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My organization who provides education services for adult Latino immigrants, wants to develop a cooperative business incubation program where its graduates will be able to build their own shared-ownership businesses (worker-cooperative businesses). While the intervention has been selected based on the CEO's interest and belief that cooperative-owned businesses will be an intervention that our students will be receptive to, I would like to explore the necessity of a community needs assessment or survey that at least looks into the students' awareness, perceptions, and knowledge of worker-owned cooperatives, with the purpose of understanding the context of our communities so that we can build an appropriate cooperative-business incubation model that works for our communities. I would like to discuss with an advisor whether I am on the right track with this.

HI Erin,
I am sorry for my delayed response to your question. The work you are doing sounds both rewarding and exciting. I absolutely agree with the necessity of a needs assessment. Hearing directly from and involving the community/people you are serving is vital for many reasons (1) it gives voice to your students to speak to a program designed for their benefit (2) a needs assessment allow your students to have input from the inception of the program-I imaging empowerment is a goal of the program and a needs assessment sets the tone of shared power a. nd influence for you students. Of course, there are many more benefits, but these 2 stand out to me. 
I am going to put some links to both focus groups and needs assessments from our toolbox below which will guide you in your next steps. I would recommend a needs assessment survey, as well as some focus groups to get input from your students. I commend your commitment to best practices and advocating for a needs assessment prior to delivering an intervention. Your student's input and influence is vital in this process! Chapter 3. Assessing Community Needs and Resources | Section 6. Conducting Focus Groups | Main Section | Community Tool Box ( and Chapter 3. Assessing Community Needs and Resources | Section 7. Conducting Needs Assessment Surveys | Main Section | Community Tool Box (
In Community,
Ask and Advisor, 2021

Question Date: Tue, 11/02/2021