The Erie Together Movement

Erie Together is a movement of hundreds of local individuals, organizations, and businesses working together in strategic ways to prevent and reduce poverty, elevate prosperity, and make the Erie region a community of opportunity where everyone can learn, work and thrive.


In 2006, The Erie Community Foundation convened a panel to study the prevalence and impact of poverty in our community.  After extensive research, in 2007 the group released its findings in a report entitled, “The High Cost of Poverty:  It Affects Us All”

Following the study, three organizations - The Greater Erie Community Action Committee (GECAC), United Way of Erie County, and Mercyhurst University - came together to identify ways to address the issue.  After extensive due diligence regarding best practices elsewhere in the United States and beyond, these three entities launched Erie Together in 2009.

Erie Together began, and operated for its first five years, with significant financial support from the Erie Women’s Fund.  The first “elements” that were launched included “Neighborhood Action Teams” and “Family Action Teams”.  As the work progressed, Erie Together invited an outside consultant, Jay Connor of Rubicon Partners LLP, to assist in further shaping the movement.  Jay’s systems approach helped foster collaboration across traditional boundaries, or “silos,” of individuals and organizations that exist within communities. 

In the spring of 2010, Erie Together convened several hundred local residents to further identify direction and goals related to poverty alleviation here.  It was at that time that Erie Together developed its aspiration statement, with the input of more than 650 people: “Working together to make the Erie region a community of opportunity where everyone can learn, work and thrive.” 

Also in 2010, Erie Together formed four countywide action teams consisting of individuals from many different personal and professional backgrounds to bring their time, talent and expertise to the movement.  These action teams are very active, and are open to anyone who wants to participate.  Click on the 'Get Involved' section above to learn more about what our action teams are working on or contact us to find out how you can join a team. 


Goals & Outcomes


“Working together to make the Erie region a community of opportunity where everyone can learn, work and thrive.”

Learn Goal: More children become successful adults

• Children ready to learn when they enter Kindergarten
• Children reading at grade level in 3rd grade
• Youth with quality career exploration by 8th grade
• High school graduates ready for next step: meaningful employment and/or successful completion of post-secondary education or training

Work Goal: More adults obtain family sustaining employment

• Workforce development system operates effectively
• Workforce has job skills appropriate for available jobs
• Job seekers have the soft skills needed for employment
• Barriers to employment are overcome

Thrive Goal: More families able to meet their basic needs

• Align system of community supports
• Families gain better understanding of their situation and opportunities
• Families are connected to community supports
• Families increase their level of self-sufficiency

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Recent News

Erie Together Milestones: 2009-2018

Erie Together's Milestone Spotlight highlights major accomplishments through the years.

February 26th, 2020

Getting Ahead Mentors Needed

Our "Getting Ahead While Getting Out" self-sufficiency program needs adult mentors. Please contact GECAC's Teresa Swoger at for more information. The time commitment is minimal but the impact is huge!

February 26th, 2020

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