Lifting Up Westchester Receives $200,000 from Keybank to Launch Career Center for Job Training and Advancement

Pictured from left: Charles Stott, LUW Director of Shelters; Willa Brody, LUW Chief Operating Officer; Deborah Hertz, LUW Director of Program Design; Anahaita Kotval, Chief Executive Officer: John Manginelli, KeyBank Market President, Elona Shape, KeyBank Area Retail Leader; Analisha Michanczyk, KeyBank Corporate Responsibility Office, Sybil St. Germain, KeyBank Philanthropy Coordinator; and Edona Ismaji, KeyBank Experience Leader.

Lifting Up Westchester (LUW), a community-based, social services agency providing life changing support to our Westchester County residents in crisis, announces receipt of a two-year, $200,000 charitable grant from KeyBank Foundation to launch a new Career Center. The Center will take a holistic approach to strengthening people’s stability and self-sufficiency. The groundbreaking project will combine a variety of resources that will position LUW to help address a broader set of unique challenges individuals are experiencing in our community – the employment stability and wage advancement of extremely low-income and Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) individuals and people facing a variety of challenges to employment, housing, and living independently.

“Most people want to work but many have significant barriers to finding job opportunities. Our Center will focus on overcoming these barriers so Westchester residents can get back to work or find employment that better meets their needs. The Center will complement the existing employment programs in Westchester County by providing intense job readiness services that address the high barriers people with extremely low-income face every day, said Anahaita Kotval, LUW Chief Executive Officer. “The Center will provide access to a variety of services in one place that traditionally people have to seek from multiple agencies. For example, it is hard to look for new employment when you don’t have interview clothes, or don’t have a computer to fill out an application. We will walk hand-in-hand to help individuals get both the employment and the additional support they need for long-term stability. We are grateful that KeyBank shares our vision and has provided the funding to bring this holistic Center to fruition.”

With KeyBank’s support, LUW will build out a physical career center, hire staff, establish employment partnerships, and work with the Department of Social Services and other social welfare organizations to build a pipeline to targeted populations.  Its focus will be on providing job readiness and skills training, individual job coaching, and apprenticeships that lead to higher-paying jobs and employment advancement.  The program strives to assist an estimated 175 unemployed and significantly under-employed individuals over KeyBank’s two-year funding period.

“KeyBank Foundation is committed to partnering with community organizations whose mission it is to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations in our neighborhoods through education, workforce development, and community investment,” said KeyBank Market President John Manginelli. “Employment is key to an individual’s and family’s financial stability, and we are proud to support Lifting Up Westchester’s efforts to break down the employment barriers that many in our community face.”

KeyBank Foundation grants are made under Key’s National Community Benefits Plan established in 2017, which has already delivered more than $18 billion in lending and investments across Key’s national footprint supporting affordable housing and community development projects, home, and small business lending in low- and-moderate income communities, and philanthropic efforts targeted toward education, workforce development, and safe, vital neighborhoods.

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