There’s been an undercurrent of change in the Allegheny West neighborhood. The community has been determined to end blight through partnerships and local development. One of the most recent triumphs has been in the opening of Brown’s ShopRite and Bakers Centre, a new shopping center featuring a host of new businesses.
Community members had mixed opinions when they learned that Brown’s Shoprite (and Bakers Centre) planned to come to Allegheny West. As with any large company’s entrance to a tight-knit neighborhood, community members wanted to know what positive changes this development would bring.
More than 1,200 residents came to an initial meeting at Murrell Dobbins High School to hear about the ShopRite’s plans. This spurred PhillyRising to work with Allegheny West Foundation, Tioga United, Ridge-Allegheny-Hunting Park Association, Colt Coalition, Community Action Group, Abbotsford-Kennett Council and Deliverance Evangelistic CDC to ensure that the companies’ entrance would bring positive and sustainable change in the community. What resulted were not only 300+ jobs from Brown’s ShopRite, but a job fair and job-preparation workshops.
Leading up the Bakers Centre’s grand opening, the Allegheny West community was home to seven employment workshops teaching community members about current resume writing trends, life skills, how to prepare for a job interview and proper workplace attire, among other topics. Overall, the workshops helped nearly 500 residents to become “job-ready.” Their skills could be used at the upcoming job fair which brought over 25 employers to Deliverance Evangelistic Church. The job fair would offer opportunities to all community members regardless of educational, work or criminal backgrounds.
This substantial effort in Alleghany West is just one example of how much positive change can come from committed community members, organizations and new development projects through collaboration.
“The growth and success of the Allegheny West neighborhood isn’t by mere chance; it is the result of the City and the community working together.” said PhillyRising’s Northwest Division Coordinator Jim Sanders.