JAMESTOWN – The socioeconomic profile has not improved for greater Jamestown area during the past several years and has only seen increased challenges. That was the message delivered Wednesday night by Tory Irgang, the executive director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. Irgang led a critical discussion at the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown, where only a handful of people turning out.
Irgang spent an hour discussing the United Ways recently completed Community Status Report, which she says helps to serve as a report card of the social and economic climate of the community. She also said the report helps the United Way determine the best possible way to invest over a million dollars in funding to various community agencies in the community.
“It’s very important that we know what the problems are, what the issues are, what challenges we’re facing and how we’re changing. Doing this status report gives us that [information],” Irgang said.
Irgang said that the most recent status report showed that there is more poverty in Jamestown, higher teen pregnancy, fewer job opportunities and higher unemployment – compared to the previous study conducted in 2006. Despite the numerous challenges, she said despite the challenges, the United Way continues to make a difference.
“Individually programs are making a difference. It’s hard that we can’t show a big improvement in our community. We really just desire to show results and effectiveness and how we are seeing our community change.”
Irgang said that in order for Jamestown to continue to address its various challenges, the community needs to continue to work on the challenges together on a united front. She also encouraged individual residents to get involved in a local program to help make a difference in the community.
A copy of the assessment report can be found online at UwaySCC.org.