Community Schools
April 09, 2018

People Project efforts ongoing to revitalize St. Lawrence County

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
people project
Caption: FILE PHOTO: Erin Covell, president of the Massena Federation of Teachers, kicks off the first People Project summit in October 2017. Photo by Greg McCrea.

POTSDAM, N.Y. April 9, 2018 — The second meeting of the People Project, a groundbreaking, union-led initiative to develop a shared vision for St. Lawrence County’s future, takes place. Members will share findings in three issue areas — health, wellness and reducing opioid addiction; community schools; and boosting economic development. Participants will also set goals for the months ahead and sign a covenant pledging continued support for the initiative.

The People Project meeting takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, in the Barrington Student Union Multipurpose Room at SUNY Potsdam. It will include participants from local schools, businesses and community organizations. An official covenant signing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Members of the media are invited to attend.

Speakers include American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten who will speak shortly after 9 a.m. and Leah D. Daughtry, project manager for Reconnecting McDowell, an AFT-supported West Virginia community partnership that is a model for the People Project. Erin Covell, president of the Massena Federation of Teachers and People Project lead, will moderate.

“We’re excited to keep this important project moving forward,” said Covell. “As a union leader I’m proud to partner with community members to bring positive change.”

“When unions and community activists work together there’s no limit to what can be accomplished,” said NYSUT Second Vice President, Paul Pecorale who will also attend. “Hats off to Ms. Covell for her leadership in making this program a reality, and to the community as a whole for making this significant and important project happen in the great St. Lawrence region.”

The People Project builds upon the successful 2015 effort to retain jobs at the local Alcoa plant and is funded by a grant from New York State United Teachers and the AFT. The meeting continues work begun at the group’s two-day summit in October.

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.