Study Finds Community Action Agencies Affect Economy

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Community Action Agencies in Ohio have a big effect on improving the local business climate: a new study found that 40 percent of Community Action Agency funding goes toward economic development. 

The study out of Ohio University shows that charitable agencies that work with low income families within Ohio, are looking to create economic growth, as well as hand out food to those in economic crisis.
Doug Stanley, executive director of the Athens, Hocking, Perry Community Action Agency, says he hopes this study highlights the focus of these organizations.     
"When we work with state legislators, to demonstrate to them that what we do, it's not just helping someone with a food box or a head-start program or a weatherization program, but it is actually improving the economy for everybody, not just low income people," said Stanley.
Stanley uses the GoBus partnership as one example of the agency's economic development work. 
"GoBus provides very low cost, $10 is a roundtrip ticket, to go from Athens to Columbus and Athens to Cincinnati. There are two runs made each day, round-trip. And most recently we opened a spur line that goes to Marietta-Parkersburg," said Stanley.
The agency's partnership with GoBus began in November 2010 as an effort to fill a void in public transportation in Southeast Ohio.
The Athens, Hocking, Perry Community Action Agency, also known as HAPCAP, is just one of the 50 Community Action Agencies that serve every county in the state of Ohio.