(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A new initiative has passed that will help tear down the language barrier for Millcreek residents.
Millcreek Township supervisors unanimously passed a resolution approving a Language Access Plan (LAP) at their Oct. 24 meeting. This initiative makes it easier for residents with limited English proficiency (LEP) to connect with their local government, according to a Nov. 2 release.
The LAP lays out comprehensive procedures, staff training and free interpreter access through Millcreek’s Multicultural Community Resource Center for residents who need to access township services.
The release states the goal is to ensure not only equitable access to township services but also to prevent language-related misunderstandings in crucial situations, primarily with code enforcement and police.
“A Language Access Plan is in the best interest of the Millcreek community. With a growing population of residents with English as a second language, we need to empower those residents to be part of Millcreek Township,” said Jessica Stutzman, community relations and sustainability director.
Stutzman has been named the Language Access Coordinator where her duties include promoting the Language Access Plan and availability of LAP forms, overseeing LAP training and investigating non-compliance with the LAP.
Millcreek Township is home to over 1,200 identified limited English proficiency individuals, or 2.34% of Millcreek Township, according to data from the US Census Bureau. From a broader perspective, 614,290 Pennsylvania residents are LEP individuals or 5% of the population.
Additional details on the LAP and how to access is can be found on Millcreek’s website.