The Community Action Partnership is the nonprofit, national membership organization representing the interests of the 1,100 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the country that annually help 17 million low-income Americans achieve economic security. Whether it’s a Head Start program, Weatherization, job training, housing, food bank, energy assistance, financial education, or any of the other 40+ distinct programs, CAAs work to make America a better place to live.
The Partnership’s current initiatives include the Office of Community Services (HHS)-sponsored initiative on Exemplary Practices in Community Economic Development (CED), Rooting Out Poverty: A Campaign by America’s Community Action Network and a two-year Ford Foundation project on Racial Equity and Economic Security. The CED project is identifying, disseminating and implementing successful best practices for CAAs and related organizations. Visit our new project website: www.PartnershipCED.org. Rooting Out Poverty—which initiated with the National Symposium on Poverty and Economic Security held in May 2007—is a campaign to promote economic security for all Americans, especially those who are poor. It offers themes and specific recommendations and strategies to help children, families, senior citizens, and other individuals who are vulnerable to poverty, economic deprivation, and other significant barriers to economic self-sufficiency. The Racial Equity and Economic Security project examines whether strategies to reduce poverty and enhance economic security are more effective when they take into account racial inequalities. Through this project, the Partnership is developing tools and materials that help the Community Action network improve their programs and services.
In order to help CAAs meet ever-changing community needs, the Partnership sponsors an annual convention, publishes a quarterly magazine, provides training and technical assistance opportunities, and a weekly electronic newsletter. The Partnership sponsors a national certification program for individual CAAs (“Pathways to Excellence,” based on the Baldrige standards) and a rigorous training program for individual Community Action leaders (“Certified Community Action Professional,”CCAP). Most recently the federal Office of Community Services in the Department of Health & Human Services designated the Partnership as the lead national non-profit for two working groups: Jobs & Job Creation and Community Economic Development.