Boone County News Release

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For Immediate Release

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Boone County's Upward Mobility Project Workgroups Are Underway

March 17, 2022 – Planning workgroups focused on three priority areas related to upward mobility are creating a Mobility Action Plan for Boone County.

Boone County is one of eight counties nationwide participating in the Upward Mobility Cohort with funding from the Urban Institute. The creation of this project cohort, Boosting Upward Mobility from Poverty, 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, autonomy, and being valued in the community to more fully capture people’s experiences with upward mobility from poverty.

Priorities for the project were set by community members in the fall of 2021. Three workgroups have formed to begin creating a Mobility Action Plan around the following topics: Early Grade Literacy; Jobs & Workforce Development; and Fair & Inclusive Housing. Each workgroup’s plan will detail goals and strategies to improve the community conditions which limit upward mobility from poverty. Each workgroup is facilitated by a community leader and participants include nonprofit representatives, local government officials, local businessowners, faith leaders, and members of the community-at-large. Each workgroup will have a completed plan by May 2022. The workgroups are utilizing the Results-Based Accountability (RBA) framework to develop an action plan which highlights data and equity. Participants in planning sessions identify the results they want to see in the community then identify strategies and solutions to reach the results. The framework allows communities to quickly move from talk to action.

The Early Grade Literacy workgroup is facilitated by Alvin Plummer of Minority Men’s Network. The goal of this workgroup’s members is for “all children in Boone County to learn to read and see themselves as readers & writers.” This workgroup has prioritized literacy at 3rd grade as a leading measure of their progress. Alvin Plummer believes, “literacy is a key factor toward improving conditions of life,” and “a healthy society is one that is able to adjust to the advancements of the future.” The Early Grade Literacy workgroup is meeting monthly to draft their Mobility Action Plan. 

The Jobs & Workforce Development workgroup is facilitated by Alvin Cobbins of Minority Men’s Network. The goal of this workgroup’s members is that “Boone County is a flourishing community where everyone can live, learn, and grow.” To measure progress toward this result, the workgroup has decided to measure rates of women-owned and minority-owned business enterprises; affordable childcare within Boone County; median income by educational attainment; median income of family households; and high school graduation rates. “The Upward Mobility project will have a profound impact in Boone County because the data will help identify gaps and disparities,” says facilitator Cobbins. “This [workgroup] gives their time and shares brainstorming ideas based on personal hands on experiences, education, knowledge and wisdom all with the hope and confident of identifying root causes.” The Jobs & Workforce Development workgroup is meeting monthly to draft their Mobility Action Plan.

The Fair & Inclusive Housing workgroup is facilitated by Brittany Hughes. The community goal of this workgroup’s members is that “all People in Boone County have safe, quality, and affordable housing.” They are measuring progress toward the goal with community data related to the average costs of home compared to median income; the rate of families paying more than 30% of their income in housing; and the rate of home ownership by black/African American Boone County residents. Hughes is excited about the upward mobility project because “[it] starts a process of accountability for policy and conditions changes at the city and county level. Knowing who owns what role in the issue of housing justice will allow us to better see where things are not working and who is responsible for making sure things change.” Hughes wants Boone County to know, “trusting that the people closest to the pain are the experts in what they need and in the strategy to get it is what’s going to help move the needle. This project gets us a step closer to living out that idea.” The Fair & Inclusive Housing workgroup meets monthly to develop their plan.   

Each workgroup is developing a Mobility Action Plan which will be completed in May 2022 and will be launched at a future event. If you are interested in learning more about getting involved with any of the workplans, reach out to the Boone County Community Services Department at 573-886-7205 or email

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.

Media Contacts:

Megan Bania
Boone County Community Services Department

Alvin Cobbins

Brittany Hughes

Alvin Plummer