HR 5129 Announced, CAAP DEI Event & Workforce Program Launch
HR 5129 Announced, CAAP DEI Event & Workforce Program Launch
CAAP Update Newsletter
September News, Events & Resources
After seven intense months of negotiation by NCAF, last week they announced the most important Community Services Block Grant legislation in over 20 years. When it is enacted, the Community Action network's place in our country's domestic agenda will be secure. It will be a long, hard road for enactment, but rewarding beyond imagination.
Read the full announcement that was shared by NCAF's David Bradley during last weeks NCAP Conference on the CAAP website.

Member Agency Program Launch

ACE Workforce Initiative 2021 GrandOpening. From left to right - Zack Goodrich, Job Training Resource Officer; Lori Doran, Resource Officer; Dorothy Grill, Workforce Initiative Coordinator; Chris Chermak, Lackawanna County Commissioner; and Jim Wansacz, Executive Director.

The Workforce Initiative Program

Serving Lackawanna County

Community Partnerships

        The Workforce Initiative Program

This year, the Agency for Community Empowerment of NEPA (ACE; formally Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency (SLHDA), launched the Workforce Initiative Program, designed to administer job training services to residents over the age of 18 and living at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.
The newly created Workforce Initiative Program is designed to help provide the resources families need to become self-sufficient.  The program helps with child-care (through HS/HS/CCP), transportation, rental and utility assistance, City of Scranton trash fees, State background clearances, workforce training, digital literacy and a place to seek assistance in order to gain employment.
"This program came about through the collaboration with Scranton Area Foundation and the Common-wealth Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) to help identify and find solutions to the barriers that are preventing people from gainful employment," shares Agency for Community Empowerment Executive Director, Jim Wansacz.

The Workforce Initiative program has made solid progress with cross-referrals to other community programs to get clients self-sufficient. including but not limited to:
  • NeighborWorks program free financial counseling;
  • Jewish Family Services Rental Assistance Program and free Mental Health Counseling;
  • Clothesline for Men program free professional attire for impoverished individuals;
  • Friends of the Poor food banks and transportation vouchers.
  • Comcast Internet Essentials Program, ProBono, and ACE's Utility Assistance, Vehicle Assistance and Weatherization programs;
  • Upon completion of the job training program, the Workforce Initiative Program is working with Willow Run Foods whose partnership includes a paid CDL training program, and a $7,500 sign-on bonus with a job after successful completion of said CDL training program.
Referrals to job training programs, GED Education, English as a Second Language classes (ESL), and child-care services are also made available.   
The Scranton Area Community Foundation and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) to ACE made the program possible. 
Congratulations ACE on the successful program launch and continuing to build your relationships with community partners!

"Community Action Conversation on DEI" 

             Virtual on September 28, 2021; 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Register today to hear from Agency leaders, board members and longtime advocates of Community Action on the history of race and justice within Community Action and on what new initiatives are underway to bring justice to those who continue to face issues of poverty.
Moderated by Winslow Mason, CAAP’s Senior Director for Strategic Change, this event is intended for Agencies within the PA Community Action network.  Registration is open!
Sign up for the DEI Insights Newsletter to stay informed about statewide events and strategy.  Contact Winslow with questions.

Submit Your Self-Sufficiency

& In Progress Award Nominees

The deadline for submitting nominations is Sept. 17th. 
The November 4, 2021 virtual event is at 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. ET. Agencies can make nominations using the nomination form and consent form on the SSA Awards page of the CAAP website.  Complete both forms for each nomination please. 
Nominations will be taken through a link to an online shared drive. Instruction and the link were shared with the leadership of each of our 42 member Agencies in two August 19th emails.  Reach out to Charlotte, CAAP's Communications Director & the 2021 SSA Awards contact, with questions or if your Agency did not receive both emails. (check your junk/spam folders)
The final LIHEAP State Plan was approved by ACF this week.  The approved plan is now available on the DHS website.  The program is set to open early – on October 18th – with increased cash and crisis grant amounts. 

Save the date for PULP’s annual LIHEAP Webinar, which they plan to host on October 15th.  Registration information will be announced soon but you may contact PULP directly to inquire further.

Winner For The 3rd Time!

Earlier this year, the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) was honored to have been voted Best Charity in Bucks County in 2021 by Happenings Media.  Out of 34 nominees, BCOC was the winner in the Happening List® competition.
For weeks, locals in the community campaigned and voted for their most beloved businesses, people, events and organizations. The votes were counted and BCOC can stand proud, knowing that their neighbors appreciate their passion and contributions to the community.

CAAP congratulates you on your 2021 recognition!


A New Data Resource For Assessing Community Needs
View the DHS data resource, called PA HEAT, which may be helpful to CAAs when looking at Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and community level needs.  The resource has data on food insecurity, Medicaid enrollment, health statistics, social determinants, environmental factors, and historic redlining.  The dashboard logs such county level data as infant mortality rates, life expectancy and screening rates, but can get as specific as banking options, nursing facilities and child-care providers available in a selected zip code. A link to the resource is newly listed on the Assessment Resources page of the CAAP website.

HHS COVID-19 Resources

  • Anyone 12 and older is eligible for the vaccine and can find an appointment at
  • Back to School toolkit (English and Spanish)  for school district leaders, teachers, parent leaders, and school supporters.
  • A resource hub with materials on how to reach for students, teens, parents, and young adults as health professionals, organizations, and community leaders. 
  • Request something else at

The Child Tax Credit

Spanish & English Resources

Resources from NCAP and the IRS

                         Tools You Can Use

NCAP continues to spread the word about the Child Tax Credit and they offer resources to help you do the same!    
View social media graphics from NCAP and other resources from the White House and the IRS. You can find information from the Federal Government on the Child Tax Credit in English and Spanish.  Don't forget to use #ChildTaxCredit on social media! 
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities "Get It Back" Initiative recently held a webinar and shared the best ways to help families access the Child Tax Credit with Community Action, including links to:

Sign Up For

CAAP Education Webinars

CAAP Has A New Learning Platform

Visit the Training page of the CAAP Website for more information or to register.  There are five education tracks to choose from.  Questions? Contact Leslie McRobbie, CAAP Education Director, with questions.
The 2021 NASCSP Annual Training Conference offers valuable opportunities for professionals from around the country to come together and discuss strategies for meeting new challenges in improved performance, innovation, and accountability in the fight to change the face of poverty across the nation. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and with respect to the health and safety of all involved, this will be a virtual event.

Register now to reserve your spot!  Check their conference website for more updates. 

2021 NCAF Conference 

  • Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 from 3:00pm-5:00pm ET
  • Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 from 3:00pm-5:00pm ET
  • Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 from 3:00pm-5:00pm ET
  • Tuesday, October 5, 2021, “Fly-In” Day to meet with Congress
The dates for this event are posted on the NCAF website.
CAAP member Agencies are encouraged to browse through your Association website and use it throughout the year as a resource for your Agency work. 
Are your job postings on CAAP's Careers page?
CAAP would like to help spread the word statewide about your staff openings.  Send your job openings to Charlotte.
Let's build awareness  & community together!
Follow/Like CAAP on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Copy/share CAAP content on your pages. 

Did you miss last month's issue? 

Sign Up Today!

View past issues of the CAAP monthly newsletters.  Anyone inside or outside of Community Action can signup for the CAAP Update, Agency Spotlights (client success stories) and DEI Insights newsletters.  Members (only) may signup for the CAAP Education Bulletin Newsletter.  Submit your Agency success stories anytime during the year or ask questions regarding newsletters by sending a note to Charlotte Leckow, CAAP Communications Director.
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