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Summit County Chosen for Program to Help Lift Residents Out of Poverty

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Summit County is one of eight counties nationwide participating in a program called Upward Mobility that seeks to reduce racial and ethnic inequities.

Summit County is one of eight counties nationwide that has been selected for a program to reduce racial and ethnic inequities and support upward mobility from poverty.

As part of the program, the county receives a $125,000 grant and assistance from the nonprofit Urban Institute for the next 18 months. Finance Department Director Diane Miller-Dawson is leading the county's effort and says the main goal is to level the playing field.

Miller-Dawson: equal opportunity

“We think once people are on equal footing they will have equal opportunities for success," Miller-Dawson. "So we are looking at ways to make sure that people have equal access, equal opportunities. So they can have the same chances to raise themselves out of poverty.”

The Upward Mobility cohort includes counties from Minnesota, California, Missouri and Florida. Over the next 18 months they will be collecting data using the Urban Institute’s mobility metrics. After the data collection period has passed, Miller-Dawson says they will create an action plan to help those in poverty in Summit County.