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Valley Vision Expands Reach to Increase Jobs, Improve Health, and Quality of Life for Central Valley Residents

Blog: Project Update
Friday, March 3, 2017
Author:
Christine Ault

At a meeting of Central Valley leaders held on the campus of the University of Pacific in early March, Bill Mueller conveyed his excitement about expanding Valley Vision’s geographic reach to the North San Joaquin Valley, where the 22-year-old civic leadership group will address the social and economic needs of residents and communities in the same it has served the six-county Sacramento region since 1994.

Valley Vision has roots in the Central Valley, having worked with members of the Hmong community from Fresno to the North Sacramento Valley a decade ago to help them achieve a better life. But it was when the Great Valley Center turned to Valley Vision in 2015 to help cities and counties meet their energy efficiency goals that created an opportunity for Valley Vision to open a satellite office in Stockton.

Then in the Fall of last year, Valley Vision entered into a research partnership with the University of the Pacific (UOP) to shed light on regional problems. New socio-economic data will be used to ascertain where the Central Valley’s economy is slated to grow and to assess infrastructure challenges associated with transportation, education and how to better deliver health care services more effectively. The university was one of the original founders of Valley Vision back in 1994. That makes this partnership between the UOP’s business school and Valley Vision — to conduct qualitative and quantitative research projects that benefit residents on matters of workforce, community-based housing, and community health – even more consequential.

Additional opportunities soon came about. Valley Vision board member and UOP President Pam Eibeck facilitated conversations with Central Valley business, political, governmental and community-based stakeholders, which led to Valley Vision being invited to partner with North San Joaquin Valley leaders who are dedicated to improving quality of life and economic sustainability factors for local residents.

Additional investments followed from Sutter Health focused on driving new heath care initiatives. The San Joaquin County Office of Public Health and Kaiser Permanente have since come on board to provide additional underwriting to help people access the care they deserve. And, leaders of the Stanislaus Community Foundation, the head of United Way, and other Central Valley leaders met with Valley Vision recently to explore additional means to improve social outcomes.

Today, Valley Vision is working with an Advisory Council to drive new strategies and resource alignment of organizations, investment, and expertise to better address the challenges faced by everyday people in their communities. Valley Vision’s Huddle workspace in Stockton will soon oversee a growing portfolio of work in the areas of food and health access, education, workforce development planning, and reducing pollution.

Bill told participants at the March Advisory Council meeting, “We are honored that Valley Vision is being invited by a wide range of public and private sector leaders and organizations to work together to improve the lives of the people of the North San Joaquin Valley. We’re just getting started.”

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Christine Ault is Valley Vision's Communications Advisor.