YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Organización Cívica y Cultural Hispana Americana last year initiated a $500,000 capital campaign aimed at revitalizing its headquarters, according to Nicholas Chretien, president of the board of trustees.
This initiative will raise money to fund infrastructure repairs and upgrades, rejuvenate OCCHA’s facility, and address immediate priorities.
It has already received substantial contributions for these improvements from various sources, including the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners, the Youngstown Foundation, and the city of Youngstown’s 7th Ward American Rescue Plan funds.
These contributions will cover critical items such as the heating and air conditioning, electrical and alarm systems, Chretien says. OCCHA is currently raising the remaining funds required to complete these projects.
For over 50 years, OCCHA has enriched the lives of Hispanic and multicultural communities in the Mahoning Valley through a range of initiatives and programs.
In 2023, the organization provided support to 789 families.
The impact OCCHA has on the community is largely attributed to the generosity of its supporters, who contributed over $400,000 in grants to help underwrite operational and program expenses.
Last year, OCCHA worked to expand its workforce program by strengthening its relationship with employers and training programs.
“We want to make sure the families coming into OCCHA benefit from the programs and services” and be successful and self-sufficient, says Angelica Diaz, OCCHA executive director.
“Throughout the challenges posed by the pandemic and the ensuing needs in our community, OCCHA has consistently risen to the occasion,” Chretien adds, noting its staff has tripled in size in recent years.
The organization is stepping into 2024 with a three-year strategic plan that focuses on three objectives:
• Expand OCCHA’s presence and raise awareness within the community.
• Diversify and expand its array of programs, ensure long-term sustainability, and make equitable staff development a priority.
• Refine organizational governance to adapt to evolving needs and ongoing growth.
Pictured at top: OCCHA kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month with an event at the Mahoning County Courthouse. From left are Ana Harris, Katherine Rivera, Jesenia Delgado, Angelica Diaz, Waleska Machado, Joel Montaz and Angian Pomales.