Dive into LIFE in the Fox Cities

Thursday, June 30, 2016

LIFE Study

Peter C. Kelly, President and CEO at United Way Fox Cities presents at the 2016 LIFE Study press conference.

Contributor: Nanci Micke, Vice President Marketing and Communications at United Way Fox Cities

On June 20th, a cross-section of more than 200 members of the Fox Cities community gathered to hear and see the results of the 2016 LIFE (Leading Indicators for Excellence) Study at Dive-In Day. This is the fourth LIFE Study - compiled at five year intervals since 2001, and is sponsored by United Way Fox Cities, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce.
The 2016 LIFE Study builds on previous data collection to present a snapshot of the socio-economic conditions in the area. Its purpose is to spark regional leaders and community members to action based upon an accurate understanding of the things going on across the community in a variety of categories.

Research for the LIFE Study was conducted by Community Research Partners (CRP), a highly-regarded research and evaluation firm based in Columbus, Ohio. The study focuses on solid data, which will be updated on an ongoing basis as important new information becomes available. Nearly 200 indicators are included, each with multiple years of data, to help show trends. Indicators are included about demographics, economy, social, and health aspects of our region. Researchers highlighted 20 themes, with key data points, across seven categories of life.

The web-based format allows indicator data to be updated when it becomes available, a more helpful resource than the five-year interval we have been accustomed to.  The website is interactive, visual, and easy to use.

Attendees at Dive-In Day weighed in on setting priorities for community engagement. The day-long event was supported by Thrivent Financial. After reviewing the priorities for community action based on key study data associated with 20 themes in the study, event attendees were asked to prioritize them according to the seriousness of the theme and the feasibility that community action can create a positive change. The four priorities chosen for community change are: poverty, youth health, student performance, and youth safety.
The next day, the LIFE Study was released to the public and is now available online at www.foxcitieslifestudy.org. Upcoming blogs will focus on the results of the Study, including the themes that were chosen as community priorities.

 The Fox Cities LIFE (Leading Indicators for Excellence) Study is sponsored by United Way Fox Cities, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce to present data on the socio-economic conditions in the area that can help to drive data-driven community conversations and decisions. The study is available at www.foxcitieslifestudy.org.