Date: November 3, 2022
Contact: Audrey Schwartzberg, ANCA Communications Officer,,


Free Welcoming and Belonging Workshops Offered in Plattsburgh and Glens Falls this Month

Businesses and nonprofits invited to build communication skills for the workplace


Glens Falls and Plattsburgh, N.Y. — Small business and nonprofit personnel are invited to develop
communication skills that will help them retain employees and support positive customer experiences at
a free workshop presented by the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and the Adirondack
Diversity Initiative (ADI).

Free Building Welcoming and Belonging in the Workplace workshops will take place Tuesday, November
15, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Old Council Chambers, Plattsburgh City Hall, Plattsburgh, N.Y. and
Wednesday, November 16, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at WorkSmart Coworking and Meeting Place, 237
Glen Street, Glens Falls, N.Y. Small business owners, employees, aspiring entrepreneurs and nonprofit
personnel in ANCA’s 14-county service region are invited to attend. Registration is open at

“This is a great opportunity for businesses and organizations to learn skills that can help them create a
work culture that feels welcoming, inclusive and safe for their employees and customers,” said ANCA
Entrepreneurial Economy Program Director Danielle Delaini, who oversees ANCA’s Center for Pandemic
Response (ANCA CPR). “By building a sense of belonging, businesses can improve worker satisfaction and
retention while supporting the needs of a diverse clientele. Welcoming workplaces positively impact the
local business community and the staff and consumers who support it.”

ADI Scholar Activist David Epstein-HaLevi will lead workshop participants through activities and
conversations designed to teach skills and methods for communicating needs, requests, boundaries and
emotions in a nonviolent way.

The training builds on other ANCA CPR and ADI programs focused on improving communication in the
workplace. The two ANCA departments hosted their first welcoming and belonging workshop in Saranac
Lake on September 19, and ADI hosted a Communicating for Change Summit at Paul Smith’s College VIC
in April 2022. At the two-day summit, presenters shared knowledge and skills for facilitating nonviolent
communication in work and community settings.

“The workshop sessions reinforced useful skills, and provided new strategies for creating community,
understanding values, needs and feelings, and the difference between observations and judgments,” said
Saranac Lake resident Virginia Slater, who participated in the April summit. “I left feeling inspired and
confident to take the next steps for meeting with people in our wider community.”

Principles of welcoming and belonging are also central to ADI’s collaborative efforts to develop and
promote First Friday events, which are held the first Friday of every month in participating communities
including Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh. First Friday celebrates cultural diversity, showcases local
businesses, and provides opportunities for residents, visitors and students of diverse backgrounds to
share a positive downtown experience.

The Building Welcoming and Belonging in the Workplace workshops are supported by the U.S.
Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the Mastercard Center for
Inclusive Growth, which awarded ANCA’s Center for Pandemic Response (ANCA CPR) $1.268 million in
May 2021 to help regional small businesses and organizations achieve stability, resilience and growth.
ANCA CPR offers small business and nonprofit clients technical assistance through free and low-cost

To learn more about the November workshops or to register, visit
or contact ANCA CPR Program Navigator Olivia Dwyer at or 518.891.6200.

ANCA is an independent, nonprofit corporation with a transformational approach to building prosperity
across northern New York. Using innovative strategies for food systems, clean energy, small businesses,
and equity and inclusion, ANCA delivers targeted interventions that create and sustain wealth and value
in local communities.

Attached: one (1) PDF and one (1) photo
Photo: Human Power Planet Earth Bike Shop is one of over 25 businesses that participate in Saranac
Lake’s First Friday, a monthly event that celebrates diversity and promotes welcoming and belonging for
local residents, visitors and students.