CPDC and Communities Together. Growing and Thriving (2011 – Present)
Tribute #18 – Our New Community Building Model: Fostering Economic Development Opportunities for Residents
Nestled in the heart of Silver Spring, MD is a close-knit community of primarily immigrant families. Residents at Park Montgomery have embraced economic development as one of the key contributions to the growth of their families and communities. Through a grant provided by Capital One, CPDC has partnered with IMPACT Silver Spring to create the first Family Asset Building Network (FABNet) Circle prototype in the Washington, D.C. region.
The FABNet Circle was created to increase residents’ access to opportunities for economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. IMPACT Silver Spring’s unique approach helps small groups, typically consisting of 8-10 individuals in a given program cycle, create and grow social and economic capital and momentum. As members of the Circle become more marketable and employable, they begin generating income and their families become more economically stable.
Through the FABNet Circle, residents are establishing and contributing to savings accounts, learning English to improve their chances of finding better jobs, attending college, and establishing their own small businesses. They are taking an active role in decision making that affects their quality of life in their community.
Tesfaye Gesesse, an Ethiopian national and 10-year resident of the Park Montgomery community, has been participating in the FABNet Circle since its inception. Having completed various financial literacy workshops, resume and job-skills trainings, and with support from other members of the Circle, he gained the confidence and capital to launch his own T-shirt business called “Quote Life.” The business serves as a productive and engaging endeavor that provides Gesesse and his Circle with firsthand insight into the lifelong rewarding values of initiative and hard work.
“Everyone has his or her own road, own background, and own experience,” said Gesesse. “Doing things in a group gives us an advantage. We’re being exposed to various opportunities such as starting a business, networking, and pursuing individual goals. We didn’t have this type of opportunity before the FABNet Circle.”
By promoting economic development, CPDC connects residents with resources, opportunities, and partnerships that help them grow and thrive.