Forever Lebanon Valley

WEPA Asks County for $750K for Building

WEPA Empowerment Center is coming to Lebanon later this year.
The former Elks Hall at 9 S. 9th Street in Lebanon, which WEPA would like to purchase for $520,000 for their Tec Centro training center.

Over the past two or three years, you may have heard about a Workforce Empowerment Plan taking shape in Lebanon with a unique name and a goal of providing enhanced job skills and language improvement, mostly for Lebanon’s growing Hispanic community.

WEPA – a term of jubilation used frequently by Puerto Ricans – has also become an acronym for the Lebanon initiative, “Working to Empower People for Advancement,”

WEPA Founder and CEO Rafael Torres said the organization will soon be known as TEC Centro Lebanon and if all goes well, will soon have a building to call their own and to operate from.

Torres and WEPA Treasurer Bill Campoll came before county commissioners yesterday during their workshop session to ask for $750,000 to purchase the former Elks building at South 9th Street.

Torres says they believe it will meet all their needs:

The building has already undergone three inspections and a feasibility study performed by Beers and Hoffman architects.

There’s asbestos remediation that will need to be completed, ADA accommodations that need to be added and a new elevator that must be installed, even before other renovations for classrooms and training areas are completed.

The Lebanon Valley Daily News took notice that the $750,000 request didn’t seem to phase either county commissioner, so we asked where the money would be coming from.

Chairman Commissioner Bob Phillips said they’ll take it from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funds:

Phillips stressed that no general tax fund dollars will be used for WEPA.

Commissioners seem poised to approve the request at a meeting later this month.