The West Louisville FoodPort Community Council is a group of 120+ community stakeholders: neighborhood residents, business owners, farmers, funders, city government representatives, community organizations, and members of the faith community. The Council plays a vital role in ensuring that the project is directly and consistently connected to the surrounding neighborhoods, defining specific community goals and holding the nonprofit developer accountable for achieving those goals. They meet every other month as a larger group, and have monthly workgroup meetings where specific facets of the development are assessed, evaluated, and enhanced toward sustainable community benefit. View a list of current Community Council Members. Do you work, live, own a business in, or support West Louisville and want to get involved? Please email info [AT] seedcapitalky.org with your interest. The Council’s Workforce Development Workgroup is focused on evaluating and strategizing partnered efforts to bolster job creation and career opportunities at the FoodPort. Driving this work are the goals of ensuring that the FoodPort puts the highest number of new jobs into the hands of West Louisville residents, providing career tracks toward management and ownership opportunities, and making certain that training and support services are in place for sustainable employment as the FoodPort opens its doors. They’re tackling all of this, in conjunction with Kentuckiana Works and TKT & Associates, and dozens of other partners. By joining this work group, you can help guide the process and plans for workforce expansion, empowerment, and economic sustainability. This is key to the ultimate goal of building wealth and ownership in the community. The Council’s Community Benefits Workgroup is working on a community benefits strategy that will ensure the FoodPort provides sustained benefits to the neighborhoods surrounding the site, as well as the broader community overall. By creating a sustained process, the result will help inspire an environment where benefits evolve and grow with the life of the project. With this, and the model of “Authentic Engagement”, we hope to create a new standard for partnership and collaboration between residents and the developments that seek to be their neighbors. The work group is tackling this opportunity by crafting a Community Benefit Platform: a transparent, accountable process where the community can raise ideas, concerns, and offer guidance, in a way that allows constant engagement, responsiveness, and measured deliverables. This allows the community to have a voice in shaping a project over time, to press for community benefits that are tailored to their particular needs, and to enforce developers’ promises (definition courtesy of the LA Alliance for a New Economy). Other components of a community benefits strategy could include concerted efforts to support and incubate businesses creation (helping to launch West Louisville entrepreneurs who desire to open a business of which the FoodPort could be the first client – IT, security, landscaping, etc), creating scholarship funds, and exploring community ownership of the site itself through affordable shareholder options. The guiding objective in every aspect of community benefits is to invest in and support impactful ownership in the community. To make that happen, we need everyone’s voices, ideas and energy! Please join in this mission!