A needs assessment is a useful tool for prioritizing community needs and allocating resources. Prioritizing community needs helps ensure Extension programs are relevant and targeted towards specific audiences. This study prioritized normative needs of urban and rural Utah residents using a needs assessment framework. Convenience data were gathered from 1,043 adult Utah residents, and the raking method was used to weigh the sample by selected population characteristics. Descriptive statistics (frequencies and nonparametric statistics) were used for data analysis. A calculated Point-Score represented the difference between residents’ perceived importance and satisfaction of various community assets. Results showed affordable housing, affordable medical clinics, well-paying jobs, quality public schools, and affordable internet were the top five needs in urban areas. Utah rural residents ranked well-paying jobs, quality public schools, steady jobs, emergency healthcare, and affordable housing as high priority needs in their communities. Utah State University Extension should tailor existing programs to address urban and rural community needs, allocate resources to create new programs aligned to those needs, facilitate collaborations with local organizations, and conduct timely needs assessments to monitor changing community needs.
Narine, L., Ali, A. D., & Hill, P. A. (2021). Assessing Rural and Urban Community Assets and Needs to Inform Extension Program Planning. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 9(1), 8. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol9/iss1/8
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