Local that Works

Local that Works is an annual contest that spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations, and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S.

Explore the LTW database of 350+ projects. Entries from the 2020 contest will be added to this database this fall.

Tips on using the database: If viewing this on a computer, all projects are listed in the left column. Click on a project name and its longer profile will appear in the right column. If viewing on mobile, clicking on a project name will load the full listing on your screen.

You can filter your results by selecting a tag or multiple tags in the categories drop down menu and clicking on search. If you want to change, broaden or narrow the results, make sure to uncheck categories for subsequent searches.

To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semi-finalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorite projects will show up in the left column.

Get inspired!

85 results found.

CareerExplore Northwest

KSPS PBS

CareerExplore Northwest is an educational initiative created by KSPS PBS as a workforce development solution for our viewing region. Far beyond a typical job search website, it helps students and adults discover viable career paths by providing behind-the-scenes videos and easily accessible answers to questions about in-demand jobs in the Spokane region and what it takes to get them.

Valley PBS Local Learning

KVPT Valley PBS

In partnership with Fresno Unified School District, the 3rd largest in the state of California and a district with 90% economically disadvantaged and diverse students living below the poverty line without equal access to online learning, Valley PBS created an on-air program from 8am – 9am each day that targets Literacy Lessons for K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders and is taught by FUSD teachers. Students have been able to learn and review fundamentals over-the-air, streaming on Facebook Live daily and on the website since June and lessons are translated into Spanish and Hmong as well; the program has just been extended until December 18th and expanded to include Pre-K and T-K lessons.

“I just want to testify…”

KTWU

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, PBS in Topeka created this two-hour community conversation with students and teachers from the segregation era. Shot in a modern-day Cinema Verite’ style on a single day in 2019, students and teachers from the four segregated Black schools in Topeka talked about their lives prior to and after integration. The five-part series included: Growing up in Topeka’s Black Community; Family, Friends, Neighbors; School and You (Segregation); School and You (Integration); and After-effects (outcomes, impact).

ART IS

Twin Cities PBS/KTCA

Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s groundbreaking multi-platform arts program, ART IS, elevates renowned Minnesota artists of color who pick three up-and-coming artists – across any genre – and develop a series of media and public events. Over a 9-month period, TPT and artists co-create powerful short digital films that provide context and visibility for the artists’ work, enhanced by a series of public events in TPT’s studios that engage local audiences in new ways and help sustain and evolve our vibrant local artistic community.

Battling Opioids (2019 Finalist)

Pennsylvania Public Media

Seven Pennsylvania Public Media stations (WHYY, WITF, WLVT/PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, and WVIA) developed a collaborative programming and online media effort focused on the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania with the goals of increasing awareness, reducing stigma, and helping affected people find treatment. This state-wide project included long-form documentaries, online features, educational interstitials, and strong social media support. Battling Opioids helped to direct more than 23,000 calls to the state helpline since the project started by highlighting the phone number at every touchpoint. Read Current’s coverage of this project.

Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America

WLIW

Over 40.6 million Americans are living below the poverty line, including 13.3 million children. Chasing the Dream’s reporting, part of WLIW’s program called “Metro Focus,” the problems of economic and structural inequities informed by issues of race, age and class, and looks at solutions – what has worked and is working — to bring people out of poverty in the greater NYC area.

Future Jobs: Growing Our Region’s Workforce

WQED

Future Jobs explores the employment careers/opportunities that are trending now and in the near future. Future Jobs helps job-seekers to discover new, promising career options as they start their job search, and raises awareness about the regional workforce development efforts already underway in the Pittsburgh region. Through documentaries, shareable digital shorts,, this multiplatform project delivers life-impacting information to the public—especially middle school students and teachers, targeting them at the right time of their lives.

Homework Hotline

KEET

Homework Hotline is a live science and math program that helps students with homework questions, and showcases the projects that young scientists are working on. Teachers on Homework Hotline excel at explaining difficult math problems in real time to students, including those who may be too shy to ask questions in the classroom. Homework Hotline also trains local college and high school students in television production.

Iowa Land and Sky

Iowa PBS

Iowa PBS’ Iowa Land and Sky project provides general and classroom audiences with a unique perspective of the state’s geology, biodiversity and environmental issues. Through short video stories, online experiences, classroom resources and social media conversations, this initiative has helped Iowans better appreciate the ecological and geological diversity of the state, and the impacts of climate change, by successfully creating high-quality resources and engaging general and educational audiences in this content.

CareerExplore Northwest

KSPS PBS
2020
Public TV
Jason Miller
jasonm@ksps.org

CareerExplore Northwest began in response to feedback from the Spokane area business community expressing a desire for a strong workforce for our region. Employers wanted to hire locally but lamented the lack of qualified or interested applicants. At the same time, local school districts were beginning to change their goals beyond prepping students for four-year college degrees, recognizing the many options for living-wage jobs that require other types of training.

Starting in 2018, we developed an advisory council made up of the Spokane Workforce Council, industry leaders, Spokane’s chamber of commerce (GSI), several area school districts, regional universities, and our community colleges to help provide a solution. The result is Career Explore Northwest, a multi-media career exploration tool and community resource for students and adults that provides practical up-to-date information about the variety of jobs in our region.

We began by working with businesses to produce 90-second job spotlights, interviewing employees who were passionate about their work to inspire young people to seek out more information. This process continues today: businesses and grantors cover our production costs and also receive an underwriting schedule on KSPS PBS.

We built a website, CareerExploreNW.org, to feature the job spotlights and provide a user-friendly website with engaging graphics and local information about each job. Up-to-date data are provided by Spokane Workforce Council. We regularly consult with Career and Technical Education specialists at area school districts to assure the website meets their educational needs and to help them promote its use in schools.

The project continues to be embraced by schools, businesses and colleges. Our advisory council meets regularly to assure the project grows and continues to meet the need. Content and usage metrics are growing each month. We now have over 25 jobs and videos online with another 29 in the hopper.

CareerExplore NW has impact beyond its use in schools. Because the job spotlights air on KSPS PBS, young people and the adults who guide them learn about jobs they many never have been exposed to within their circle of friends and family.

As we continue the project, at the request of both educators and businesses, we are creating 360-degree interactive Virtual Field Trips, where students can click-and-drag for an up-close look behind the scenes of regional companies.

CareerExploreNW.org averages 1,500 page views a month with an under age 35 demographic. Those metrics are growing as the tool is used in more and more classrooms.

CareerExplore Northwest has offered a bridge between educators and industry. MacKay Manufacturing, our first sponsor, reported that 40% of their website traffic was driven by CareerExploreNW.org.

Says Scott Kerwien, Director of College and Career Readiness, Spokane Public Schools: “The past narrative for what it means to be college and career ready after high school has largely been focused on 4-year college messaging. The Career Explore NW website allows counselors, teachers, and students to explore local college and career options which open that narrative up to 2-year technical degrees that lead to ‘living wage’ jobs in our community. It’s been extremely helpful for our educators to support students in understanding other valuable post-secondary pathways and most importantly see local career opportunities to complete the full college to career pathway.”

CareerExplore NW has opened up a multitude of new doors for our station. In 2 years, it has generated 23 sponsors, 16 of which were brand new to KSPS. It has generated $316,000 in new revenue to date. 89% of the income comes from business sponsorship. 11% has come from public grantors. Last spring, we were contacted by a neighboring Educational School District to provide CENW for southeast Washington. We are now expanding to serve that region and have already secured over $30,000 in funding.

CareerExplore NW has opened up a multitude of new doors for our station. In 2 years, it has generated 23 sponsors, 16 of which were brand new to KSPS. It has generated $316,000 in new revenue to date. 89% of the income comes from business sponsorship. 11% has come from public grantors. Last spring, we were contacted by a neighboring Educational School District to provide CENW for southeast Washington. We are now expanding to serve that region and have already secured over $30,000 in funding.

CareerExploreNW.org averages 1,500 page views a month with an under age 35 demographic. Those metrics are growing as the tool is used in more and more classrooms. CareerExplore Northwest has offered a bridge between educators and industry. MacKay Manufacturing, our first sponsor, reported that 40% of their website traffic was driven by CareerExploreNW.org. Says Scott Kerwien, Director of College and Career Readiness, Spokane Public Schools: "The past narrative for what it means to be college and career ready after high school has largely been focused on 4-year college messaging. The Career Explore NW website allows counselors, teachers, and students to explore local college and career options which open that narrative up to 2-year technical degrees that lead to ‘living wage’ jobs in our community. It’s been extremely helpful for our educators to support students in understanding other valuable post-secondary pathways and most importantly see local career opportunities to complete the full college to career pathway.”

https://www.careerexplorenw.org/