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Hartford Youth Creating Safe Streets, Strong Neighborhoods
Hartford, Conn. (June 23, 2016) — Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Mayor Luke Bronin announced today that his administration has secured $2.2 million in private funding to launch the first phase of the Hartford Youth Service Corps. Five organizations have donated the overwhelming share of funding to the program: The Hartford, Barbara Dalio and the Dalio Foundation, Aetna Foundation, Travelers Foundation, and Newman’s Own Foundation. Various representatives from those organizations joined the Mayor for today’s announcement.  
“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.  Coupled with the $2 million youth employment grant, we secured from the federal Department of Labor, we’ve put together nearly $5 million to support job opportunities for Hartford’s young people.”
Youth employment is a top priority of Mayor Bronin’s administration. In response to Hartford’s youth unemployment crisis, Mayor Bronin had pledged during the first year of his new administration to partner with community stakeholders in connecting Hartford’s young people to part-time, yearlong employment. Youth Service Corps, set to launch this July, 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. Mayor Bronin aims to expand the program to five hundred youth next year.
Beginning in July 2016, the Youth Service Corps will employ two hundred of Hartford's opportunity youth. Members will have yearlong, part-time employment with flexible scheduling, and they will engage in community service-based projects designed to impact Hartford neighborhoods visibly. Projects will address unmet needs in the city, such as blight remediation, home repair, and environmental stewardship. By completing these projects, Youth Service Corps Members will restore and protect Hartford’s natural, cultural, and historic resources and build safer, stronger neighborhoods.
Youth Service Corps' donors expressed enthusiasm while reflecting on their commitment to the program.
“The Hartford is committed to building safe, strong and successful communities, and, as part of that effort, we are proud to partner with the city we’ve called home for more than 200 years,” said David Robinson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, The Hartford. “Early on, when Mayor Luke Bronin and the City reached out to The Hartford as a potential partner of Hartford's Youth Service Corps, we were eager to be involved and committed $500,000. We are encouraged by the opportunity to help empower young adults with opportunities to earn a paycheck while providing services so that our communities can prevail.”
Bob Forrester, President, and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation, remarked, "Supporting Hartford's Youth Service Corps is a natural extension of the Newman’s Own Foundation commitment to empowering people and communities. 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.”
"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."
“We admire and support Mayor Bronin’s vision for empowering individuals to build their communities and achieve their dreams,” said Barbara Dalio of the Dalio Foundation.  “We are deeply committed to Hartford's Youth Service Corps because it provides hundreds of adolescents and young adults with jobs, mentors, and opportunities to contribute to the Hartford community.  We are investing in Connecticut’s future by supporting them.”
Youth Service Corps, funded entirely by private donations, will be led by the City of Hartford’s Department of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation. Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) will serve as the implementation partner, providing full-time staff to develop and implement projects and manage Youth Service Corps member teams.  OPP will provide members with mentorship, assistance in building life skills, and support and employment services.  The City and OPP will work to ensure that 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 opportunity for both their communities and for themselves," said Bob Rath, CEO of Our Piece of the Pie, Inc.

In addition to the $2.2 million raised in philanthropic donations, the Connecticut Department of Housing has approved the use of $1 million in funds from the Urban Revitalization Pilot Program grant, authorized by the State in 2012, for Youth Service Corps projects.  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 Department of Housing is excited to support the City's revitalization of these neighborhoods as part of its Urban Revitalization Pilot Program, which envisions a comprehensive and collaborative approach to strong, vibrant, and inclusive communities,” said Nick Lundgren, Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Housing.
On top of the philanthropic donations announced today, the City recently highlighted that Hartford secured a $2 million a federal grant for youth jobs. The grant will help provide 275 youth with summer and year-round job opportunities and exposure to career pathways for in-demand job sectors as part of Promise Zone Youth Employment for Success (Promise Zone YES!). 
Mayor Bronin is also calling on more private sector companies to help increase employment opportunities for Hartford's young people. For businesses interested in becoming a partner of the Mayor's Youth Service Corps, please contact Diana Tomezsko, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the City of Hartford, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you are interested in hearing more about Youth Service Corps or expressing interest in membership, please contact Venica Blythe at 860-761-7345 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Read more about Youth Service Corps on the Mayor’s website:


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