Our Stories

6.20.2018 -

All Economic Development, All the Time

Bill Taft, the longtime executive director of LISC Indianapolis, has been named senior vice president of economic development for LISC and will be spearheading our work to grow enterprises and create jobs in the places that need them. In the following Q&A, he talks strategy, practice and what it takes to build inclusive local economies in real life.

6.19.2018 -

Catalyzing Kalamazoo

For 15 years, LISC has been investing in Kalamazoo's historic Edison neighborhood, where decades of deindustrialization and decline had severed residents from jobs, educational opportunities and accessible healthcare. Today, gleaming new community facilities and flourishing small businesses are generating good jobs, and preparing people for employment. And resident-led projects to beautify the district and create social bonds are nudging the neighborhood into a more connected, dynamic future.

SSIR: Groundbreaking study looks at how neighborhood networks anchor community gains

In this week’s Stanford Social Innovation Review, LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones takes a close look at the outcomes from one of the largest single-city community development efforts in the country, the decade-long New Communities Program (NCP) in Chicago. Most notable, Jones writes, is data on community networks and how closely they connect to local growth and opportunity. The evidence confirms what community developers have long assumed but previously never proven: a durable local infrastructure of nonprofits, businesses, and other stakeholders is able to both attract and absorb capital in ways that measurably improve residents’ quality of life.

Helping Americans Live Longer

Why is the U.S. falling behind other wealthy nations when it comes to life expectancy? LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones tells the New York Times that underinvestment in core human needs like housing, education and jobs is damaging the health outlook for millions of Americans. He pointed to innovative partnerships, like LISC's collaboration with Toledo-based ProMedica, as a way to raise standards of living and improve longevity. “Let’s make this the new standard of care…,” he urged.

Home-Grown Talent Lifts Communities

LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones takes a hopeful look at the future in an interview with Philanthropy News Digest, pointing to the wealth of untapped talent in American communities as evidence that there are gains yet to come. "The question is, what do we do as a society to ensure that these people are able to fulfill their promise?” For LISC, that includes a range of local investments, from employment skills training to entrepreneurship to affordable housing development, all of which help expand economic opportunity and support a good quality of life.