NECIC invites public input on 5-year development plan

MANSFIELD — The North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC) has announced the ongoing process of updating its 5-year Community Economic Development (CED) Plan.

The designed to bring forth positive changes and sustainable growth in the North End community.

NECIC invites all residents, businesses, stakeholders, and interested parties to actively participate in the surveys which will inform the 2023 CED plan that will be subject to a 45 day public review and comment period before it goes to City Council for approval.

Since its establishment, NECIC has been dedicated to putting residents at the heart of their work, actively involving them in identifying priorities, recommendations, and target areas.

This community-driven approach has been the foundation for the publication of the North End Community Economic Development Plans, guiding the organization’s initiatives.

NECIC previously issued its first Community Economic Development Plan in 2011, followed by the second edition in 2017, both of which received unanimous legislative support from the City Council.

NECIC, a not-for-profit asset-based community development corporation, has consistently built upon the community’s greatest strength — the diversity, talent, and determination of its residents.

The new vision for the neighborhood has been shaped by the collective voice of those who call the North End their home.

The comprehensive plan serves multiple purposes, including conveying shared community values, documenting the neighborhood’s history, identifying opportunities and challenges, and providing guidance for all future redevelopment efforts in the North End.

The plan outlines specific revitalization efforts in crucial areas such as land use, housing, economic development, education, public infrastructure/transit, community spaces, and health and safety.

The organization’s current programs and services are aligned with the defined objectives in these plans.

The effectiveness of NECIC’s efforts is measured through the five-year Community Economic Development Plans, and numerous recommendations from previous plans have already been successfully implemented.

Some remarkable examples of achievements that demonstrate the plans’ efficacy include:

1. Elimination of blight through demolitions and enforcement of housing codes, resulting in over 430 demolitions of blighted properties through the establishment of the Land Bank in Richland County.

2. Creation of 29 community gardens and 12 Raising Richland Community Garden summits.

3. Development of a 6-farmer owned cooperative that supplies food to local food banks across the state.

4. Establishment of two social enterprises, North End Local Foods Initiative and NECIC Staffing, contributing to economic growth and reducing reliance on grant funding.

5. Implementation of farming programs from grades 5-12 at local schools, enabling students to graduate with an Associate’s degree in agriculture.

6. Assistance provided to over 100 minority-owned businesses in partnership with the Ohio Office of Development as a Minority Business Assistance Center.

7. Successful redevelopment of a target area once vacated by local industry, now home to NECIC’s Urban Farm, Farmers Market, and three micro farms, including a training facility for aspiring urban farmers. As a result of these efforts, Census tract 6 no longer identified as a food desert as defined in the 2011 plan.

8. Partnership with Richland Correctional Institution and Central State University to create an apprenticeship program for returning citizens, offering a certificate in agriculture upon release.

9. Unlocking $300K in funding for a program aimed at getting African American males employed in Richland County.

10. NECIC has embarked on a Capital Campaign to build a Community Impact Center as a result of the neighborhood planning surveys. Residents identified this as a need in our community.

NECIC highly encourages community members to actively participate in the 5-year Community Economic Development Plan update by completing the surveys available on their website:

These surveys cater to residents, non-residents, businesses, and stakeholders. We are doing our last weekly drawing this Friday sponsored by Park National Bank for any resident that completes the survey by Friday.

Past drawings were sponsored by Park National Bank and Mechanics Bank. The drawing will be done on Facebook Live on NECIC’s page this Friday, Aug. 25.

For those interested in exploring the past Community Economic Development Plans, the documents can be accessed here:

For information regarding the CED plans, please contact Research & Development Manager, Tony Chinni at


North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC) is a not-for-profit asset-based community development corporation focused on empowering residents and promoting economic growth in the North End community.

NECIC has a history of engaging residents in shaping the neighborhood’s future. resulting in impactful revitalization efforts and sustainable development.

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