   

In 2014 a literature review was conducted as part of a study to assess the potential economic impacts of the development Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) Trail, a proposed 44 mile multi-use trail that will run through the eleven Connecticut communities through which the Naugatuck River flows: Torrington, Harwinton, Litchfield, Thomaston, Watertown, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia, and Derby. The study addresses the primary question “How will communities and residents along the Naugatuck River benefit from their investment in building the proposed trail?” The original literature review provided guidance for scoping the original impact study.  The update will include searching for updated for additional impact studies documenting the economic impact of multiuse trails and, in particular those that review the effects of trails on property valuation.  The student should have familiarity with academic journal searches, ability to read and summarize literature, excellent writing and organizational skills.  Specific tasks /responsibilities include updating a bibliography specifically related to trails and economic impacts and updating the existing literature review, searching for additional literature related to property valuation and summarizing this in the updated document.  There will be opportunities for sharing this scholarly work with peers through a peer reviewed journal piece, presentations, conferences and webinars.

[1] University of Wisconsin-Extension.  “Downtown Business and Market Analysis Toolbox.” Retrieved online November, 2016 at https://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/

 

(Please note: Internship postings are being provided for informational purposes only. Anyone interested in applying for an internship is responsible for verifying all related information. The Urban and Community Studies Program, nor the University is recommending these employers nor guaranteeing the accuracy of the information furnished in the job posting.)



Posted February 1, 2017