ICMA is supporting an initiative by AARP and JustPartners, Inc. (JPI) to assist four Virginia communities as they design policies, programs, and services that meet the needs of residents of all generations.
The Age-Friendly Community Project provides onsite training and technical assistance to these communities to help them develop plans for a livable and sustainable future that supports lifelong wellness of residents. The training prepares participants to assess the community’s needs, identify essential planning participants, support the creation of a coalition, and engage leaders who can spearhead development of a plan.
Communities in Roanoke Valley were the first to participate in the training, and future trainings are planned for three additional Virginia communities. ICMA’s roles are to identify local government staff to participate in the training and to evaluate the value and effectiveness of the training's content.
Components of the project include:
- A survey to gather feedback about the community as preparation for training workshops.
- A training workshop in each community for government and Area Agency on Aging staff; representatives of community service and nonprofit organizations, the faith community, and local businesses; and other stakeholders who can lead advocacy efforts. Training is based on a time-tested Viable Futures Toolkit developed by JPI.
- Follow-up site visits to help communities assess their progress in developing plans.
- A final report assessing the success of the project and providing a roadmap to help other Virginia communities build coalitions and develop a plan.
AARP Virginia’s support for the project is prompted by AARP’s significant investment in promoting the development of livable communities via its partnership with the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Counties and the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
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