"We are thrilled to be able to provide support to multiple New York and New Jersey communities to help individuals build their professional and personal development job skills," said Jill Kaplan, president, New York/New Jersey for United Airlines. "The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Urban League of Essex County, and Year Up New York align to our core values as a company and the grants will provide new opportunities for each organization to further promote their missions."
United's contribution of a half-million dollars to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, which serves the city of Elizabeth and neighboring counties, will support the Food Service Training Academy (FSTA). The Academy is a 15 week culinary program which provides the skills and training necessary for an entry-level job in the food-service industry. FSTA is open to low-income people who are facing obstacles to employment, including formerly incarcerated individuals seeking re-entry, people in recovery from substance use disorders and women re-entering the workforce.
"The Food Service Training Academy exemplifies the Community FoodBank of New Jersey's commitment to addressing poverty, the root cause of hunger, by providing graduates with marketable job skills that can lead to a living wage," said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO, Community FoodBank of New Jersey. "United's generous contribution will sponsor the recruitment and education of incoming FSTA students to help break the cycle of poverty for dozens of Elizabeth residents."
Further, the donation of a half-million dollars to Urban League of Essex County will support the development and improvement of a new soft skills program for residents within the city of Newark, New Jersey to support the Newark 2020 Hire. Buy. Live. initiative. The organization supports disadvantaged urban residents through programs that drive sustainable social and economic self-sufficiency.
"The Urban League of Essex County's mission is to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency and we are very grateful for the generous grant from United Airlines to help families secure meaningful employment and manage their finances and build assets," said Vivian Cox Fraser, President and CEO, Urban League of Essex County. "The grant will allow the Urban League to provide integrated services to families that will ensure longer term success. When we help people develop the skills they need to compete for living-wage jobs, we are creating opportunities to increase economic vitality of our communities."
Lastly, the investment of one million dollars to Year Up New York will support the organization in its efforts to scale the program in New York City and create a pilot software development track, which will include data analytics, software development, and an increased focus on cyber security.
"There is a growing technology job market in New York City that is out of reach for many individuals," said John Galante, Executive Director at Year Up New York. "United's investment in Year Up New York's software development track and expansion will enable us to train our young adults with the right skills that are in-demand now and will continue to be in-demand in the future. The impact of this work will change the lives of many and give opportunities for deserving youth in New York City."
Today's announcement is the sixth in a series of announcements United is making in all its domestic hub markets over the coming weeks. Each grant is a part of a total of $8 million in grants to help address critical needs identified by local leadership in each of its hub market communities – Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newark/New York and Washington, D.C. The announcement represents United's commitment to invest in and lift up the communities where many of its customers and employees live and work. With these grants, United will work hand-in-hand with local organizations and engage with city and community leadership to create profound, sustainable advancements.