CHENANGO COUNTY – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County held its annual meeting on Wednesday, electing four new board members and offering updates on a variety of its programs over the last year.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Chenango County Executive Director Ken Smith welcomed the four new board members – Heather Lathrop, Jordan Fleming, Yusuf Harper, and Mike O'Reilly – who were each elected to three-year terms during Wednesday's meeting at the Northeast Classic Car Museum.
Smith also offered his thanks to the four outgoing board members – Joe Cornell, Brian Newton, Julie Ives, and Gale Hamstra – for their service to the organization.
"We can't do the kinds of various types of work and different types of programming without a special kind of staff," said Smith. "These are people that are jacks of all trades and masters of many trades."
Chenango United Way Executive Director Elizabeth Monaco was the meeting's guest speaker, discussing the recent United Way's ALICE report published this September. The report shows 48 percent of Chenango County is either living in poverty or is part of the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed population.
"In other words those families who are one flat tire, one unexpected medical bill, and one layoff away from running into disaster," said Monaco. "More people are working than ever before, which we hear all the time in local media, but they're not earning enough to make ends meet, even in many cases with two or three jobs in the household."
Monaco said the United Way is working with local organizations to try to brainstorm ways to support ALICE families with higher wages and lower costs of living.
Several CCE staff members spoke after Monaco to provide updates on their programs, which serve to educate and assist families and children in Chenango County.