Commonwealth Officials Highlight State Initiatives at United Way Summit

Commonwealth Officials Highlight State Initiatives at United Way Summit

LANCASTER, PA — State officials from the departments of Education, Labor and Industry, Human Services and Health recently joined local leaders and business representatives at the United Way of Lancaster County’s Collective Impact Summit to discuss how state and local initiatives are providing a comprehensive approach to improving community conditions.

During a panel discussion, Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera highlighted how early education programs like the United Way’s P-3 (Prenatal-Grade 3) Partnership Pathways help to inform state education policy and strategies.

“Early childhood education provides students with the foundation for a lifetime of learning,” said Rivera. “With the help of the United Way, local school districts are working with early childhood providers to align their curriculum with K-12 education, which is expected to improve the students’ likelihood of educational success. The department shares local efforts like these with stakeholders and uses the results to help shape future strategies.”

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The P-3 Partnership Pathway includes Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, COBYS Family Services, Ephrata School District, Lancaster County Early Intervention, Lancaster-Lebanon IU13, Manheim Central School District, Penn Manor School District, and the School District of Lancaster.

The summit’s panel discussion also featured Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Olesiak, Health Executive Deputy Secretary Sarah Boateng and Human Services Special Advisor Caitlin Palmer. The speakers discussed how initiatives from their departments were helping to address issues including affordable housing and childcare, access to behavioral health services.

“Working with multiple agencies to address workforce issues has allowed us to recognize the initiatives and programs that are already in place and identify more partnership opportunities to further reduce inefficiencies and duplicative efforts,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Seeing the collaboration of state agencies, businesses, educational and training facilities, and local workforce development boards reinforces that our success is grounded in a team of individuals and organizations committed to working together on shared goals for shared success.”

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For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

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