December Grant Highlights

WIRE-Net instructor helps students work on motor
Photo © WIRE-Net

Happy holidays! We’re ending the year on a great note, with a number of grants to organizations serving residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. Here are just a few highlights from December’s grants:

$95,562 to WIRE-Net, a local manufacturing sector intermediary, to support the development and expansion of an apprenticeship program in career-tech high schools in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties. The program aims to provide local companies a pipeline of young high school talent who can migrate directly into adult apprenticeships after graduation, continuing post-secondary education. We have supported WIRE-Net in their work to build apprenticeship models with $342,172 granted since 2015.

Two grants to Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), including $150,000 to continue supporting its role as lead intermediary of youth employment via MyCom, and $350,000 to expand YOU’s workforce development programs for in-school and out-of-school youth. YOU helps teens and adults succeed by providing educational and workforce opportunities, skills development and access to career pathways. The first grant will allow YOU to continue serving as a leader of over 80 youth employment providers in the county by supporting staff salaries, training, partnerships, transportation, professional development and other costs. The second will help YOU develop workforce readiness curriculum and training that aims to help more youth become employed and earn a living wage.

$325,000 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio. Our grant will support targeted programs to reduce food insecurity among the region’s aging population, including the organization’s successful “Senior Market” program, which brings fresh produce and healthy nonperishable foods directly to senior residential facilities each month. In addition, the grant will help expand distribution of meals and groceries to homebound seniors, and help coordinate with other community partners and stakeholders to monitor and raise awareness about policy issues impacting access to food for seniors.

$ 50,000 to Karamu House, which produces professional theatre, provides arts education and presents community programs for all people while honoring the African-American experience. Our grant will support multiple projects, including:

  • A theater mastery arts pilot program called “Karamu’s Youth Repertory Company” to prepare young people for post-secondary study or careers in musical theater performance.
  • Support for PORCHES, an original oral history project, for collection of oral histories from Glenville residents about life on the front porch. The stories will be presented as readings in partnership with Front International’s arts exhibitions.
  • Support for the development of a video that captures the history and significance of Karamu House, to be used online, at events and presentations and beyond.

$75,000 to Rails to Trails Conservancy, a national voice (with an office in Cleveland) for multi-use trails and recreation with a goal of creating more walkable, bikeable communities in the U.S. The City of Cleveland and Bike Cleveland have worked to bring Rails to Trails’ BikeAble GIS modeling platform to Cleveland. Our grant supports the BikeAble analysis, which will assess current bike networks and analyze areas where connectivity could be improved. The mapping will be incorporated in existing community plans through collaboration with Bike Cleveland, and the work also supports the City’s effort to update its bicycle master plan in 2018.

These are just a few of our December grants. Follow our grantmaking each month – and get the latest news from the Cleveland Foundation – by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter here.