June 23, 2016

$5.5M launches city's Youth Service Corps

The city of Hartford has drawn an extra $2.2 million in donations, plus several million more in state and federal grants -- $5.5 million altogether – to initially hire 200 underserved city youths to perform North End cleanup and beautification assignments, the mayor says.

"The single most powerful tool for building a better future for Hartford is to help give Hartford's young people opportunities for meaningful employment," Luke Bronin said Thursday.

He announced $2.2 million given by various philanthropic groups, plus $1 million from the state Department of Housing's Urban Revitalization Pilot program to operate the Hartford Youth Service Corps.

That's on top of a $2 million youth-employment grant the city previously secured through the federal Department of Labor, said Bronin, who broached the idea for the corps during his mayoral campaign.

Set to launch in July, the corps will provide Hartford's opportunity youth — defined as out-of-school, out-of-work youth ages 16 to 24 — with an opportunity to earn a paycheck while strengthening neighborhoods. Bronin said he aims to expand the number to 500 in 2017.

Youth Service Corps members, in collaboration with Rebuilding Together Hartford, will renovate between 10 and 20 properties within a designated neighborhood of the North Hartford Promise Zone, the mayor said.

Five organizations, he said, donated most of the corps' funding of funding to the program: The Hartford; Barbara Dalio and the Dalio Foundation; Aetna Foundation; Travelers Foundation; and Newman's Own Foundation.

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