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STEP Looks to Build Capacity through Grant for Training

Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP), Inc., is seeking to build agency capacity and coordinate staff training opportunities through a grant from the Williamsport Lycoming Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. The grant will support a contracted position that will develop, coordinate, and implement the agency-wide training calendar.

“Because each of the many programs under STEP’s umbrella have different requirements, trainings have not typically been offered on an agency-wide basis in the past. We expect this position to build our capacity by establishing a robust training calendar and coordinating attendance across all programs,” said Rachelle Abbott, STEP Chief Operations and Planning Officer.

Trainings in the areas of leadership development and supervisor training, including mental health first aid, diversity/equity/inclusion, and implicit bias are just some of the options that will be built into STEP’s training calendar through this grant opportunity.

STEP has been focusing staff training opportunities on the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion and this project will allow for more robust training offerings in this area for all staff. These trainings will seek to further integrate STEP’s Diversity Statement, available in full at, into the nonprofit’s culture and operations. In addition to having its own Social Justice Task Force, STEP is also active in the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania’s Equity Committee. “Having a diversity statement formalizes the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion, which have always been part of community action. It is also a good starting point so that we can move from ‘ideals’ into implementation,” said Jim Plankenhorn, STEP President & CEO.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to create a pilot program for staff trainings, and feel confident that our success will be seen through greater impact in the community,” said Jim Plankenhorn, STEP President & CEO.

The success of the training program will be tracked internally by looking at staff retention, rate of transitioning to supervisory roles, and increased engagement and understanding with topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion at STEP.


About STEP, Inc.

STEP, Inc. is one of 1,100 Community Action Agencies nationwide, and a member of the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1966 and formally known as the Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP), Inc., the agency recently celebrated 55 years of partnerships and service to the community. The mission of STEP, Inc. is to engage diverse individuals, families, and communities in the pursuit of social and economic success. STEP, Inc.’s mission is accomplished through five Pathways to Success: Early Learning, Housing Options, Workforce Development, Community Collaboration, and Independent Living.


About the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania

The Foundation works to improve the quality of life in north central Pennsylvania through community leadership, the promotion of philanthropy, the strengthening of nonprofit impact and the perpetual stewardship of charitable assets. FCFP strives to create powerful communities through passionate giving. For more information visit