Empowering Employment Through the Wayne County Community Foundation

Empowering Employment Through the Wayne County Community Foundation

Being part of the communities we serve goes beyond delivering safe, reliable electricity. Through PPL Foundation Empowering Communities Grants, we support local programs focused on environmental stewardship and education, economic development and/or workforce development. 

The Wayne County Community Foundation, located in Honesdale, is a recent PPL Foundation grant recipient. The Community Foundation is allocating these dollars toward supporting its Worker Crisis Relief fund. For 30 years, the organization has used resources from the community to help those in need. The Worker Crisis Relief fund is one of almost 150 different funds established to address areas of need. 

“Our goal is to improve the quality of life for everyone here in Wayne County,” said Ryanne Jennings, president and CEO of the Wayne County Community Foundation. “That involves addressing poverty at a systemic level. 

Located in rural northeast Pennsylvania, Wayne County presents challenges for employees with transportation issues. The Worker Crisis Relief fund has mostly helped cover expenses for repairs and down payments on used vehicles. The Community Foundation works with the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance to find the best solution for funding. 

A car is an essential item in this area,” Jennings said. “It’s not only essential for working, it also keeps families in their homes and provides food security.” 

“This fund has been a valuable resource for several community members who have faced a crisis and needed immediate assistance,” said Katheryne Hait, executive director of the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance. “By partnering with the Community Foundation, we have been able to help these individuals bounce back quickly and regain stability in their lives.” 

The fund has helped 10 people address transportation issues since it began over a year ago. Jennings says she hopes the foundation can expand in the coming years to continue to meet the evolving variety of needs of the community. 

The word ‘empowering’ is a strong one; that’s what this Worker Crisis Relief fund does,” Jennings said. “We want to say that, as a community, and PPL is included in that community, we are here to support people when they need it the most. The empowerment is a big reason why we sought this funding.”