MAYOR BRONIN KICKS OFF YOUTH SERVICE CORPS WITH RIVERFRONT CLEANUP
“Today’s announcement is exciting because the single most powerful tool for building a better future for Hartford is to help give Hartford’s young people opportunities for meaningful employment.” – Mayor Luke Bronin
HARTFORD, CONN. (AUGUST 9, 2016) — Today, Mayor Luke Bronin kicked off the first phase of his signature initiative, Hartford’s Youth Service Corps, with a cleanup effort at the riverfront. The first step of Hartford’s Youth Service Corps includes giving two hundred of Hartford’s opportunity youth yearlong, part-time employment with flexible scheduling, and engagement in community service-based projects designed to visibly impact Hartford neighborhoods.
Hartford’s Youth Service Corps projects are addressing unmet needs in the City, such as blight remediation, home repair, and environmental stewardship. By completing these projects, Hartford’s Youth Service Corps Members will restore and protect Hartford’s natural, cultural, and historic resources and build safer, stronger neighborhoods.
“Today’s announcement is exciting because the single most powerful tool for building a better future for Hartford is to help give Hartford’s young people opportunities for meaningful employment,” said Mayor Bronin. “I believe that unemployment for young men and women in our cities is one of our greatest and most urgent challenges, and I’m incredibly grateful to our partners for stepping up in a huge way to meet that challenge. Giving young people a chance to earn a paycheck while contributing to their community is a powerful way to build safer, stronger neighborhoods.”
The City of Hartford’s Department of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation (DFCYR) is leading Hartford’s Youth Service Corps. Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) serves as the implementation partner, providing full-time staff to develop and implement projects and manage Youth Service Corps member teams.
The City and OPP are working to ensure that Hartford’s Youth Service Corps boosts access to economic opportunity by serving as an on-ramp to workforce development programming, career-level professional placements, and permanent employment.
“Hartford’s Youth Service Corps is a unique and exciting opportunity for the youth of Hartford to create an opportunity for both their communities and for themselves,” said Bob Rath, CEO of Our Piece of the Pie, Inc.
The Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) has provided $1 million in funds for Youth Service Corps projects through an Urban Revitalization Pilot Program grant.
"Strategic partnerships that produce great results like the one here between the Connecticut Department of Housing and the City of Hartford are an excellent example of the types of communities we're proud to play a role in building," said Connecticut Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne M. Klein. "Together, we're building a state, rich in diversity and inclusion, where everyone will have a welcoming and safe place to call home."
The kick-off event today was preceded by Mayor Bronin’s announcement earlier this summer that his administration secured $2.2 million in private funding for the first phase of the program. Five organizations donated the overwhelming share of funding for phase one, including The Hartford, Barbara Dalio and the Dalio Foundation, Aetna Foundation, Travelers Foundation, and Newman’s Own Foundation.
“Mayor Bronin’s Youth Service Corps offers an incredible opportunity for Hartford’s young people to make a difference in their community,” said Barbara Dalio. “We are deeply committed to the Youth Service Corps because it empowers hundreds of young people with jobs, caring adults, and opportunities to inspire us all.”
“The Hartford is committed to building safe, strong, and successful communities, and, as part of that effort, we contributed $500,000 to the Hartford Youth Services Corps,” said Diane Cantello, The Hartford’s Vice President of Corporate Sustainability. “Beyond funding, The Hartford’s creative services team provided their expertise to design the logo for the Hartford Youth Services Corps, and we are excited to see it proudly displayed around the City as the program comes to life.”
"The Aetna Foundation is committed to building a healthier world, and helping people achieve better health – it’s at the heart of our mission," said Garth Graham, MD, MPH, president of the Aetna Foundation. "We work with local, national and select international organizations to spark innovative ideas and programs, like Youth Service Corps, for improving health. We are proud to be a part of this program and investing in our Hartford youth to ensure a brighter tomorrow.”
“Supporting Hartford’s Youth Service Corps is a natural extension of the Newman’s Own Foundation commitment to empowering people and communities,” said Bob Forrester, President, and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation. Through our grant making, we continue Paul Newman’s legacy of giving and creating opportunities. Youth Service Corps is a very special way to engage city youth in employment, while at the same time providing experiences and support for their continued development as productive and contributing members of society. We are pleased to be a part of this special public/private partnership and are hopeful that its success will also be a model for other cities nationally.”
Read more about Youth Service Corps on the Mayor’s website: www.hartford.gov/youth-service-corps.