Extension’s pursuit to better attract, develop, retain, and structure competent personnel in the city requires new strategies to build on the knowledge base established through previous research and practice. With the support of numerous national organizations, this study utilized a Competency Framework Development (CFD) process to systematically tap into the knowledge of County Extension Directors serving in large urban communities. Findings indicated these local leaders need specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs that are both similar and unique when compared with results from other Extension competency studies. Competencies identified included building social and financial capital, strategic planning and organizing, resource attraction and management, advocacy and impact accountability with multiple stakeholders, and others. A primary difference was that diversity, complexity, and scale in urban communities influenced the extent to which competencies are demonstrated.
Research results can be applied to a competency model that incorporates intentional recruiting and hiring practices that reflect the diversity and priorities of the community, competency-based professional development, competitive compensation and retention tactics, and staffing structure and strategies. Further research can include CFD with various types of Extension personnel and perspectives. Extension leaders can continue learning alongside others who can help inform administrators about human capital policies and practices.
Institution: Journal of Human Sciences and Extension