YORK, PENNSYLVANIA – CASA, the largest immigrant and Latino organization in Pennsylvania, hosted the Feria Latina, an annual festival for the Latino community. The organization launched its workforce development program to help immigrants and Latinos find better employment opportunities, with funding from the York County Community Foundation. Two hundred community members received COVID-19 vaccinations at the festival’s clinic. In addition, legal permanent residents started their naturalization process to become citizens. All of this took place in a family-friendly environment, where kids painted face masks in the Kid Zone and traditional Latino foods at the food trucks.

“The Feria Latina is a salve to Latinos in York, providing a much needed boost to those who suffered so much during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Thais Carrero, CASA Pennsylvania director. “The COVID-safe, family-friendly event brings relief with vaccinations, employment opportunities, and citizenship pathways. This workforce development program launching in York will become a mainstay for the community, connecting and training vulnerable populations to higher-paying jobs.”

“Helping Latino residents connect to resources and skills needed to secure family-sustaining jobs will help close the wage gap in York County. In 2015, York County Hispanic earned 47% less than White households. Our community cannot thrive when such disparities exist,” said Jane M. Conover, MSW, president & CEO of York County Community Foundation. “That’s why the York County Community Foundation found value in awarding a $126,000 grant to CASA from the Fund for York County over the next several years. The multi-year grant will help ensure that the program can be sustained as it grows.”

“I reached out to CASA in Pennsylvania to help build a partnership and offer employment opportunities to the Latino community. I worked with Monica and Brooke, and the process was so easy,” said Tamika Baker, Human Resources VP for White Rose Credit Union. “White Rose Credit Union has extended an offer to a member of CASA and she started last week and we are excited to see her grow with the Credit Union. We also look forward to strengthening our partnership with CASA.”

Awilda, a member of CASA, was working as a cleaner in a restaurant. The cleaning crew consisted of two team members, but when the other team member left, the company delegated the entire responsibility to her for the same hourly wage. In addition to that, she was discriminated against for being Latina, only speaking Spanish. Through CASA’s workforce development program, in a matter of days, she was able to find another job at a warehouse, with better pay of $15, and with a path to grow.

“I am more than grateful to CASA for what they have done for me. I went from a job where I was being treated unfairly and paid very little to a job where not only was I welcomed with open arms and paid a living wage. I am looking forward to continuing the work with Monica and her team to enroll in ESOL classes and vocational training, so I keep growing as a worker and contributing even more to my community through CASA,” said Awilda, a member of CASA in York.

Employers who attended the event included Equus Workforce Solutions, Migrant Education Program Statewide Recruiter, Penn State Educational Opportunity Center and Penn State Talent Search Program, Pennie, Randstad USA, Volt Workforce Services, and York County Economic Alliance.

To learn more about CASA’s York workforce development program click http://wearecasa.org/trabajosenpa


With over 110,000 members across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall