Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO) was created in 1966 as Clinton County’s official anti-poverty agency, two years after the signing of the historic Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) of 1964. The original mandate, which still holds true to this day, was to provide resources and services which promote people’s dignity and self-sufficiency.
JCEO has served the residents of Clinton County through comprehensive programs for over 50 years. Programs have changed throughout the years to reflect the changing needs of the community. However, all programs are based on JCEO’s mission to alleviate poverty.
In 1998, JCEO established the Head Start program in Franklin County after it’s success in Clinton County. In 2013, food, transportation, and weatherization services joined Head Start in Franklin County. Joint Council for Economic Opportunity changed it’s name to Joint Council for Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties to reflect the larger 2-county service area.
Today, as one of the 60 Community Action Agencies (CAA’s) in New York State, JCEO continues to implement the philosophy of self help through practical, timely, and innovative programs and services that emphasize and develop problem solving skills for people.
JCEO is a private, not-for-profit human service agency that serves the residents of Clinton and Franklin Counties through its main administrative office as well as 11 Community Outreach Centers and ten Head Start Centers. The agency is governed by a 24 member Board of Directors consisting of eight members each from the private, pubic, and consumer sectors of the local community. Programs currently administered include: Head Start, Day Care, Food Pantry, Food Cooperative, Weatherization, HEAP, Emergency Homeless, Community Outreach, and Senior Outreach.
At JCEO, 96% of the consumers who utilize the Community Action Agency’s services are temporarily in need and are not on any form of public assistance. They are the working poor, the elderly, and the severely sick. They are widows, orphans and sometimes simply the unlucky that have landed suddenly in crisis. At times like these, it is a relief to know there is help available at JCEO.