6-Year plan approved by Governor Wolf to invest $1.5 million for community improvement projects and services
Front Left to Right: Ian Luluicci, KeyBank; Renee Bonari, KeyBank; Nathan B. Sommer, KeyBank; Dana Scarpino, UMPC Health Plan; Ali Doyle, the Governor's Regional Representative; John LaCarte, LaCarte Enterprises; Jamie Colecchi, MVA; Bud Cook, PA State Representative
Charleroi, PA, November 14, 2022 – The Mon Valley Alliance Foundation, the Greater Charleroi Community Development Corporation, and several nonprofits and business partners today announced details and funding for the first Neighborhood Partnership Program in the Mid Mon Valley, a six-year plan that will drive $1.5 million into Charleroi for community improvement projects and social services.
The Charleroi NPP proposal was approved as part of $35.9 million in tax credits awarded under the state Neighborhood Assistance Program through which private companies receive state tax credits for investing in non-profit projects. It was one of two new NPPs awarded in the 12-county Southwestern Pennsylvania region, bringing the total locally to 25, according to Johnna A. Pro, Regional Director for the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The other was in Tarentum, Westmoreland County.
“This award is a testament to the hard work and time invested by community leaders, service program providers, and private partners to present a unique plan that addresses the needs of Charleroi,” said Jamie Colecchi, CEO of the Mon Valley Alliance Foundation.
In addition to the GCCDC which spearheaded the discussions, the multi-year plan was developed by representatives from the Charleroi Area Public Library, Charleroi Borough, Charleroi Community Park Trustees, Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority, Mon Valley Initiative, Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Blueprints, Voices for Independence, and the Washington County Redevelopment Authority.
Funders for the NPP are Fourth
Street Barbecue, LaCarte Enterprises, Key Bank and UPMC Health Plan. Collectively, the four companies will provide $250,000 annually for the next six years to fund the plan.
It includes strategies to improve housing for seniors and the disabled, fostering main street and economic development, and expanding community services including those for the town’s growing immigrant population. Funds will be used to engage key community partners to deliver program services and projects in these areas.
“Pennsylvania’s communities are the foundation of our economic success,” said Governor Tom Wolf in announcing the awardees last month. “The rewards we can provide through tax credits in this important program advance and improve communities and ensure Pennsylvania remains the best place to live, work, and play.”
In addition to Charleroi’s NPP, individual one-year non-profit projects awarded in Washington County include a main street project in Claysville Borough, and a social service project at TRIPL, in Washington. Enterprise Zone Tax Credits, also approved through the NAP Program, were awarded to companies in Speers and Fallowfield.
The success of the multi-year NPP projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania is due to committed funders and local leaders who shape projects best suited to the needs of individual communities, said Ali Doyle, the Governor’s regional representative. Doyle was among those who gathered at Dee’s Event Center, one of the newest businesses in the historic borough, for the announcement today.
“This is a dynamic program which provides the financial support and capacity needed in places like Charleroi,” Doyle said. “We’ve seen time and again that investment through the NAP, and particularly the NPPs, will leverage additional dollars in investment. It’s very exciting.”
“The LaCarte Family is pleased to invest in Charleroi, into a plan that will improve the borough and where our family’s group of companies are headquartered.” said John LaCarte, President, LaCarte Enterprises, an active participant in the NAP program.
One key element of the NPP plan is the creation of an Immigrant/Community Ambassador whose role to connect the community’s new residents to government and social services.
“Charleroi’s historic downtown was built by immigrants, and this new wave of residents bring with them an opportunity for the town to grow. From our perspective, they are our customers and new business owners; they are building our workforce, and they are establishing homes here,” said Leanna Spada, Executive Director of the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited the NPP will help them succeed.”
“This award demonstrates that community and business partners can come together, develop a plan, and deliver investment into Charleroi that will benefit and support our town.” said Matt Staniszewski, Charleroi’s borough manager. “And we are thankful for the continued support of these programs and partners that will make a positive impact over the next six years and beyond.”
Previously, NAP tax credits were awarded to non-profits in Charleroi for one-year projects fostered by the Charleroi Area Public Library, Charleroi Area Education Foundation, Club Serenity, and the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts.