By Rachel Reilly

On September 29, the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) hosted a webinar to elevate key findings and strategies for improving child outcomes in Opportunity Zones as outlined in Advancing education and child development in Opportunity Zones. Experts in the education, childcare, and real estate development sectors joined EIG to share insights on the needs of low-income children and their families and investment-ready projects in Opportunity Zones. 

View presentation slides, a recording of the webinar, and EIG’s key takeaways for more information.

Key Takeaways

More than 7.5 million children live in Opportunity Zones. Of these children:

  • 37% live in poverty.
  • 40% live in single-parent households.
  • 22% do not live in a home where there is a computer with internet access.
  • 6% of teens are not enrolled in high school.

Opportunity Zones investments can be leveraged to: 

  • Expand and improve spaces for learning and care.
  • Strengthen businesses that improve the delivery of education and care. 
  • Build local workforce capacity. 

Public and private sector leaders, including policymakers, employers, anchor institutions, and funders, can catalyze investment in these activities by:

  • Grounding Opportunity Zones strategies in education and childcare.
  • Convening stakeholders to advance strategies and investment ideas.
  • Leveraging vacant, underutilized, and surplus property.
  • Wielding their suite of financing tools to support high-impact projects, businesses, and community organizations.

Investment-ready projects featured in the report will create new learning space for charter school and community-use, provide updated facilities for a YWCA, create affordably priced homes targeted to teachers, expand space for a childcare provider serving homeless mothers and their children, and much more. Examples of these projects include: 

  • Teachers Village Atlanta in Atlanta, GA
  • DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach in Kapolei, HI
  • American Life Phase II and Pathways Early Learning Center in Birmingham, AL
  • YWCA in Baton Rouge, LA

The report, which was developed with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, includes a supplemental guide, Strategies for hosting an Opportunity Zones convening, for those who want to use the report to rally their community behind Opportunity Zones projects and frameworks.

EIG’s OZ Webinar Series:

This webinar is the sixteenth in a series hosted by EIG to provide Opportunity Zones strategies and insights from around the country. Topics include an introduction to Opportunity Zones, an analysis of the final regulations, emerging best practices in heartland, rural, tribal and Main Street areas, and examples of OZ activity in operating businesses, in affordable housing, and from local anchor institutions

Rachel Reilly is the Director of Impact Strategy of Economic Innovation Group. 

Opportunity Zones 

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