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Employers & Child Care Event Shares Strategies to Boost Workforce Through Access to Child Care

Posted on September 15, 2022

Johnstown, PA (Sep. 15, 2022) – Much of Cambria County has so little child care available that it is labeled a child care desert. What does that mean? The Center for American Progress, an independent, non-partisan policy institute, defines a child care desert as any census tract with more than 50 children under age 5 that contain either no child care providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots. In Cambria County, six census tracts have 835 children ages birth to five and no child care at all.

This lack of child care limits local families and keeps capable people out of the workforce. It is also stifling the growth of our local economy. Employers cannot find workers to fill open jobs. “People are hesitant to apply for jobs because they don’t know if childcare can be provided for them,” said Amy Bradley, President and CEO of the Cambria Regional Chamber. “It’s a problem that our business community wants to learn more about so we can figure out what needs to be done.”

County-wide, 5,020 children aged five and under need care. The county’s 57 child care providers have a capacity of 2,835 slots for infants, toddlers, and young school-age children. This leaves the parents of nearly 2,200 children scrambling to find care, according to data collected from Child Care Works in PA.

The Learning Lamp, in partnership with the Cambria Regional Chamber, Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission and Vision Together 2025, will host a session to draw attention to this troublesome issue. The upcoming Employers & Child Care event provides a unique opportunity for local employers who want to increase worker retention and productivity and boost their applicant pool to become part of the solution to the child care crisis. Andrea Heberlein, Executive Director of the PA Early Learning Investment Commission, and Stephanie Doliveira, VP of Human Resources at Sheetz, Inc., will be on hand to guide an eye-opening discussion and provide actionable steps on how businesses can help solve the worker shortage through strategies that better support employees by increasing their access to child care.

This impactful discussion and networking event will take place on Wed., Oct. 26, 2022 at Flair of Country inside the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, located at 814 Airport Rd. in Johnstown. Check-in and a light breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. with the discussion starting at 8:30 a.m. Limited seating is available. Registration prior to the event is requested. There is no registration fee. To pre-register, call Jen Fisher at the Cambria Regional Chamber at 814-536-5107.


The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2021, The Learning Lamp served 28,160 youth/adults from 51 public school districts and 69 other schools and organizations in 19 Pennsylvania counties.

Our programs include: child care and preschool, after school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, school staffing, alternative education programs for at-risk students, online learning, credit recovery, drug and alcohol prevention programs, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

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