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The engineering curriculum does not often consider social aspects of engineering design and practice. This is problematic because the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), lists science- and technology-based innovation as central to sustained economic development. Although land-grant Extension services translate benefits of research in agriculture, biology, and related sciences to communities, there is little emphasis on translating outcomes from engineering and technology research and innovation to communities. There is also little recognition of research of this nature in traditional promotion and tenure cases, or among traditional grant-making agencies. The Community Driven Technology Innovation and Investment (CDTII) program introduced in this paper could provide a first step to address this disconnect by developing an engagement process to help engineers forge trust-based partnerships while converting community demands into engineering design solutions and economically viable businesses. To this end, the paper contains two preliminary case studies of engineering engagement on community projects using the CDTII approach. We conclude with lessons learned and plans for future work.