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Home » Professional Development » Rackham Program in Public Scholarship » Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED)

Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED)


Ypsilanti, MI (remote)

Description of Project Role and Responsibilities

Please indicate in your cover letter which of the two projects you are interested in.

Project 1


Cheranissa Roach

OCED has been working to help frame the new economic opportunity framework for Washtenaw County. One focus is to grow and support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and small business owners. To do so, we’d like assistance from an intern to research and help create a website where these businesses can be featured, and where those in the community who are searching out BIPOC businesses to support, can do so. Such an interface might include:

  • Ability for businesses to regularly update information
  • Classification by sector or interest area
  • Mapping capabilities – allowing users to find businesses from their phone

If an framework already exists—it may be more combining lists, as well as supporting others who have started it—find a way for it to be sustained and maintained over time. Examples include:

Project 2


Morghan Williams Boydston

The Barrier Busters Network of non-profit and community partners is 20 years old as of 2021. Approximately 100 different non-profit and community organizations are members, with one or more individuals identified as Barrier Busters, who have access to the listserve of all the other Barrier busters, as well as the ability to access the unmet needs fund to support residents with (ideally) one-time needs.

The listserve and network is as valuable as the unmet needs fund, as social workers, activists, and those assisting others can reach out for ideas, resources, and support to help individuals with their needs.

We’re looking for someone to mine a few years of data from the lists to help us understand how to better utilize this rich resource to understand community needs, how those needs are being met, and how to support and grow the network resource itself.

Time Commitment and Stipend

Each project can be flexible, ideally from part of May through part of August. We would work with potential candidates on schedule.

  • Start date: May (flexible)
  • End date: August (flexible)
  • Hours or days per week: 20 hours per week
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Stipend: $4,800

About the Organization

Washtenaw County is stronger when all people are able to fully participate in our community and economy. To that end, the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) is committed to stepping out of traditional government roles to drive long-term system changes that increase equity and opportunity. Informed by data and resident voices, we deliver services, invest resources, shape public policy, lead initiatives, and amplify the impact of community partners to that end.