The Washtenaw Opportunity Index is a tool to benchmark opportunity in the community. The Index utilizes five key data sources to “map” equity and opportunity in Washtenaw County: health, education, job access, economic vitality, and neighborhood safety and stability.
While the overall map provides a general picture of disparities in the county, key information can be found by using overlays and sorting and viewing the data in the tables. A User's Guide for the Index can be accessed to learn more about using the Index. In developing the Index, the County seeks to:
Convey the distribution of opportunity across Washtenaw County
Educate the community (defined as policy-makers, community institutions, businesses, and the general public)
Collect and communicate data through an “opportunity lens” – and complement that lens with strategies and tactics that foster human potential
Provide the community with a common, understandable framework by which to make policy and resources allocation decisions that can create more equitable opportunity across the county.
Mapping data helps us prioritize resources
Unemployment concentrated in south-east areas
educational attainment lowest in south-east areas
African-American population concentrated in south-east areas
By geographically representing data about residents, we see place-based and racial differences in opportunity. This helps us better understand where and for whom to prioritize our resources.
For more information regarding the Opportunity Index, contact Teresa Gillotti at firstname.lastname@example.org. Training sessions are provided upon request.
Partnerships Washtenaw CountyOffice of Community and Economic Development (OCED) has taken the lead on this effort, but would not have made it this far without the work of numerous partners: Washtenaw County Public Health; Washtenaw County Intermediate School District; Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office; Washtenaw County Clerk’s Office; Ann Arbor Police Department; Ypsilanti Police Department; Chelsea Police Department; Milan Police Department; Pittsfield Police Department; Saline Police Department; State of Michigan Department of Public Health; Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation; United Way of Washtenaw County; Barrier Busters network; Success by 6 Great Start Collaborative; Food Gatherers; Washtenaw Housing Alliance; Washtenaw Alliance for Children and Youth; Blueprint for Aging; Washtenaw Health Plan, Washtenaw County Equalization and GIS. These partners provided data and guidance in development of the index and we thank you for all you help!
The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity from Ohio State has provided the horsepower to take the data collected through a wide variety of national, state and local sources, and put them into the opportunity and change index in a way that the average person can learn more about opportunity and equity for their community. We are grateful for their patience and support, and want to acknowledge their participation as part of technical assistance provided to HUD Sustainability grantees through the broader HUD program.