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Indicators For Excellence For Yakima County

Yakima County Local Indicators for Excellence (YC-LIFE) will release its first annual community report card during the Yakima Chamber of Commerce Luncheon March 12 from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. at the Yakima Red Lion Hotel.  The YC-LIFE Annual Report 2012 is a comprehensive list of indicators for Yakima County.  This report continues the work of the Compass 2001 Community Assessment report and the State of Caring Index indicator project, led by United Way of Central Washington in partnership with local businesses, governments, and health and human services organizations.  As of 2009, the State of Caring Index project ended and as a result there was no centralized data collection and evaluation available to the general public or community leaders.  YC-LIFE began in 2009 in response to this issue.  The YC-LIFE report, sponsored by the Yakima County Department of Human Services and the United Way of Central Washington and produced through the collaborative efforts of many community partners, collects and measures indicators which track demographic, economic, social and environmental conditions of value and concern to the residents of Yakima County.  The report is made up of 11 different categories which provide data for each city, the county, state and nation when available.  A variety of data sources were used in the creation of the report including the U.S. Census, the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, the Risk and Protection Profile for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Healthy Youth Survey, and many others. YC-LIFE is a community based support organization for local Collective Impact initiatives. On-going support efforts of YC-LIFE will include centralized data collection, resource development, assistance with community planning efforts, and community mobilization.  Collective Impact provides a framework for how organizations across all sectors of the community can work together to achieve a common goal, as described in the Winter 2011 issue of the “Stanford Social Innovation Review”.  Yakima County has been far ahead of the curve in its utilization of Collective Impact collaborations: Children’s Village, The Homeless Network of Yakima County, Safe Yakima Valley, and the Yakima County Gang Commission and YC-LIFE are just a few of the excellent examples of successful collective impact efforts.

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