We change lives by changing expectations.  We combat poverty and boost economic development in the Pottstown Area by removing barriers to employment, matching job seekers and employers, and fostering sustainable employment and long-term resiliency – personally and compassionately.

  1. Pottstown Works

    Pottstown Works changes lives by changing expectations. We combat poverty and boost economic development in the Pottstown area by removing barriers to employment, matching job seekers and employers, and fostering sustainable employment and long-term resiliency -- personally and compassionately.
    $120.00 of $10,000.00 goal
610-326-1621 ext. 313
137 King Street
Pottstown, PA 19464

Our program is based on that of Cincinnati Works, a national model for enabling the transition from poverty to self-sufficiency.

More About Us

Since 2017, Pottstown Works has graduated 64 members who have completed our three-day intensive workshop on job search strategies and skills development.  We can confirm that NNNN members have found employment.  In addition, in 2022, we started offering our services to at-risk seniors at the Pottstown High School with a class of four students. Pottstown Works serves anyone and everyone who lives within a 10-mile radius of Pottstown without exception.

People striving to leave the culture of poverty must cross a huge cultural chasm. For the generationally poor, this is unexplored territory and fraught with danger.  They may need a pilot to set the course and an expectation of safety and success.

This is the purpose of Pottstown Works: To change lives by changing expectations

We All Belong to Groups (usually many of them):

  • Families
  • Church
  • School
  • Clubs
  • Political Parties
  • Businesses

Three Things Define Groups:

  1. Rules: What are the appropriate and acceptable behaviors?
  2. Roles: What must be done and who does it?
  3. Expectations: What are the anticipated outcomes of complying with#1 and #2?
  • Each group requires compliance with its respective set of definers

  • The more groups you belong to, the harder the balancing act

  • Some of these definers are Explicit, but many are Implicit; you can learn them only through extended immersion in the culture of each group

Our success in living within multiple cultures depends on the extent to which the three definers are mutually reinforcing across cultures. Employment and Poverty each has a culture, but they may NOT be mutually reinforcing.

Our Services Include:

  • Job Readiness training
  • Budget management assistance
  • Ongoing search and employment counseling
  • A network of relationships with area businesses

Pottstown Works Provides:

  • Three days of intensive job search preparation
  • Individualized employment counseling
  • Regular contact through the first year of employment
  • Regular polling of employers to stay current with hiring needs
  •  Lifetime commitment to repeat the process

These services are free to both graduated members and to employers. That’s why we need and hope for your financial support.

General Facts About Poverty:

  • The current poverty threshold in the US is $27,750 / year for a family of four – a wage of about $13.30 / hour
  • A living wage (covering all basic needs with one job) in PA is currently $50,000 / year / or $24 / hour

  • Most entry-level jobs (for someone with a high school diploma or GED) pay $10.00 – $12.00 / hour

  • Contrary to popular opinion, $15/hour is not a living wage

Poverty in Pottstown:

  • The aggregated poverty rate in Pottstown is currently 22%one in nearly every five borough residents
  • Single mothers represent a whopping 73% of the population living in poverty or near-poverty
  • More than one in three children lives in poverty – 35%
  • Children are stuck in poverty for as long as their parents/caregivers are

Poverty Hurts Everyone & The Economy Suffers Because:

  • One Pottstown resident in five has little or no disposable income, so, they can’t support local businesses
  • People in poverty face an increased risk for mental illness, chronic disease, higher mortality, and lower life expectancy – all of which distress the ability of communities to grow and prosper

The developmental impacts on children living in poverty are well-documented and have long-term consequences for the entire community:

  • Hunger
  • Illness
  • Instability
  • Low academic achievement
  • Obesity
  • Behavioral problems
  • Social /emotional development issues
  • Insecurity of several kinds

Solution “Stew” for Poverty:

  • A wide range of available jobs (skilled and unskilled)
  • Jobs that pay a living wage as a minimum
  • Training opportunities for non-academically-inclined people
  • Transportation that takes people to where the jobs are
  • Available and affordable childcare, before- and after-school programs

What You Can Do:

Support nonprofits that are “carrying the water” for the community

  • With your dollars
  • With your time and energy 

Pick an issue from the “stew” list and advocate for it

  • With your voice
  • With your vote
  • With your time and energy

Make generational poverty a topic for history books.

Testimonials

  • Pottstown Works helped me look at my professional skills, write a resume and cover letters, and develop my interviewing skills.  I’ve found a job I enjoy.   I have more confidence now. (Ashley 2021)
  • Pottstown Works helped me to write a resume after being without one for more than twenty years.  I was also able to improve my interviewing skills.  I now work at Wonderspring Daycare.  (Donna, 2020 class).