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ACAP’s New Strategic Plan Calls for Addressing Region’s Shortage of Available Labor, Increasing Access to Childcare, Housing and Transportation, and Holistic Healthcare


ACAP’s New Strategic Plan Calls for Addressing Region’s Shortage of
Available Labor, Increasing Access to Childcare, Housing and

Transportation, and Holistic Healthcare


Aroostook County – A new five-year Strategic Plan approved last week by Aroostook County
Action Program Board of Directors looks to address the most pressing needs identified by the
people of northern Maine in a recent region-wide community assessment.


Those challenges: strengthening employment opportunities and practices; increasing access to
affordable, quality childcare; safe and affordable housing; transportation; and enhancing
holistic person-centered healthcare region-wide.


“The areas we explore in this Strategic Plan are inextricably intertwined. The challenges must
be addressed collectively, and through the collaborative efforts of numerous stakeholders, if
we are to ensure the people of our region, especially the most vulnerable low- and moderate
income individuals and families, can achieve and maintain economic and overall stability and
forge a pathway to success,” said ACAP Executive Director/CEO Jason Parent. “The very
economic livelihood and future of our region depends on multi-faceted and bold engagement
by our agency and other stakeholders.”


ACAP Board Members and agency leaders agree that the areas identified through the
Community Assessment, and outlined with measurable and benchmarked outcomes in the
Strategic Plan, are amplified and exacerbated by the unprecedented global, national, state, and
local challenges presented by the pandemic, as well as geopolitical and economic upheaval and

uncertainty of our time. They add that these challenges have impacted the ability for
employers across the region to maintain and grow their businesses and organizations. For
working-age individuals to engage in their communities and the workforce, they must have
access to employment opportunities and the education and training necessary to fill them. It is
also critical to have in place quality, affordable and accessible childcare, affordable housing,
access to transportation, and to the services that lead to overall health and wellbeing.


Expanding and improving access to many of these resources is also critically important to
ensuring the needs of our region’s older residents and individuals living with disabilities, who
rely on such services to survive, are met.


“As a national leader among Community Action Agencies that have adopted and embraced the
Whole Family Approach for families with children, and the parallel Comprehensive Service
Delivery Model, with which customers are engaged, ACAP leaders feel better positioned to take
on these challenges and advance the deliverables detailed in the Strategic Plan.


“We partner with the families and individuals we serve, and the collaborating organizations
joining in our efforts and ready to mobilize our community and its people. It is through these
cross-sector partnerships and shared initiatives that the measurable goals outlined in this
Strategic Plan, and many and varied other benchmarks of success held by individuals, families,
organizations and our community, will be attained,” said ACAP Chief Operating Officer Jamie
Chandler, who along with ACAP Director of Advancement Sherry Locke and ACAP Board
Member Monica Pettengill Jerkins served as tri-chairs for the Strategic Planning Committee.


“This work plan, and the concrete measures of success it calls for, are both bold and necessary.
It reflects our efforts to meet the cited needs of our community, as noted both in our 2021
Comprehensive Community Assessment, and, equally important, our daily work directly with
the consumers who utilize our services. With numerous partners at the table, our efforts turn
to addressing many of the very real challenges that define our time,” said Locke.


Plans to address the critical shortage of available and skilled labor, amplified during the
pandemic, and further underscored by a lack of affordable childcare options for parents across
the region are addressed in the plan. Equally, the crisis of homelessness and lack of affordable
housing across Aroostook County are a focus. Continued efforts to provide additional stability
to the families and individuals ACAP serves its Whole Family Approach and Comprehensive
Service Delivery Model serve as the underpinning for these efforts.


Work to improve the health and wellbeing of the community served includes innovative and
evidenced-based prevention initiatives across the lifespan. Additionally, the provision of critical
services that provide for key supports of social determinants of health, especially for the most
vulnerable residents, will be at the forefront of the daily work to come.


According to ACAP leaders, the success toward accomplishing the objectives laid out in the
Strategic Plan will be made possible by the members of the ACAP Team who dedicate their
professional lives to the service of our community, the many volunteers that serve – including
the agency’s volunteer Board of Directors, and numerous partners and stakeholders who work
shoulder to shoulder with ACAP to meet community needs.


The new ACAP 2022-2027 Strategic Plan document can be found on-line at: strategic-plan-
2022.2027-final-6.16.22_62b9ab748b50e.pdf (acap-me.org). Printed copies of the plan are also
available by contacting ACAP Executive Assistant Gloria Duncan at gduncan@acap-me.org or by
calling (207) 554-4107 to request a copy.


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About Aroostook County Action Program
Celebrating 50 years of service to the people of northern Maine in 2022, Aroostook County
Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help
individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership
with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human
needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and
workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new
clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more
about available services available, contact the ACAP Team at 207- 764-3721.