Changing Lives, Helping York Countians Thrive

Writer michael vyskocil
Photographer Eric Forberger

 A blend of Grantmaking, Advocacy and Community Leadership

Raspberry and strawberry aromas scent the air inside Artistic E Wines in downtown York’s Penn Market Farmers Market. While pouring a glass of his garnet-colored 80/20 wine, owner and winemaker Kenneth English celebrates an entrepreneurial achievement: creating Central Pennsylvania’s first urban winery.

English’s sulfite-free, micro-batch wines use fruits from the PA Preferred program, Penn Market vendors and local orchards. “This dream has been nine years in the making,” he says. “I’ve created a non-vineyard winery within the city limits that not only provides premium wines, but also entertainment and events along with the wine experience.”

Launching his winery wouldn’t have been possible without a blend of community support. He thanks Nicole Davis, City of York Redevelopment Authority, for the Penn Market opportunity and business mentor Gregory Bachman, whom he met through Susquehanna SCORE and its Urban Entrepreneur Initiative. This initiative is one of three programs supported by grants, made possible by donors who want to make York County better, from the York County Community Foundation’s (YCCF) Fund for York County, which aims to help York Countians find and keep family-sustaining jobs. Other programs include the Community Progress Council’s Self-Sufficiency program and CASA’s Bilingual Workforce & Economic Empowerment program.

“We support programs that meet the clients where they are in their journey and work in collaboration to figure out the best way to achieve their goal. Sometimes that goal is finding and keeping a better paying job to support their family. Sometimes it’s starting their own business,” says YCCF Vice President for Community Investment Lise Levin. “We’re finding the most successful programs are respectful of their clients’ unique needs and strengths, and we want to award grants to programs that are successful.”

YCCF President and CEO Jane Conover points to data from YorkCounts Indicators that show that Black and Hispanic households earn significantly less income than White households. “YCCF recognizes that for York County’s economy to flourish, all segments of our population need equitable opportunities to thrive,” she says. “Income disparities will hold us back and reduce York County’s competitiveness. We are proud to strengthen our community’s capacity to reach across sectors to expand access to opportunities.”

YRK PERSPECTIVES:

How do small businesses and YCCF work together to create a vibrant York County?

“We support entrepreneurs and small businesses as part of our focus on workforce development. Connecting people to the resources and skills they need to have family-sustaining jobs builds the pipeline for employers to have the highly-qualified workforce they need.”

— Jane Conover, President and CEO, York County Community Foundation

york county community foundation
  • 14 W. Market St. York, PA 17401
  • 717.848.3733 (York office)717.630.1843 (Hanover office)
york county community foundation
  • 14 W. Market St. York, PA 17401
  • 717.848.3733 (York office)717.630.1843 (Hanover office)