YWCA and Broadway Area Community Grants to Bolster Gary’s Economic Revitalization

Miami, Fla. – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has extended its grant to the YWCA of Northwest Indiana and added a grant to the Broadway Area Community Development Corporation with the goal of spurring Gary’s economic and community revitalization. This Indiana community is rebounding and it needs new industries and young working professionals as the steel industry becomes smaller.

Knight Foundation plans to give the YWCA of Northwest Indiana, which has already taken a lead in bringing the Gary community together, $700,000 over three years to implement projects that would help young people prepare for the future. Currently, many students are failing in school and not continuing to high education. YWCA’s projects, such as the Trading Game, Negotiation Game and the Creativity Factor, are meant to lever 450 participants to focus on an idea, develop it and take it to market while developing business and leadership skills.

Through these initiatives, Knight Foundation and the YWCA hope to simultaneously improve academics and develop entrepreneurial spirit among Gary’s youth. The YWCA also plans to incorporate local business leaders as mentors to these students. “These grants provide an opportunity for Gary to continue its efforts around rebuilding the community and retaining talent. We are really training and retaining the talent with both of these programs,” said Brenda Price, Knight program director for Gary.

The Broadway Area Community Development Corporation will use a $630,000 grant to aid economic development through funding residential construction projects in downtown Gary and training women in construction trades. It plans to launch a ten year Community Neighborhood Workforce Development program to map community for blight, vacant properties, dumping and illegal drug activities, rehabilitate houses and start new construction.

Price adds, “The impact of these programs would be limited if not for the outstanding leadership of Mary Cossey, executive director of the Gary YWCA, Vernita Leslie, executive director of Broadway Area Community Development, and all the board members. These leaders are truly dedicated to revitalizing Gary’s economy.”

About Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create transformational change.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.