“I worked for that”: The Rewards (and Challenges) of Youth Program Implementation in Four New England CDCs

Tom Skwierawski

W 14-10: The aim of this studiy was to qualitatively study four New England CDCs. Four organizations (members of NeighborWorks America) were the partners in this study. NeighborWorks America is a national quasi-public organization that delivers programs and services through a network of roughly 235 independent CDCs nationwide. Although the organizations – known as NeighborWorks Organizations (NWOs) – vary from place to place, some general similarities apply. Practically all of these groups are primarily focused on real estate development, in particular the development of affordable housing. But many of them also have other lines of business, geared towards community development more generally: homebuyer services, property management, leadership development, and community organizing. For NWOs, youth work is undertaken as an aspect of community organizing.The first section of the study outlines the groups studied. The next section categorizes the main types of challenges faced by these four groups. Some solutions are then proposed to these organizational challenges, solutions that are then used as a framework to analyze each of these four CDCs in depth. Finally, the paper concludes with an analysis of the study’s implications for the future of both theory and practice.