The Role of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO

What is a Community Action Organization?

A Community Action Organization (CAO) is a nonprofit organization serving a particular geographical territory within the United States. These organizations were established in 1964 by the federal government with the aim of combating poverty at a local level.

An agency is designated as a Community Action Organization after meeting certain criteria set by the state or local government. The structures of the boards of these agencies are typically tripartite and are designated for promoting participation from the community in totality. In other words, the board works to involve the entire community in the process of eliminating or reducing poverty.

Targets of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization

Representatives of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO take necessary steps for involving people belonging to all strata of our community. For example, we work with both private sector employees and elected public officials. However, the primary target always remains the communities’ low-income residents. We determine the local requirements of the poor residents of Lawrence County and then attack the identified causes of poverty. The ILCAO also plans and implements strategies to change the conditions for the betterment of the economic status of the community.

In order to reduce poverty in our community, we take necessary steps toward focusing on the available private, federal, local, and state resources. By doing so, we manage to assist the fixed and low-income people and their families in gathering knowledge and skills, identifying new opportunities, and last, but not least, achieving economic freedom.

How Does the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization Help Our Community?

We continually carry out several community-wide assessments for identifying the strengths and requirements of the Lawrence County area. The findings of such assessments are used for drafting comprehensive antipoverty strategies and plans. Through our departments, we mobilize both non-financial and financial resources to provide a series of direct services for changing the financial situation of the community for better.

Often low-income individuals fail to improve their condition due to lack of the required support. We lend that much required support to these people and work as advocates to assist them in improving their economic condition. We accomplish this with our Early Childhood Academy/Head Start, Family Medical Centers, and OhioMeansJobs One-Stop departments.

Many other organizations working with low-income individuals mostly concentrate on a particular need of the community; examples include health care, job training, economic development, or housing. The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization is a bit different. We lend a helping hand to fixed and low-income individuals to address their entire situation. We have the ability to offer a comprehensive approach and partner with other community agencies based on circumstances. We specialize in identifying particular needs of low-income individuals and families in order to make the strategies of managing poverty more effective.


Our mission is to measurably improve the well-being of our community by providing opportunities for those in need.

Our vision is to be the role model community agency for positively impacting peoples’ lives.

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