United Way of Southern Nevada recently shared preliminary findings from its 2012 Community Assessment, a comprehensive research study that assessed the current state of Southern Nevada residents as it relates to community conditions. The survey focused on the opinions and attitudes of the general population, opinion leaders and the at-risk population relative to quality of life and community issues. This study is one of several over the last ten years and provides a current look at key data points while providing a benchmark against which future studies will be measured. The assessment will empower United Way of Southern Nevada to continue to create effective strategies to address the community’s most pressing needs.
United Way worked in partnership with local research firm Applied Analysis to conduct the initial phase, designed to identify the most critical challenges facing Southern Nevadans.
Key findings identified four critical areas: Jobs, Public Safety, Healthcare and Education.
- Jobs (Employment Opportunities) — Nearly 50% of both at risk and general population report that at least one member in each household has been unemployed in the last 12 months and reveal concern over lack of diversified job opportunities and their own lack of training.
- Public Safety (Crime) — Respondents were concerned about criminal activity, such as child abuse, neglect, gangs and traffic safety.
- Health (Access to Healthcare) — A majority of residents rated themselves as fairly healthy, but expressed concern with regards to lack of access to healthcare, including affordability of care and health insurance options.
- Education (K-12) — Respondents shared concern over quality of education, including reading and math proficiency scores and graduation rates and lack of parental involvement.
“Being in constant communication with our partners allows us to have our finger on the pulse of community issues, especially those that are critical to the well being of individuals and families,” said Cass Palmer, president and CEO of United Way of Southern Nevada. “The study results affirm our mission and work in the areas of health, education and financial stability. We know the study provides research findings that are critical to both our governmental, for-profit and non-profit partners, findings which may impact their programs and services.”
The 2012 Assessment was prepared and analyzed by Jeremy Aguero, principal of Applied Analysis, who has first-hand knowledge of the community and understands United Way’s mission. Additionally, community leaders who joined together to shape the assessment included partners: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Channel 8, USAA Savings Bank, SNRPC, Royal Business Bank and Catholic Charities. United Way of Southern Nevada is also sponsoring a non-profit committee, consisting of Southern Nevada’s top 10 non-profit CEO’s, Mayor Goodman and Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani. Previous United Way of Southern Nevada Assessments were conducted in 2003 and 2007.
The results from Phase One will provide a useful analysis to launch into Phase Two of the 2012 Assessment, which will be overseen by The Lincy Institute. United Way Worldwide also conducts regular in-depth National Assessments to identify critical community needs and ensure the overall United Way mission works to create long lasting strategies to address community challenges.