LancasterThriving_Summer2017 - 36

This article highlights and supports the
work that's being done in the community
to satisfy the Well Being of People
dimension of our Prosperity Indicators.

COMMUNITY: COMMUNITY PARTNERS

To solve the issues facing Lancaster County it requires business and community leaders at the
table sharing ideas, discussing opportunities and finding solutions. This article demonstrates
how business professionals and community members collaboratively leveraged their assets
to solve a problem affecting our local community. While this solution helped address the
immediate problem, it's also having lasting effects that will help both our future workforce and
our quality of life prosper.

ON THE MENU:

Combating Poverty¬
I

n the summer and fall of 2015, Community Action
Partnership (CAP) was welcoming the new leadership
of Dan Jurman. In ramping up his new role, Jurman met
with many fellow organizations, community leaders and
constituencies to understand the landscape of need and
opportunity. One of those meetings was with Crispus
Attucks Community Center. The two organizations began a
dialogue that would eventually lead to an innovative social
enterprise called Reunion. "We had the infrastructure, and
they had the idea for a food-related social enterprise, so we
were the missing piece to each other's puzzle," says Jurman.
Reunion is a phenomenal new culinary experience for
Lancaster County. A southern food inspired food truck and
catering service, Reunion serves as a commercial training
kitchen for members of our community who are facing
barriers to employment. Apprentices in the program may
include those who have had formal training but need
relevant experience. They may not have access to coaching,
mentoring, or referrals that could otherwise lead to job
placement. Whatever the barriers to employment may be,
a Reunion apprenticeship provides that stamp on a resume
that can open new opportunities.
NOT JUST CULINARY

Reunion apprentices will work in a food service
environment, but the training they receive is transferrable
to many fields. "Interview skills, accountability, managing
emotions, these are just some examples of the soft skills

36 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Spring/Summer2017

apprentices will develop, and they are the same skills that
employers are telling us are lacking," says Jurman. Such skills
are a springboard for the living wage jobs that a Reunion
experience (each lasting a few weeks) could provide.
As part of the Mayor's Commission to Combat Poverty, an
action plan called "One Good Job" identified connection to
employment opportunities and family-sustaining wages with
health benefits as vital to lifting families out of poverty. While
this may seem obvious, what may not be obvious are the
significant barriers to such employment opportunities. This
is precisely what Reunion aims to address.
According to the "One Good Job" action plan, Lancaster
City has 9,470 adults living below the poverty line and
without full-time employment. The plan aims to connect
more families to living wage employment each year, with a
goal of 3,000 families by year 15.


http://www.lancasterchamber.com/article.aspx?page=prosperity-indicators#.WRnRJ4WcGCw http://www.lancasterchamber.com/log.aspx?type=KWMB&rt=MEMB&url=www.caplanc.org http://www.lancasterchamber.com/log.aspx?type=KWMB&rt=MEMB&url=www.caplanc.org http://www.lancasterchamber.com/log.aspx?type=KWMB&rt=MEMB&url=www.cacc-lancaster.org http://www.lancasterchamber.com/log.aspx?type=KWMB&rt=MEMB&url=www.cacc-lancaster.org http://www.combatpovertylancaster.org/ http://www.combatpovertylancaster.org/

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