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Carbondale Selected to Participate in Regional Community Revitalization Initiative

The City of Carbondale is one of ten Pennsylvania communities that were officially selected to participate in Blueprint Communities®, a place-based revitalization initiative created by FHLBank Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and administered by Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC). The initiative provides training and resources to help local leaders create sustainable and thriving communities.

Local leaders across Eastern Pennsylvania have formed teams to engage in an 18-month training, planning and implementation process facilitated by PDC. Carbondale’s team is comprised of representatives from a FHLBank member institution, People’s Security Bank, local government, and community organizations including NeighborWorks Northeastern PA, Valley in Motion, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance. Community teams will create a strategy for comprehensive revitalization that focuses on enhancing the quality of life for residents by building up community assets, engaging residents, improving local housing and attracting new businesses and jobs.

“Pennsylvania Downtown Center is excited to lead the Blueprint Communities teams through their journey of community revitalization in the next few years,” said Julie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director at PDC. “For so many of these towns and cities, the timing of this initiative is ideal, and will be a catalyst to move their community forward. Long-term transformational change takes committed local leaders like these with a desire to make lasting decisions that impact the community for generations into the future.”

FHLBank’s Blueprint Communities initiative supports communities across Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia to:

  • Establish a clear vision and holistic community plan,
  • Grow local leaders and enhance collaboration, and
  • Attract public and private investments to achieve the community’s vision and goals.

The residents of Carbondale are excited to engage with Blueprint Communities to improve their quality of life by working together as neighbors. NeighborWorks has already begun to form relationships with residents through its recent Heart and Soul community visioning project. By working alongside the City of Carbondale, partner organizations, and community leaders, we are fostering the community to build long-term sustainable goals that will benefit future generations living in Carbondale.

Carbondale Mayor Michele Bannon says, “We are thrilled to be chosen by FHLBank Pittsburgh to be a Blueprint Community. This opportunity allows us to assemble members of our community with diverse backgrounds who are eager to build a strong vibrant future. Our team will work with the community to build a plan generated by the residents based on their dreams and what is possible for our great City. We have so much to offer and so much to celebrate. We are constantly seeking and asking our residents to be a part of framing and shaping our future. Blueprint Communities will allow us to create these partnerships and collaborations for a sustainable and impactful future.”

Joseph Ferretti, EVP & Northeast Market President, said, “People’s Security Bank is honored to be chosen by NeighborWorks and the City of Carbondale to serve as the Participating Bank for this great project. As a local community bank, PSBT is excited to be included in the development of new ideas to enhance the City’s footprint and contribute to Carbondale’s revitalization. By being chosen as one of the ten Blueprint Communities, the initiative will provide a solid and secure future for the City’s residents and outlying community for years to come.”

Past participants of Blueprint Communities have seen meaningful initiatives come to fruition such as community centers, rails to trails projects, affordable housing, school redevelopment projects, downtown beautification, community gardens, collaborations between local businesses, and other community-driven initiatives. Since the program’s inception in 2005, 28 Pennsylvania communities have participated in this initiative. Participating communities have leveraged the Blueprint Communities efforts into millions of public/private investments for their communities.

Photo caption (from left to right): Todd Pousley, Director of Community Development, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania; Joseph Ferretti, Executive Vice President & Northeast Market President, People’s Security Bank; John P. Brennan, Jr., President, Greater Carbondale Community Development Corp.; Gus Fahey, President, Valley in Motion; Colleen Burns, Community & Economic Development Services Specialist, NEPA Alliance; Michele Bannon, Mayor of the City of Carbondale; Emily Arcaro, Community Development Specialist, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania; James Hazen, Business Relationship Coordinator, Lackawanna County.

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