Staffing: Preparing the Urban Extension Workforce

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

For several decades, Extension leaders have studied how personnel working in high population density, or urban, areas can be most effective (Brown, 1965; Fox, 2017; Harriman & Daugherty, 1992; Krofta & Panshin, 1989; Miller, 1973; Schaefer, Huegel, & Mazzotti, 1992; Yep, 1981; Young & Vavrina, 2014). While there are similarities to Extension staffing and workforce development in all geographic areas, personnel serving the Extension mission in urban areas face unique challenges due to the context of urban communities:

Scale – Due to the sheer number of people living in urban communities, the ratio of Extension personnel to residents and key stakeholders is usually far greater in urban areas than in rural areas. This challenges the reach and effectiveness of Extension’s long-established engagement strategies which have relied heavily on direct education. Reaching large numbers of people requires new approaches to program planning, delivery, and evaluation. Follow this link to read the Leading Edge Dialogue White Paper.

Sourced from: Western Center for Metropolitan Extension & Research