Category Archives: Economy

What’s Next 2017 – Thursday 11/17


This year’s elections have highlighted the ever growing need for progressive minded individuals and organizations to come together and fight for social justice.

That’s what we do.

Join us Thursday, 11/17 6pm at the Artist’s Hand for What’s Next 2017.

Friends and members are invited to consider the last year, the policy implications of the 2016 election results, and to look forward in how to promote social justice in 2017. We’ll also have board elections, and figure out how to focus the work we do. And of course, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for you to renew and join the Center!

Let us come together to ensure our communities are supported, protected, and actively engaged in promoting better policy.



Final 2016 Film Features Hellbenders!

This week the Center rounds out the 2016 Film Series: Getting Local, and we get SUPER local! If you’ve been following us, you’ll recognize the East Run HellBenders Society, a group of community activists in Grant Township, Indiana County so powerful they legalized civil disobedience.

These brave folks are featured in the lastest from IUP alum Melissa Troutman, and her production company Public Herald Films. This team of investigative journalists last brought us Triple Divide – which documented fracking across the Pennsylyvania

Their new film picks up locally, called Invisible Hand.

“Free market forces have recently manifested as ‘fracking’ in Pennsylvania – a high risk method to extract natural gas – that state and federal governments support. But communities hell bent on protecting their rights are fighting back against state and corporate take over – some with success.

So what does it take to defeat a billion-dollar corporation with more rights than you? INVISIBLE HAND tells the story of people figuring out how. One method is by bringing about the Rights of Nature.”

The film documents the stories of Grant Township, and others who pushed back against the weight of big monied gas companies to protect their community. Indiana County is among the epicenters of a movement to reclaim our local authority from the unholy alliance between big gas and our state government. Join us to see how you can help!

Thanks to the IUP Sustainability Studies Program for co-sponsoring.


See you there!

invisible-hand-flier-v2-docxDoors open- 6:00
Director Comments – 6:30
Film – 7:00

Final Schedule Announced!


We’re so jazzed about our final line-up to finish the 2016 Film Series: Getting Local. Doors always open at 6:00pm, Speaker/Panel at 6:30pm. It’s not too late to get involved and become a co-sponsor. See you there!

Friday, Sept. 2

“How to Let Go of the World, And Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change”

Philadelphia Street Playhouse

725 Philadelphia St, Indiana, PA 15701

This visually striking account of local environmental problems and solutions across the world is the latest from the director of the 2014 film Gasland. Directed by Josh Fox, Gasland I and II traced the effects of fracking, and was considered a major influence in the debate environmental protection in Pennsylvania and New York. We’re also going to be treated to a sneak preview of an upcoming film that tracks grassroots organizing in Indiana County, from Tea Parties to Hellbenders!

Co-sponsors: Evergreen Conservancy, IUP E.C.O. Club

Friday, Sept. 30

“The Mask You Live In”

Philadelphia Street Playhouse

725 Philadelphia St, Indiana, PA 15701

From the Representation Project, and the folk that brought Miss. Representation, this 1015 release explores how our culture’s narrow definition of masculinity is harming our boys, men, and society at large and unveils what we can do about it.

Co-sponsor: The CARE Center


Fri 10/28 

“Invisible Hand” 

IUP Humanities and Social Sciences Building

921 Grant Street, Indiana, PA

Through the lens of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in one of the largest fossil fuel extraction zones in the United States, we uncover a series of stories that challenge our conventional views of economy, human rights, and democracy. This is the latest project from IUP Alum Melissa Troutman’s production company, Public Herald

Co-sponsor: IUP Sustainability Studies Program


Friday Films are Back!! – NEW DATE!

banner2016Greetings Friends!

The Center for Community Growth is proud to launch the second season of the 2016 Film Series, Getting Local with the newest documentary from Pennsylvania native and Oscar nominated director, Josh Fox, How to Let Go of the World (And Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change).

Friday, September 2
Philadelphia Street Playhouse
725 Philadelphia Street, Indiana, PA

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Special MYSTERY Guest: 6:30pm
Film: 7:00 pm

This visually striking account of local environmental problems, and local solutions across the world is the latest from the director of the 2014 film, Gasland. Gasland I and II traced the effects of fracking, and was considered a major influence in the debate on environmental protection in Pennsylvania, and New York.

Fox’s latest Sundance Official Selection 2016, takes a tough and motivational look at the effects of global warming across the globe.

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Special MYSTERY Guest: 6:30pm
Film: 7:00 pm

How to let go

New Report Shows Indiana County Workers Need $14.96 an Hour to Make Ends Meet

The Center for Community Growth joins the United Mine Workers Association in calling on Dave Reed to support an increase in the minimum wage, a step toward a real living wage.

Indiana, PA– Minimum wage workers in Pennsylvania are falling further behind.  While minimum wages is $7.25 an actual living wage, the amount it takes a single worker to make ends meet across the state, is $16.41 per hour.  In Indiana, it’s only a bit less, at $14.96.

A worker in Pennsylvania needs to work over ninety hours a week at minimum wage to cover their own basic needs.

Today, The Center for Community Growth is releasing “Pay Up! Long Hours and Low Pay Leave Workers at a Loss,” a national study by our partners, The Alliance for a Just Society, showing that even the $15 an hour wage that is gaining momentum around the country is a modest proposal, and not enough for workers in most states to make ends meet.

Working full time should provide financial stability, not poverty. Low wage workers provide services we all count on every day as we do our shopping, dine out, or take our children to child care.LW graphic1

“Pay Up puts real numbers to what we all know, the minimum wage keeps workers trapped in poverty. Working the equivalent of two full time jobs just to make ends meet is not realistic.” according to Gerald Smith, Co-director of the Center for Community Growth.

“Pay Up!” also reveals how much a Pennsylvania worker supporting a family needs to be paid:

  • The living wage for a single adult and school age child: $16.41
  • A single adult with a toddler and a school age child: $24.35
  • Two adults (one working) with a toddler and school age child: $31.67
  • Two adults (both working) with a toddler and a school age child: $20.91

A living wage allows workers and families to meet their basic needs without public assistance and set aside a small amount of savings for emergencies such as a car repair, or plan ahead for expenses such as high winter heating bill.  The living wage calculation includes food, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, (child care) clothing, savings and state and federal taxes.

Dr. Brandon Vick from IUP’s Economics Department oversaw much of the calculation of the living wage. “We took state, federal, and local data sources to put together a market basket of costs. What this doesn’t take into account, and is also important, is other supports that we know that low income families depend on to fill in the gaps, such as the programs offered by organizations like ICCAP.

“When people aren’t making a living wage, they’re forced to make impossible financial choices that leaves families vulnerable. The right thing to do is for us to come together as a community and raise the minimum wage, so that working people have a chance for stability.” Said Rev. Joan Sabatino.