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 Upward Mobility Priorities and Community Data Released

October 14, 2021 – Boone County’s Upward Mobility Team is announcing the release of county-wide data and initial priorities set by community members.

Boone County is one of eight counties nationwide to join the Upward Mobility Cohort with funding from the Urban Institute, which received direct funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The creation of this Boosting Upward Mobility from Poverty project cohort aims to improve economic and social mobility within local communities. The project utilizes a broad definition of upward mobility that extends beyond a simple focus on economic success to recognize the critical importance of power and autonomy and being valued in the community to more fully capture people’s experiences with upward mobility from poverty. 

In August, community members, leaders, and elected officials attended the Upward Mobility Kickoff, a data walk, to understand the state of mobility from poverty in Boone County. This kickoff was hosted by Boone County and Cradle to Career Alliance. Community data was analyzed and presented using the Urban Institute framework that identified three dimensions that define mobility from poverty, the drivers that fuel it, and the policy domains local leaders can influence to bolster the conditions that boost upward mobility and narrow racial inequities. The drivers include Strong & Healthy Families, Opportunities to Learn & Earn, and Supportive Communities. 

Through a collaborative process, attendees of the data walk identified initial priorities for the community to improve across three key driver areas. To improve outcomes in the Strong & Healthy Families driver, community members identified the need for local solutions to support families across the “benefits cliff” as they increase their wages and begin to lose public assistance. Outcomes to improve in the Opportunities to Learn & Earn driver included improving disparities of literacy scores at 3rd grade, reducing opportunity gaps in workforce development and employment, and decreasing referrals to the 13th Circuit Juvenile Office. Finally, outcomes prioritized within the Supportive Communities driver included increasing available inclusive housing to reduce and mitigate neighborhood segregation. Over the next several months, planning activities will commence with leaders from grassroots organizations.

Community data gathered for the data walk is now publicly available online in the Boone Indicators Dashboard at This data shows the state of factors impacting upward mobility from poverty. Anyone with an interest in learning more about the data, how it can be used, and the process for collection and analysis can reach out to the Boone County Community Services Department. 

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.

About Cradle to Career Alliance
Cradle to Career Alliance is a nonprofit serving as the only Missouri member in the StriveTogether national partnership.  We use an approach combining data and strategic planning with a vision of creating communities where all residents have equitable opportunities to succeed from cradle to career.