Boone County News Release

Press Archives Press Room

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Megan Corbin Bania
Boone County Community Services Department
Phone: (573) 886-4298

Boone County Selected to Join the Urban Institute's Upward Mobility Cohort

May 26, 2021 - The Urban Institute announced Boone County as one of eight counties selected through a competitive process to join the new Upward Mobility Cohort. The cohort will work to reduce racial and ethnic inequities and support upward mobility from poverty in the participating counties. 
The cohort members will each receive a $125,000 grant and 18 months of technical assistance from Urban. The assistance will include data analysis, stakeholder engagement, and policy and programmatic advising. Additionally, the cohort will benefit from peer-learning opportunities where county leaders can attend convenings, workshops, and trainings to share knowledge about strategies to promote upward mobility and help develop best practices. 
The eight participating counties are: 
Alameda, Calif.
Boone, Mo.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Ramsey, Minn.
Riverside, Calif.
St. Lucie, Fla.
Summit, Ohio
Washington, D.C.
Throughout the 18-month technical assistance period, the Urban Institute will use mobility metrics to advise counties in their work to narrow inequities and increase upward mobility. The mobility metrics include measures of economic success while also focusing on power and autonomy and being valued in the community. These metrics can help communities establish priorities, set targets, catalyze action, change policies and practices, and monitor their progress over time.
Through these efforts, the selected counties will develop a mobility action plan that will take a comprehensive approach to economic advancement for their residents and will identify key challenges across policy areas that require attention to boost opportunities for upward mobility. The plan will also highlight strategies to improve local conditions for mobility and outcomes for residents, as informed by data and community voices. The Urban Institute’s Boosting Upward Mobility from Poverty project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Boone County has long been seen as an innovative, forward-thinking community that has helped its residents to reach their full potential.  That vision can only be a reality, however, if opportunity exists across all sectors of the community,” says Janet Thompson, District II Boone County Commissioner. “To transform vision into reality, we must address upward economic mobility issues in Boone County.”

Cradle to Career Alliance’s Executive Director Crystal Kroner stated, “The window is wide open for communities to begin taking courageous steps toward meaningful and lasting change. We are ready to seize this opportunity to take steps toward healing our systems.” Cradle to Career Alliance is playing a key role in the project.

Partners in this work include Central Missouri Community Action, City of Columbia Department of Public Health and Human Services, Columbia Housing Authority, Minority Men’s Network, MU Health Care, MU Office of Extension and Engagement, Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI), University of Missouri School of Medicine, Worley Street Roundtable, and a local advocacy consultant.

About the Urban Institute
The nonprofit Urban Institute is a leading research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. For 50 years, The Urban Institute has been the trusted source for rigorous analysis of complex social and economic issues; strategic advice to policymakers, philanthropists, and practitioners; and new, promising ideas that expand opportunities for all. Our work inspires effective decisions that advance fairness and enhance the well-being of people and places.

About Boone County Community Services Department
The mission of Boone County Community Services Department is to support the greatest possible level of independence and self-sufficiency of Boone County residents by promoting their physical, mental and social well-being to cultivate a safe and healthy community. The Boone County Community Health & Medical Fund is funded through the Boone County Hospital Lease.