Houlahan tours Coatesville businesses, holds public town hall

Rep. Houlahan and Chief Jack Lauer meet at the Coatesville police department to discuss community safety.

COATESVILLE – On Tuesday, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-6) spent the day in Coatesville, touring various locales and engaging with the community on a number of crucial issues affecting Pennsylvania’s Sixth District: care for our seniors, collaboration with our local police, support for small businesses and the economic successes made possible by the American Rescue Plan.

“It’s good to be in Coatesville again,” Houlahan said. “So many incredible things are happening; we are seeing real signs of progress in a post-Covid Coatesville. I was able to hear directly from small businesses, entrepreneurs, our police officers and our senior citizens throughout the day about progress that has been made and what more is needed to ensure we have a fully recovered economy and a vibrant community.”

Accompanying Rep. Houlahan throughout the day was James Logan, the Coatesville City Manager.

“To see Representative Houlahan take time out of her schedule to visit Coatesville speaks volumes of her commitment to the city’s rebuilding efforts,” said James Logan, Coatesville City Manager. “We have been working hard to create a new community focused on re-imagining a city filled with new business opportunities, smart economic development, in addition to a healthy workforce and housing market. She seems to get what we are doing and wants to help. The collective efforts of our City Council, stakeholders and residents will bring us closer to our city-wide revitalization objectives and I hope Representative Houlahan will continue to lend her support to see it happen.”

At the Coatesville Police Department, Rep. Houlahan met with Chief Jack Laufer to discuss community safety, diversity and equity in the police force, and, in light of the recent holiday weekend, fireworks safety.

“I value the relationship with the Coatesville Police Department, and I appreciate the work they do on behalf of our community,” said Houlahan. “Chief Laufer continues to make Coatesville proud, and I am committed to working alongside him to support community safety and an equitable police force. That’s why I helped secure funding for local police departments in our American Rescue Plan, so that they too could begin the work of rebuilding after this devastating pandemic.”

“The City of Coatesville Police Department would like to thank Rep. Chrissy Houlahan and staff for taking the time to meet and engage in dialogue about local issues which are concerning to our department and city,” said Chief Jack W. Laufer, City of Coatesville Police. “Having this opportunity to communicate directly with our representation in Washington is important for the future of Coatesville, and we look forward to continuing this relationship in the future with additional opportunities to share ideas and concerns.”

At the Coatesville Area Senior Center, Rep. Houlahan greeted seniors at the drive through and assisted delivering meals to community members. She then toured the center and heard about the efforts the center made during the pandemic to continue serving Coatesville area senior citizens.

“The staff at the Coatesville Area Senior Center have reminded us just how vital our caregivers are,” said Houlahan. “They are a lifeline to countless senior citizens in our community. For my part, I’m working to ensure that our caregivers are supported going forward. Indeed, the caregiving economy is an underlying foundation of our economy, a necessity we all rely on in some capacity. My goal is to ensure spots like the Coatesville Area Senior Center get the funding and support they need.”

“It was our pleasure to host Congresswoman Houlahan yesterday,” said Bill Pierce, Executive Director, Brandywine Valley Active Aging. “It is critical for community organizations to engage our legislators in our services and to leverage those opportunities to advocate on behalf of the needs of the people and the communities we serve.  Congresswoman Houlahan and her team were attentive to the information we provided and responsive to the ideas we presented, and we are thankful for that.”

Rep. Houlahan meets with Reecie’s Soap owner and founder, Reece Turner. to hear about her business.

At Midway Arts, Rep. Houlahan met with local entrepreneurs. Midway Arts is a small business incubator that offers low rent spaces to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Chrissy met with Gabe Máquina, owner and founder of Máquina Coffee, and Reece Turner, owner and founder of Reecie’s Soap

“Meeting Reece Turner and Gabe Máquina, hearing about their respective businesses and learning how these budding entrepreneurs have dealt with the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic was beyond inspiring,” said Houlahan.“These two members of our community are pursuing the American dream in real time. Despite setbacks, they have, with the help of Midway Arts, launched successful businesses right here in our community. The work Midway Arts is doing couldn’t be more important, especially as we work together to create new jobs here in southeastern PA. As we continue to rebuild our economy, it’s important we pay attention to and harness the entrepreneurial spirit that will help jumpstart job creation. It’s exactly why I introduced my bipartisan RAMP Act, which will create a direct line of support to our talented entrepreneurs in translating their innovative ideas into marketable products and cutting-edge technology. Too many endeavors fail because they lack access to capital or face IP protection challenges. Pennsylvania is home to a number of successful startups, which began with an idea and have turned into small businesses, creating jobs on Main Street and products Americans use every day.”

To cap her day off, Rep. Houlahan hosted her first in-person town hall, her 49th overall, since the reopening of PA at Chester County Public Safety Training Campus. The focus was on jobs in Coatesville and the legislation she’s championed to help the District rebound from Covid-19 and jumpstart the economy by bringing good-paying jobs to southeast PA. Joining Rep. Houlahan was a panel of local leaders and experts – Ken Lebron, Director, Berks County Veterans Services, Tara Loew, Director of Apprenticeship and Training, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Jamal Abodalo, Director of Community Development Service, City of Reading, Patrick Hayakawa, VP of  Innovation and Marketing, Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC), Dr. Karen Kozachyn, VP of Workforce and Economic Development, Delaware County Community College and James Logan, Manager of City of Coatesville.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan takes a question from a member of her community about her initiative to bring jobs to Chester and Berks counties.

“It was fantastic to see so many members of our community at our town hall,” said Houlahan. “As always, I’m both humbled and inspired by the thoughtful questions and productive conversation. I am also grateful to our local leaders who served as our panelists. These town halls allow me to hear directly from constituents so I can bring their ideas and concerns back to Washington. What is clear is that the economy is on so many Pennsylvanians’ minds, mine included. I will continue to be a leading voice in Congress to bring good-paying jobs back to Chester and Berks counties, to provide a desperately needed infrastructure overhaul and to ensure that working families have the tools they need to economically thrive.”

“Quality, affordable, accessible workforce training is essential as the nation continues to recover from the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Karen Kozachyn, DCCC Vice President of Workforce & Economic Development and a panelist at the town hall. “With our strong ties to business and industry and the communities we serve, Delaware County Community College, and community colleges across the nation, are adept at providing this type of workforce training, especially now when the nation needs us most.”

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