Community Assessment Identifies Priority Issues in the Laurel Highlands

Last month the United Way of the Laurel Highlands announced the results of their 2011 Community Needs Assessment Survey, an endeavor used to inform their own strategic planning process. It is also a helpful resource for nonprofits, foundations and businesses operating in or around Cambria and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania.

The report identified the following priory issue areas for the region:

  • Helping Children Succeed, including use of alcohol and drugs, parenting issues, family and domestic violence and  school readiness.
  • Supporting Vulnerable and Aging Populations, including affordable medical care, mental illness and emotional issues, gaps in family support systems and social support systems, and affordable and appropriate housing.
  • Strengthening and Supporting Families,  including affordable medical care and insurance, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
  • Promoting Self Sufficiency, including unemployment and under-employment, job training, drug and alcohol use, criminal histories, credit histories and personal savings.
  • Promoting Health and Wellness, including  obesity, unhealthy lifestyles and affordable medical care and health insurance and drug and alcohol abuse.

The report contains demographic, education, economic and health profiles on Cambria and Somerset counties as well as a discussion of methods to best support and empower individuals and communities in the Laurel Highlands.  It is available for download on the United Way of the Laurel Highlands website.