Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles Website Launched

May 11, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Andrea Reynolds, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, 845-452-3077

                 Megan Pierce, United Way of Dutchess County, 845-471-1900 x 115

                 Kent Gardner, Center for Governmental Research, 585-466-4273

                 Steve Densmore, Dyson Foundation, 845-234-8713

 

Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles Website Launched

Site Provides Insights into Trends, Needs in Dutchess, Orange, Ulster Counties

POUGHKEEPSIE—Center for Governmental Research (CGR) President and CEO Kent Gardner today unveiled the Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles Website, a new source of in depth, comparative information about Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties that will provide government agencies and nonprofits throughout the region with an important new tool for assessing and understanding the populations they serve. The website, located at www.mhvcommunityprofiles.org, is available to the public and will be consistently updated with new data over the next five years.

During a press conference held at Marist College’s Admissions Auditorium on Wednesday morning, Mr. Gardner demonstrated how to navigate the site, discussed how it will prove useful to various organizations, and pointed out some interesting trends found within the comparative data.

“Good information doesn’t save lives or revitalize communities—but without it, public policy and private philanthropy can’t be effective,” said Mr. Gardner. “We’re pleased to have partnered with the Dyson Foundation, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, and United Way of Dutchess County in the creation of this information resource. We hope that community nonprofits and the public sector will find that this website stimulates dialogue about needs, and cooperation around goals, policies and programs.”

Non-profit and government leaders from the three counties also attended the press conference. They included Jacki Brownstein, Executive Director of Mental Health America Dutchess County; Kevin White, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh; and Michael Berg, Executive Director of Family of Woodstock. Each delivered brief remarks about the important role the new site will provide for service providers operating in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties. Organizers planned a series of workshops in each of the three counties to introduce the new website to nonprofit and government agency representatives.

The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, the Dyson Foundation, and United Way of Dutchess County jointly committed $300,000 over the next five years in order to commission CGR to create and maintain the new website. The three organizations, with input from local health and human service providers, selected 50 indicators within the following fields to be represented on the site: children and youth, community engagement, demographics, economy, education, financial stability, health, and housing. 

“We are very excited to launch this website, which makes a great deal of regional data and analysis easily available to the public,” said Michell Speight, Director of Programs for the Dyson Foundation.  “We believe that access to this indicator data, and the ability to make comparisons within the region, will be useful to a variety of nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, and individuals.  We look forward to seeing how it’s put to use in the coming months.”

 “The Community Foundation is pleased to join the Dyson Foundation and United Way on this significant project.  Through our support of the Community Profiles Web site, we will provide organizations the ability to track community conditions, develop programs and affect change that will contribute to the well-being of citizens in the Hudson Valley,” said Andrea L. Reynolds, President and CEO of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

“We are delighted to have worked the Dyson Foundation, the Community Foundations and CGR to make this information available to our community, nonprofit partners and residents,” said Sheila Appel, Board Chair of United Way of Dutchess County. “Knowing more about our area will help us make use of our strengths and address areas for growth which will improve lives.”

The website includes the following features: 

  • One regional profile website that includes charts, data tables, and analysis of the three-county region (Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster).
  • Three separate community profile websites (Dutchess, Orange and Ulster) that include charts, data tables, and analysis specific to the individual county with comparisons to the region.
  • Four complete community profiles (region, plus three individual county profiles) based upon a consistent set of 50 indicators.
  • Key Trends analysis for the eight main fields (e.g. education) for each of the four community profile websites.
  • Summary Report compiling key trends for each of the four profile websites.
  • Demographic indicators, including total population, age of population, population by race and ethnicity, and household type, for each of the four profile websites.
  • Regular updating of indicator data, charts, and analysis, as well as county and regional summaries.

The Dyson Foundation has teamed with CGR on important community-based research projects in the past. In 2009, the Foundation commissioned CGR to conduct a review and analysis of salaries and benefits for Dutchess County legislators and executive staff.  In 2005, CGR received a grant to conduct the Mid-Hudson Valley Nonprofit Economic Impact Study.

Many cities and regions around the country have similar community indicator projects and CGR has developed and maintains such projects for other communities such as Rochester and Herkimer-Oneida counties.

The Center for Governmental Research (CGR) (www.cgr.org) was founded in 1915 by George Eastman as a bureau of municipal research in Rochester NY to serve as an “independent, non-partisan agency for keeping citizens informed.”  Today as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with offices in Rochester and Albany, CGR’s activities focus on issues  that affect the quality of life in communities both inside and outside of New York State.

 

Background

United Way of Dutchess County

United Way of Dutchess County is one of the area’s premier community-impact organizations, serving as a resource and convener to help increase community capacity to meet community needs. Its mission is to build a stronger, healthier community by raising resources and developing partnerships to make a measurable difference in people’s lives. More than 50,000 county residents each year rely on a United Way funded program, partnership or initiative for assistance. For more information visit www.unitedwaydutchess.org.

 Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley—Serving Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam Counties

Established in 1969, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley is your first resource for everything charitable. Currently, the Foundation administers more than 495 charitable funds established by donors who primarily live in Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster counties.  Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $16 million in grants and scholarships has been awarded to our community. For more information about the Community Foundation call 845-452-3077 or visit www.cfhvny.org.

The Dyson Foundation

The Dyson Foundation is a private grant making foundation headquartered in Dutchess County and directed by the Dyson family under the leadership of Foundation President Robert R. Dyson. The Dyson Foundation's mission is to improve and enhance the quality of life in the region for all of its residents, especially those most vulnerable or economically disadvantaged. For more information visit www.dysonfoundation.org.