CAA leader looks for programs to fight poverty 11.17.2010

Written by David Green.

The leader of Ohio’s poverty fighting network said the release of higher poverty rate numbers by the U.S. Census Bureau should bring job creation efforts into sharper focus.

“Unfortunately, these numbers are no surprise to people fighting poverty in Ohio,” said Philip E. Cole, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies.

The national poverty rate jumped from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 14.3 percent in 2009. Ohio’s poverty rate climbed from 12.5 to 13.5 percent.

“One in seven people are now officially in poverty,” Cole said, “but we know there are many more, because we know the Federal Poverty measure is outdated.”

The official poverty threshold for a family of four is an annual household income of $21,954.

Cole called for genuine, strategic investments to provide employment opportunities.

“We need to focus on real community and economic development efforts that lead to job creation,” he said.

Community Action trains and employs workers in hundreds of green jobs in weatherization and partners with educational institutions and private businesses to train and employ workers in other permanent jobs.

The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies supports a network of 50 agencies around the state serving the needs of low-income people in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. The agencies administer nearly $750,000,000 in resources aimed at alleviating the problems of poverty in Ohio’s communities. They employ more than 6,000 people and provide service to nearly 800,000 Ohioans.

  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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