top of page
Glossary of Terms

It's important to have a shared understanding of this work. Some of the terms and definitions associated with our project and with this type of economic development work are listed below. This is a living document that will be updated as the project evolves.

Collective Impact

Collective impact is the commitment of a group of organizations from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. The collective impact framework is based upon the understanding that no single policy, government entity, or organization can tackle or solve these deeply entrenched social problems alone. Moving beyond a partnership or collaboration, collective impact calls for a longstanding commitment between multiple organizations all working toward a common goal. Source: Wikipedia

Community Delegate

Community Delegate is an individual who has access to or is from an existing community group or agency that can help bridge the listening gap around economic issues in sub-communities of Stanislaus County.

Community Development

The United Nations defines community development as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems."[1] It is a broad concept, applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, involved citizens, and professionals to improve various aspects of communities, typically aiming to build stronger and more resilient local communities. Source: Wikipedia

Community Development Corporation (CDC)

Community development corporations (CDCs) are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that are created to support and revitalize communities, especially those that are impoverished or struggling. CDCs often deal with the development of affordable housing. They can also be involved in a wide range of community services that meet local needs such as education, job training, healthcare, commercial development, and other social programs. Source: NACEDA

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are private financial institutions that are 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. By financing community businesses CDFIs spark job growth and retention in hard-to serve markets across the nation.  Source: Opportunity Finance Network

Economic, Environmental and Social Prosperity

While economic prosperity (material gain) is conventionally measured through GDP per capita, social prosperity can be measured through our solidarity and agency indexes, alongside environmental sustainability that is measured through the Environmental Performance Index.

Family Sustaining Wage

A wage that is sufficient to support a family based on their market-basket of expenses, including a dependent spouse and children. You can find the Stanislaus County wage calculation here.

Inclusive Growth (also referred to as Deep Prosperity)

Inclusive economic growth is economic growth that is distributed fairly across society and creates opportunities for all. Inclusion generally occurs across four dimensions – employment, ownership, location (to provide accessibility for disadvantaged populations) and participation (who is making decisions). In this framework, inclusion is both a quality of and a way of pursuing economic growth. Regions with lower levels of inequality have shown to grow more
sustainably over time, by optimizing assets, operating more efficiently and productively, and reducing the burden of poverty. The economic focus is on generating wealth rather than generating profits. In essence, communities build long term wealth and not just profits, benefiting both people and place.

Industry Clusters

Groups of companies that gain a competitive advantage through local proximity and interdependence. This agglomeration effect helps firms be more productive through three mechanisms: sharing tailored facilities, infrastructure, and suppliers; matching workers productively through deep labor markets; and learning through dense, knowledge-rich environments that facilitate knowledge exchange and innovation between interdependent firms.

Job Types

Good jobs:

Pay a sufficient annual wage - at least the region’s median annual earnings for full-time, year-round, sub-baccalaureate workers - that enables workers to (i) meet their family’s market basket of expenses and savings, and (ii) be ineligible for state benefit transfers. Provide employer-sponsored health insurance, which is a proxy for other employment benefits. Affords career pathways that lead to the same or another good job in the future.

Promising jobs:

Promising jobs do not meet all the criteria of good jobs but provide career pathways that enable incumbent workers to reach a good job within 10 years. 

Quality  jobs:

A catchall phrase including both Good Jobs and Promising Jobs, but not Other Jobs.

Other jobs:

Other jobs are those that do not meet the criteria of either good jobs or promising jobs. Other jobs fail to meet at least one of the criteria of good jobs, meaning they do not provide adequate pay and/or do not provide employer-sponsored health insurance; nor do they offer incumbent workers reliable career pathways to a good job within 10 years. Although other jobs are a vital source of work and income for the people who hold them, their low pay and lack of benefits to better jobs would leave many working families without sufficient resources to meet all their basic needs and without a viable pathway to a more economically secure future. Source: Brookings Institution

Opportunity Industries

Opportunity industries are those in which good jobs represent an above-average share of the industry’s total jobs.  Opportunity industries have the greatest potential to increase the number of good and promising jobs in our local economy.


Placemaking is the process of creating quality places where people want to live, work, play, and learn. Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm and promote shared values. Placemaking facilitates also promote creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution. With community-based participation at its center, an effective placemaking process capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration and potential and contributes to people's health, happiness and well-being.

Principles for Inclusive Economic Growth

Economic success for any region is a holistic endeavor – the ability to achieve long-term expansion (growth), by improving the productivity and value-creation of individuals and firms (prosperity), to create and promote access to quality jobs and economic mobility for all residents (inclusion). These three aspects are related and mutually reinforcing. Source: Brookings Institution



More jobs created and expanded output that increases labor demand and wages, plus young firms that generate greater wealth, employment, and earnings.



More productive firms to grow the economy from within and generate higher-paying jobs, so the region competes on quality versus low wages.



Access to opportunities that raise employment and income, enabling residents across all community segments to participate to the fullest of their ability.

Traded Sector

Traded sector businesses are those that sell their goods or services in competition with businesses outside our region (in other states or countries), bringing money into our regional economy. Local businesses sell their goods and services primarily or exclusively in a local market.

Wealth Building

Traded sector businesses are those that sell their goods or services in competition with businesses outside our region (in other states or countries), bringing money into our regional economy. Local businesses sell their goods and services primarily or exclusively in a local market.

bottom of page