October 20, 2021

Funds will help people get to work, access child care

3 groups receive grants

Cortland County Seal

For Jackie Leaf, the $140,000 state grant Seven Valleys Health Coalition Inc. received doesn’t just help her organization, it helps get people to work.

For the YWCA and Cortland County Community Action Program Inc., the $630,000 they get means better trained, more capable child-care providers.

“I’m very excited about it because transportation can be a major obstacle for people are trying to do well for themselves,” said Leaf, the executive director of Seven Valleys. “When transportation is a barrier for them, it can be very tough.”

The coalition, YWCA and CAPCO were awarded nearly $770,000 this week by the state CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan to fund programs that help people in poverty, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The money comes through the state’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion Anti-Poverty Initiative — $30 million goes to 39 projects covering earlychildhood education, transportation, work force development and post-secondary education.

“These projects will help remove barriers to success experienced by many of the most vulnerable New Yorkers and enable meaningful change, while continuing to build on the positive momentum that has Central New York rising,” Cuomo said in announcing the awards.

Seven Valleys Health Coalition Inc. received $139,446 to fund its Transportation to Employment program for one year, Leaf said.

People who don’t have access to reliable means of transportation are referred to the program, which provides them with rides to work through taxis or buses while working to develop longterm transportation plans, Leaf said. Owning a car can be expensive for low-income earners, and Cortland County’s public transportation is limited by a weekday schedule; this program gives workers more flexibility to get to the job.

“This is just one area for trying to help people get where they need to go,” she said.

CAPCO, and the YWCA were jointly awarded $629,889 over four years to help provide child development associate training and certification for child-care providers, said Lindy Glennon, the executive director of CAPCO. It also provides stipends for students to attend training, she said.

Kelly Tobin, the executive director of the YWCA, could not be reached for comment.

However, the agency operates two child-care programs: Learning Adventure on Huntington Street and Here We Grow on Homer Avenue. The two serve a total of 108 kids.

CAPCO can care for 24 infants and toddlers and 64 preschoolers in its program.

The funding had no connection to use of the former Parker School, Glennon said, which the two organizations have planned to run child care programs in.