Rep. Houlahan advances funding for 15 community projects to benefit Chester, Berks Counties

Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) successfully advanced 15 project priorities, totaling $10,404,544 in Community Project Funding, through the House Appropriations Committee; these projects will directly benefit Berks County residents.

On Friday, Houlahan’s office received the news that all 15 projects were incorporated in the relevant Appropriations Committee bills. While the outcome is not yet final, it is one step closer to becoming law and delivering funding resources to Pennsylvania’s 6th district.

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In April, Houlahan was recognized by Science Magazine for her transparent, balanced Community Project Funding selection process.

“Here in southeastern Pennsylvania, we are known for our service to others and community engagement—and these 15 projects are a reflection of those guiding principles,” said Houlahan.

“From workforce development and housing assistance to violence reduction and support for first responders, I’m extremely proud to advance funding for these projects. They are all force multipliers that will assist and uplift our community, while growing our economy.”

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Houlahan added, “This year, we received 40 complete proposals for consideration. Each proposal was carefully crafted, making the selection process extremely competitive. To ensure yet another transparent and balanced process, I maintained a board of non-partisan community leaders to examine each proposal on multiple criteria including economic development, equity, health, and safety for our community. In the end, I couldn’t be more excited to put forward our 15 finalists. These projects are as diverse as our district, and together they represent a major investment in our future. Chester and Berks Counties continue to attract families and businesses from across the country and world, and this support will help ensure our community is strong for generations to come.”

In alphabetical order, Houlahan’s requests include:

$2,000,000 for Alvernia University Reading CollegeTowne Health Science Expansion. Purpose: To create a local pipeline for RNs in Berks County. This project will expand the nursing program by 42% and contribute 188 nurses to the local workforce over the first five years of program. These local RN graduates will help relieve the nursing staffing shortage for the hospitals and create a permanent workforce pipeline for Berks County to create a more resilient Heath Care industry that can withstand public health crises and the pre-existing workforce shortage.

$1,907,500 for Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation. Purpose: Renovate and update the current Tec Centro facility and create a permanent benefit to the community by providing education and training opportunities for culinary arts, dental assistant, commercial plumbing, industrial electricity, HVAC maintenance and refrigeration, welding and metal fabrication for hundreds of low-income residents of Berks County.

$216,656 for Borough of West Grove – Oakland Avenue Revitalization. Purpose: Revitalize Oakland Avenue in West Grove Borough to address the deteriorating condition of the roadway, the storm water system, and sidewalks to increase pedestrian safety and expand access to small business community.

$635,713 for Centro Hispano Daniel Torres Inc – Reading Community Health Hub Project. Purpose: Provide resources and health care programs to the growing Latino community in Reading who experience transportation challenges.

$325,000 for Chester County District Attorney’s Office – Forensic Technology for Investigations. Purpose: Acquire a Rapid DNA instrument, scientific and technology support services, and supplies to help bolster law enforcement efficiency and improve community outcomes. This technology will enable law enforcement officers the ability to obtain DNA results in 90 minutes, helping to solve crimes and potentially exonerate those who may have been falsely accused of a crime.

$1,000,000 for City of Coatesville Ash Park Master Plan Implementation. Purpose: Provide demolition and site preparation for the stormwater mitigation, establish a main park entrance, create open paved event space, renovate public bathrooms, relocate the playground area and install a new splashpad, erect a pavilion structure with cooling station, add various seating types and new landscaping including trees and meadow grasses that provide stormwater management and reduced maintenance of sloped areas.

$100,000 for The Garage Community & Youth Center – After School Youth Development Program. Purpose: Facilitate expanded learning and life skill opportunities for underserved youth in southern Chester County.

$750,000 for Kennett Library – New Kennett Library Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment. Purpose: Provide appropriate furnishings, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) for the New Kennett Library and Resource Center currently under construction in Kennett Square, as well as new computers and associated equipment.

$29,385 for Keystone Valley Fire Dept. Stryker lift EMT. Purpose: Assist EMS providers with patient safety and stabilize stretchers while loading on to EMS vehicles.

$605,000 for LCH Behavioral/Mental Health Support. Purpose: Support a new system for the Oxford community as a partnership with the Borough, Oxford Borough Police Department and LCH Health and Community Services. LCH will provide harm reduction strategies including medically assisted treatment, group and individual psychotherapy, pharmaceutical management, and access to existing programs.

$113,520 for LGBT Center of Greater Reading – Violence Reduction Project. Purpose: Enhance and expand programs to increase hours of operation for counseling, care coordination, support groups, transportation, food & toiletry pantry, workforce development, community outreach, and gun violence reduction.

$1,056,000 for Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) Infrastructure Upgrades. Purpose: Complete necessary infrastructure upgrades to increase access to food distribution hub and expand cold storage capacity.

$750,000 for Reading Housing Authority – Oakbrook Homes Center for Community Services. Purpose: Renovate an underutilized property management building to serve as a Neighborhood Resource Center to serve as a hub for programs to address economic self-sufficiency, food insecurity, and access to mainstream health and humans’ services that are currently inaccessible to residents of this public housing community.

$200,000 for United Way of Chester County – United Way Social Innovation Lab. Purpose: Create a state-of-the-art collaborative center designed to jumpstart innovative approaches and solutions to community problems and drive economic development.

$715,770 for West Chester University – WCU Moonshot I Want to STEM. Purpose: Establish a comprehensive outreach, research, and mentorship program that will guide students from elementary school to a degree in STEM.

Each Member of Congress can submit up to 15 projects that reflect the needs of their district. These requested projects and funding amounts are publicly available on Houlahan’s website.

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