Erie's minority community took a message of support for an Erie Community College to Harrisburg earlier this week, and will show that support again tonight with a Community Impact Award at the 10th Annual Dr. King Awards Dinner at the Bayfront Convention Center.

Empower Erie, the nonprofit dedicated to establishing a community college in Erie County, will receive the Community Impact Award.  It's the group that conducted a feasibility and developed the comprehensive application submitted to the Pennsylvania Board of Education in 2017.  

Empower Erie continues to advocate for the community college while the application is pending with the Board of Education.

“We appreciate all the work that Empower Erie has done for affordable and accessible education for the many families we serve,” said James Sherrod, executive director of the MLK Center. “We believe a community college will have a substantial positive impact on those seeking post-secondary education who wouldn’t qualify or cannot afford a traditional four-year university.”

Empower Erie’s Ron DiNicola said “The core of our mission has always been to establish a community college that offers a pathway to opportunity and a better life for everyone in Erie County, regardless of background, socio-economic status, or circumstance,” DiNicola said. “This award affirms that the countless volunteer hours committed by the Empower Erie Board are being recognized and appreciated.”

Erie developer Donald Crenshaw of GMA Development Group will also receive a Community Impact Award for his long-standing commitment to provide affordable housing for low-income families.