West End Neighborhood House and New Castle County Receive $250,000 grant from Citi Foundation;
Delaware one of 15 communities that receive $4 million to support youth employment programs nationwide
Wilmington, DE (October 24, 2017) – Today, West End Neighborhood House and New Castle County announced that they have received a $250,000 grant from the Youth Workforce Fund, part of the Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress initiative to reduce youth unemployment through training and access to jobs. In partnership with America’s Promise Alliance, the Citi Foundation today announced $4 million in grants to 15 U.S. communities to expand employment opportunities in a variety of areas, from environmental sustainability to robotics and culinary arts to coding. Collectively, these Youth Workforce Fund awards are expected to benefit more than 5,000 youth across the country.
West End Neighborhood House will build upon existing career path programs and broaden their reach by (1) offering paid career path exploration and job placement opportunities during the summer and throughout the year; (2) expanding the number and types of paid career path job placements; and (3) providing industry-specific job training that yields transferrable job skills. New Castle County will support its 2018 Summer Youth Employment program, which provides career counseling, job training and paid summer job placements to youth in the City of Wilmington and across New Castle County. Together, these awards will help provide employment services and paid work experiences for more than 150 young people in New Castle County ages 16-24.
“We believe that having a job can solve 80% of young peoples’ social and economic problems. Youth in Delaware ages 16-24 are unemployed at nearly three times the rate of adults 25 and older. Long-term employment depends on experience, but you need a job to get that experience. Through our collaboration with New Castle County, this program will give over 150 young people an opportunity to explore a long-term career path while acquiring transferrable skills, earn an income and forge a solid work ethic. By also partnering with United Way of Delaware, our goal is to recruit an additional 40 employers and provide financial literacy instruction and education through United Way’s $tand by Me Financial Empowerment Program. None of this would have been possible without the generous support of Citi Foundation” said Paul Calistro, West End’s Executive Director.
“Preparing young people for the workforce and reducing the high rate of youth unemployment are pressing challenges that Delaware’s public, private and non-profit sectors are working hard to address,” New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer said. “Thanks to the generous support of the Citi Foundation, we will leverage our partnerships with the West End Neighborhood House, United Way and committed local employers to provide more of our young people with employment training and practical work experience, and that will put them on the path to career success.”
Access to apprenticeships, internships and vocational training is essential to empowering youth and preparing them to compete in today’s economy. According to the Citi Foundation’s Global Youth Survey 2017: Economic Prospects & Expectations, 78% of young people surveyed believe that internships and apprenticeships are critical for career success; however, 60% say there aren’t enough of these opportunities.
“While there is much focus on the skills mismatch among today’s youth and the jobs available, there are a lot of community organizations across the U.S. that are changing the dynamics around youth employment in their communities,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “Through the Youth Workforce Fund, we’re supporting those organizations that are expanding the skills of young people, building their networks, and connecting them to jobs.”
America’s Promise Alliance, the largest coalition of youth-serving organizations across the United States, will help us promote the adoption of new ideas that arise from Youth Workforce Fund programming. “We know that for many youth there is not one straight line to success and that the more opportunities young people have to work in real-world environments, the better chance they have for future economic mobility and success” added John Gomperts, President & CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “The programs supported by the Youth Workforce Fund reflect different pathways into the workforce that are essential for helping more young people beat the odds.” Visit the Youth Workforce Fund website to learn more.
Youth and employers interested in learning more about the New Castle County Summer Youth and Year Round Employment Programs through both the County and West End should contact Michael Begatto in the New Castle County Department of Community Services at MBegatto@nccde.org or (302) 395-5624.
About West End Neighborhood House
Since 1883, West End Neighborhood House (West End) has provided assistance to help customers achieve ultimate self-sufficiency through outcomes-driven programming, utilizing innovative solutions to resolve complex social challenges throughout Delaware. West End serves approx. 10,000 individuals annually and employs a comprehensive approach to meet customers’ overall needs. The agency is an approved Private Business & Trade School of the Delaware Department of Education and is licensed by the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families to operate a center for school age children. Program services are organized under six primary areas: Education, Employment, Financial Empowerment, Housing, Youth Services and Community Development. For more information, visit: www.westnendnh.org.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.
About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce. For more information, visit www.americaspromise.org.
About New Castle County Summer Youth Employment Program
The New Castle County Summer Youth Employment Program is a ten week summer youth employment program designed to engage low income New Castle County residents, 14-20 years of age in having a productive summer, filled with work-based learning that helps to launch their careers. Youth are exposed (many for the first time) to the world of work that enables them to learn about the variety of occupations available, in and around New Castle County.
Contact: Wes Davis, West End Neighborhood House, 302-658-4171 ext. 108; Jason Miller, New Castle County, 302-545-1462