Irgang To Speak At Library Wednesday

Tory Irgang, executive director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, will be the featured speaker at 7 p.m. Wednesday, in the Prendergast Library Fireplace Room for a Critical Discussion about “The Status of the Community.”

Two details that stand out in the United Way’s 2013 Community Status Report are that the local teen pregnancy rate is increasing, despite the national rate decreasing, and that this area’s median income has not kept pace with inflation, Irgang said.

Although the United Way has done community assessments intermittently for the last 20 years, she said there hasn’t been a new one until now since a Community Report Card in 2006.

“Understanding the community’s needs and issues helps United Way volunteers make informed decisions about where to direct funding. It also prioritizes where we should dedicate our resources and may indicate new and emerging needs,” according to Irgang.

She said topics fall under United Way’s focus areas of education, income (financial stability), and health, which are considered “the building blocks of a better life.”

“Specific data varies in the report from version to version, but it always follows that general guideline,” she said.

Sections in this version are community profile, financial stability (individual), economic vitality (community), health and wellbeing, education and lifelong learning, public safety, and community engagement, including a portion on public libraries.

The event is free and open to the public. The audience is encouraged to ask questions and contribute to discussion. The library is located at 509 Cherry St., Jamestown. For information, call 484-7135.