One good job can make all the difference, according to Dan Jurman, chair of the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Poverty, “not just for the person’s income, but for the amount of time that they can spend with their family and the time that they can get engaged in the community,”.
Finding that one good job, however, can be difficult. An analysis of census data in a report published 2015 from the Floyd Institute for Public Policy at Franklin & Marshall College outlined some of the barriers to adequate employment, education, healthcare, and overall poverty alleviation that many in Lancaster City have experienced.
While the data is troubling, it also presents an opportunity: developing new strategies, implementing new approaches, and pioneering new ways to engage people are qualities that make our community so extraordinary. In partnership with Franklin & Marshall College, the Mayor’s Office of Lancaster, and other community partners, the Lancaster County Community Foundation funded the creation of the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Poverty: a year-long commission designed to analyze barriers to sustainability and develop a comprehensive plan forward for our city.
The result, entitled “One Good Job”, is an ambitious 15 year plan to halve the poverty rate of Lancaster City while also placing 3,000 new individuals in living-wage jobs.
More highlights from the plan:
— Make quality pre-kindergarten classes universally available in the city.
— Help two-thirds of the workforce acquire a post-high school degree or certificate.
— Create 60 units of affordable housing.
— Help 100 city families become homeowners.
— Hire 20 block captains.
— Establish seven neighborhood groups.
While this plan isn’t a be-all-end-all solution to Lancaster City’s deep seeded issues that span economics, race, and culture, it is an encouraging start to a long journey: one that emphasizes collaboration, community input, multi-faceted approaches to complex issues.
Earlier this year, we heard your thoughts and ideas as part of At The Table, and among those topics most discussed were “affordable housing”, “diversity, equity, and inclusion”, and “community engagement”. These three issues are central to the work of the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Poverty, as well as the new Coalition to Combat Poverty which will carry on the work of “One Good Job” to its completion. Thank you for helping to form and focus our efforts so we can move forward together.
However, it is important to know that while “One Good Job” may serve as a road map for the coming years, you–the community–are the drivers. We need your support, your input, and your engagement to help make this plan a reality, and more importantly, to change strategies if they aren’t working as they should.
We invite you to read the report and send us your thoughts!
Feel free to send feedback and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Quotes and some data taken from LNP: “Lancaster poverty report: cut rate in half, move 3,000 to good jobs over 15 years” published 12/16/16, available here: http://lancasteronline.com/lancaster-poverty-report-cut-rate-in-half-move-to-good/article_2c279964-c308-11e6-80fa-07122d5d8f27.html
Initiatives like the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Poverty work to reflect the thoughts and ideas shared during At The Table. Learn more about At The Table at AtTheTableLanc.com
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