July 18, 2019
Nonprofits Get Funding to Aid Training, Heating, Immigrants

January 26, 2019 — Three nonprofits—Root in Salem, the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council in Lawrence, and the Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston—recently announced they received grants to support skills training, heating assistance, and settlement of new immigrants.

Root Receives $99K Skills Capital Grant

Root, a Salem-based nonprofit that trains at-risk youth work in the restaurant industry, received a $99,000 Skills Capital Grant from the state to complete the outfitting of its professional grade kitchen.

Massachusetts Skills Capital Grants are designed to help educational institutions invest in the most up-to-‐date training equipment to give their students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or particular area of study. They were created to align education, economic development and workforce policies, and to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers, according to a press release.

The funding will help purchase equipment for Root's professional‐grade teaching kitchen, including a tilt-skillet, ice machine, planetary mixer, a cooking range, and much needed additional ovens.

Gov. Charlie Baker, along with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Education James Peyser, recognized grant recipients during a ceremony at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School.

“Skills Capital Grants impact the education of thousands of young people across the Commonwealth and give them new opportunities and skills for a successful future,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“With the support of Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito. and the Workforce Skills Cabinet, the Skills Capital Grant will allow us to increase the quality of hands--‐on, experiential culinary instruction for those who participate in our youth workforce development program,” said Root Executive Director M. Scott Knox.

Root uses culinary arts as a tool for teaching workforce readiness and life skills to young people, ages 16 to 24, with barriers to employment. Root’s 12-week, 200-hour intensive hands-on kitchen and classroom training helps young people transform their lives and futures through technical and experiential education in the culinary arts, leading to employment and financial self-sufficiency.

Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Gets $50K from Bank of America

The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (GLCAC), a Lawrence nonprofit social services agency that provides a wide range of services, received $50,000 from Bank of America to support its fuel and heat assistance programs.

Evelyn Friedman, executive director of Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (GLCAC), said, “GLCAC is extremely grateful to Bank of America for this funding and its commitment to the Greater Lawrence community in this time of need. This is welcome news for families still struggling to recover from the gas disaster.’’

GLCAC also received a $250,000 grant from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, announced in November, to help low-income residents who heat with natural gas.

GLCAC will provide funding to residents who qualify for the federal LIHEAP fuel assistance program, but would otherwise not receive financial help due to limited funds, and also those who don’t qualify for the program but make less than 80 percent of the state median income. GLCAC will also use the grant to help residents weatherize their homes.

“The amount of the resources and their flexibility will allow us to help residents weatherize their homes, replace old inefficient boilers and hot water heaters and help with fuel -- all things sorely needed at this moment,’’ Friedman said.

The grants come in the wake of the Sept. 13 gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley that left thousands of residents and businesses without gas service for heating, hot water and cooking.

Irish International Immigrant Center Awarded $140K for New Citizens

The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC), a Boston nonprofit that assists newcomers to successfully transition to new lives in Greater Boston and the United States, received a $140,000 grant from the Fish Family Foundation to support its Citizenship Engagement Program.

IIIC Executive Director Ronnie Millar said, “The Fish Family Foundation’s vision of promoting engaged citizenship is fully aligned with IIIC’s vision, values and work. Immigrants have much to offer America and becoming a US citizen is the beginning of a new journey. Immigrants are courageous, entrepreneurial, and care deeply about community. As they become fully engaged citizens these attributes will help create a much better future for us all."

“The IIIC has championed immigrant issues for many years and assisted people from across the world as they make Boston their new home. This work aligns with our commitment to immigrant inclusion and we are thrilled to offer support for the IIIC’s relentless work,” said Larry Fish.

Grant funding will support the IIIC’s Citizenship Engagement Program in assisting more than 400 new and prospective citizens with job-readiness, individualized coaching for financial success and access to becoming more civically engaged.

The IIIC will also lead quarterly Citizenship Conversations in which newcomers and civic leaders can share their stories about citizenship and community.

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