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CASA is expanding its services with a new education and employment center in York

  • Gabriela Martínez/WITF
CASA members celebrate opening of new services center in northwest York.

 Jenna DeFosse / CASA

CASA members celebrate opening of new services center in northwest York.

CASA’s headquarters on East Princess Street in York has served the local Latino, immigrant and working-class families for decades. The building itself housed York’s first Latino Center, and the block where it is located is dedicated to the late Dr. Edwin A. Rivera –York’s first Latino physician.

The organization is now opening a second center in northwest York, focused on education and workforce development. It plans to expand some of its existing programs and launch new ones.

Daniel Alvalle, CASA’s Pennsylvania State Director, says the organization — as well as the community’s needs — have outgrown its location on East Princess Street. 

“We were also limited to what kinds of programs we can do out of the office, you know, we can’t do a build and maintenance or certain types of vocational training out of that building, because it’s just not big enough, it’s not equipped,” Alvalle said.

With the new space, Alvalle says CASA will be able to expand its after-school program — Mi Espacio — as well as its citizenship classes, tax preparation services, vaccine clinic and financial literacy workshops.

“Not only will immigrants and native Spanish speakers be able to hone their English skills here — our kids will also have an opportunity to engage in after-school learning while parents are still working, and those of us who are navigating the job market will have additional resources,” said CASA member Isabel Martinez.

The center will also focus on education and vocational training courses with a focus on health, construction and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL). CASA also plans to expand job placement and readiness programs. 

In the spring, CASA plans to launch a 3-week weatherization certification course in partnership with Penn Tech that teaches the basics of how to make homes more energy-efficient. The plan is to provide a weekly stipend, transportation and a daycare allowance to the participants taking the course. At the end, the students receive an OSHA certification.

“There’s definitely a huge need for that,” Alvalle said. “They’re really targeting women to be on that program because construction and building maintenance is a male-dominated industry.”

The 16,000 square-foot building -– purchased in April 2022 — will be renovated at a cost of just over $5 million. CASA was able to get almost $1.5 million in federal funds. It also got $1.2 million in state and county funds and $200,000 from the York-based Powder Mill Foundation.

CASA is launching a fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $2 million it needs for the renovations.

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