In 2010, the people of San Antonio’s Eastside brought their knowledge and talents together to reenvision their community as a place of educational opportunity, desirable housing and economic prosperity. This effort to reinvest in the neighborhoods and people of the Eastside was led by then City Councilperson Ivy Taylor and joined by numerous private and public partners. During these initial activities, the community identified both problems and possible solutions. The Eastside Reinvestment Summit formalized a new focus for the Eastside: education, job creation and housing.

The result: Eastside Promise Neighborhood leaders submitted an application for a five-year implementation grant and learned in December 2011 that San Antonio was selected as one of five implementation sites in the country and awarded a $24.6 million grant. With a focus on improving educational outcomes through a data-driven “community schools” approach, the goal is to realize the promise of San Antonio’s Eastside by seeing it become a neighborhood where families and children stay, grow, and graduate. Thus, the education leg of the stool is being built.

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) describes key strategies for SAGE and the Eastside Promise Zone (EPZ) Partners to facilitate economic development particularly new investment, in the EPZ for the benefit of the community. Unlike those of the broader San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, the economic conditions of the EPZ exhibit many fundamental challenges, which are further exacerbated by transience and a pervasive underground economy. The average household income in the EPZ is approximately 40% lower than the rest of the City of San Antonio. EPZ residents are generally under-employed and work in industries that are generally lower paying when compared to the broader City of San Antonio. Because of the misalignment of training and preparedness between EPZ residents and the jobs available, most EPZ workers travel beyond the EPZ for work, and most of the jobs in the EPZ are occupied by people who live outside of the EPZ.

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