WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Economic Development Administration under the U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded a grant of over $1.2 million to the Spanish American Civic Association (SACA) in Lancaster.
“This project will give hope to those seeking the skills necessary to compete for jobs,” said Senator Casey. “I supported this project to ensure that those hurt the most by the economic downturn have the resources they need to support themselves and their families.”
"The development of a technology center that offers bilingual services and integrates language development, adult basic education, skills training, and job placement into one seamless program has long been needed in our community,” said SACA Executive Director Carlos Graupera. “The creation of the technology center is a game changer for a community that has double digit unemployment, underemployment, and is hungry for opportunities to move up the economic ladder."
"This grant serves as an acknowledgment of SACA's long record of successful community and economic development initiatives,” said Lancaster Mayor Richard Gray. “Senator Casey has fought hard to make sure that Washington invests scarce resources in our local communities. We'll make sure that his confidence in Lancaster is not misplaced."
Senator Casey urged the Economic Development Administration to approve the grant in a letter of support in July, citing the project’s potential to encourage economic diversity and job growth.
The grant will be used to renovate a former manufacturing facility in Lancaster for reuse as a bilingual technology training center. The renovated center will extend bilingual and remedial training opportunities to low-income and minority clients to prepare them for high-demand growth jobs in industries such as manufacturing, construction, health care and office administration .