The message at the Working Together for Working Families conference Thursday was familiar but one organizers say needs to be reinforced. The best programs that help low-income working families are the programs those families themselves help develop to best meet their needs, they said.
And, just as important, organizers and participants said, is something necessary but often difficult to maintain — collaboration between government agencies and private organizations that oversee those programs. Learn more…
The Pascale Sykes Foundation’s Whole Family Approach and South Jersey Strengthening Families Initiative Grantees shined brightly when more than 325 stakeholders and experts in the field family social services gathered on Feb. 2, 2017, for Working Together For Working Families. The one-day conference, which was held at Cumberland County College, helped expand the national discussion on how to best assist low-income, working class families. Read more…
The Non Profit Development Center of Southern New Jersey in partnership with SNJ Business People held the Non Profit Awards Reception at Adelphia Restaurant on March 2, 2016 where the English Creek-Tilton Road Community Shuttle was honored as the Best Collaborative Effort for 2015.
The English Creek-Tilton Road Community Shuttle, a deviated fixed-route service in Egg Harbor Township and the City of Northfield, serves the general public and makes connections to NJ Transit bus routes from outlying areas for only $1.00 per ride. The shuttle is a partnership between The County of Atlantic, The Pascale Sykes Foundation, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, Family Service Association, NJ TRANSIT and Cross County Connection Transportation Management Association. The Pascale Sykes Foundation has funded the shuttle for five years, and has recently expanded the effort to include a Route 54/40 Shuttle.
The Nonprofit Development Center of Southern New Jersey is dedicated to providing opportunities for enhancing the work of Southern New Jersey nonprofits and their leaders through technical assistance, information-sharing, education and networking. The NPO Award was created to recognize Southern New Jersey’s Non Profit leaders. Award winners in each category received a $250 stipend for the charity of their choice. The English Creek-Tilton Road Community Shuttle donated their stipend in support of Family Service Association.
New Jersey Community Capital Announces THRIVE South Jersey Grant Opportunity
New Brunswick, NJ (January 11, 2016) – New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), through its THRIVE South Jersey initiative, will be granting up to $100,000 in 2016 to support targeted community revitalization projects that will help enhance the impact of community-based organizations in achieving their community development missions.
The Goal of THRIVE South Jersey is to expand local and regional capacity that will stimulate economic growth in the targeted region of Southern New Jersey that includes Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem and Western Atlantic counties. Through a combination of strategic funding and capacity building, THRIVE South Jersey seeks to support organizations fostering community revitalization activities that will generate jobs and sustain low-income families in the four county region.
“There are so many outstanding organizations in this region doing great work and just need seed funding to initiate and/or augment project activities that will stimulate growth and other economic impacts within their communities”, said Laura Wallick, THRIVE South Jersey program manager. “These grants will help fill those funding gaps.”
NJCC anticipates awarding between five (5) and seven (7) grants. Grant applications will be accepted beginning January 15, 2016 and continue on a rolling basis throughout the year until the full amount has been awarded.
Eligible applicants include New Jersey-based nonprofit housing, community development, or community development support organizations that have been in existence for at least one year and operate in a municipality within the THRIVE South Jersey target region. To submit an application, please complete the form available HERE.
About New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC)
NJCC is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that transforms at-risk communities through strategic investments of capital and knowledge. NJCC invests in affordable housing, community facilities, and economic development ventures that strengthen neighborhoods, improve education, and increase jobs, ultimately providing greater opportunities for low-income populations. Since inception, NJCC has facilitated the investment of over $500 million into 800 high-impact projects across the state, supporting the creation and preservation of 12,900 education seats, 8,200 housing units, 6,100 early care slots, and 6,100 jobs. For more information, please visit www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org.
MILLVILLE – A nonprofit has created an economic initiative that could pump as much as $15 million throughout South Jersey to help low-income families.
The Pascale Sykes Foundation announced the plan Thursday at the Cumberland County Improvement Authority headquarters on High Street. The organization has partnered with other agencies to raise money for the initiative.
The purpose is to enhance education and workforce development across Cumberland, Atlantic, Gloucester and Salem counties.
The foundation also unveiled a re-branding of the four counties as “New Jersey’s Heartland.”
Pascale Sykes has already worked with the four counties through various social service and transportation initiatives.
“We know there’s a plethora of education courses offered by Rutgers, counties and other educational institutions,” said Frances Sykes, president of the foundation. “But we had something else in mind. Something that includes coaching, mentoring and business financial arrangements.”
Pascale Sykes is collaborating with the nonprofit New Jersey Community Capital, which will help attract small businesses into the region. Pascale Sykes initially kicked in $4.1 million for the plan, and NJCC will try to leverage that money into $15 million.
Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly said he’s worked closely with Pascale Sykes in recent years, as the foundation has provided funds for the Greater Bridgeton Area Transit, which provides transportation for people to and from work.
“That has made a difference in our community,” Kelly said. “So I’m looking forward to the next thing. It’s a great way to leverage some ideas that we have, and to do some grassroots economic development for the city. One thing South Jersey doesn’t have is resources like North Jersey … We have some budding businesses here, and this can be the difference maker.”
The “New Jersey’s Heartland” marketing plan unveiled in collaboration with the Atlantic City-based Masterpiece Advertising hopes to showcase the region’s highlights in farmlands, education, creativity, innovation and other areas.
“From the start, it was clear that if we were going to achieve our goals increasing our world around us — creating pride in the region and positioning the four counties as a great destination for business and visitors — that we would need a strong name for the region,” said Phyllis Lacca, president of Masterpiece Advertising. “A handle that would portray the four counties as a great place to live, work and play.”
The new program also aims to work with existing economic development efforts across the region.
Chris Torres; (856) 563-5264; firstname.lastname@example.org
THOMAS BARLAS, Staff Writer
MILLVILLE — The Pascale Sykes Foundation is launching a multimillion-dollar economic-development endeavor intended to help low-income working families in four South Jersey counties.
The largest part of the 10-year project involves spending what organizers hope will be as much as $15 million to stimulate existing businesses in, and lure new businesses to, Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
While the money will finance various economic development projects, the main thrust involves bolstering small businesses in downtown areas, said Wayne Meyer, president of the nonprofit New Jersey Community Capital. The New Brunswick-based company administers the funds for the project.
Pascale Sykes already provided $4.1 million toward that effort, Meyer said. He said his company wants to grow that money to as much as $15 million, which will eventually be distributed through grants, loans and other financial agreements.
Another part of foundation’s project involves a more than $500,000 marketing campaign designed to attract tourists, businesses and others to the four-county area. The campaign bills the region as “New Jersey’s Heartland.”
The campaign will use different media outlets to advertise the four counties as a place to “live, work and play,” said Phyllis Lacca.
Lacca’s Atlantic City-based Masterpiece Advertising will oversee the advertising campaign, which will primarily target millennials and baby boomers.
The economic development program, announced at Cumberland County Improvement Authority headquarters here Thursday, is part of Pascale Sykes’ “Strengthening Families Initiative.”
That initiative began about five years ago. Part of its goal is to give low-income working families the chance to find better jobs with livable wages, said foundation President Frances Sykes.
“We support the independence, integrity and well-being of working, low-income families, those missed by the safety net, those trying to do the right things to become self-sufficient,” Sykes said.
“We believe that families need a steady source of income and healthy, vibrant communities in which to live and work,” she said. “We also believe that the basic support of family self-sufficiency is jobs.”
The program announced Thursday also will work in conjunction with state and county economic development efforts, foundation officials said.
Some Cumberland County government and business leaders are enthusiastic about the program.
“This is a game-changer in our county,” said Albert Kelly, mayor of Bridgeton, which is one of Cumberland County’s poorest municipalities.
The program should help small businesses whose owners can’t get financial help from large financial institutions, he said. Pascale Sykes’ track record of working with agencies in the county shows their dedication to helping its residents, he said.
Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dawn Hunter called the program “awesome,” adding that it should help the four counties compete with North Jersey in attracting new businesses.
“I keep saying we need a reason for people to stop and get off of Route 55,” she said.
The program announced Thursday represents the final part of the foundation’s three-part Strengthening Families Initiative.
Officials with Pascale Sykes, a nonprofit organization with offices in Vineland, said the foundation already has spent $10.3 million to bolster nine social service agencies in the four counties. Those agencies have helped about 8,000 families, they said.
The foundation also invested $2.1 million in four transportation systems — including the Greater Bridgeton Area Transit in Cumberland County and the English Creek-Tilton Road Community Shuttle in Atlantic County — aimed at getting people to and from work. About 6,000 people used the systems in June, foundation officials said.
Sykes said the foundation is targeting the four counties because “they have the most potential due to their unappreciated and undervalued assets.” Gloucester County also works with Cumberland and Salem counties in connection with social service organizations, she said.
Foundation officials said they plan to spend $50 million in the four counties by the time the foundation closes in 2023. The money represents the bulk of the foundation’s assets, they said.
Officials said there is much work to be done in the four counties.
State Department of Labor and Workforce Development statistics show Atlantic, Cumberland and Salem counties had the first, second and third worst unemployment rates, respectively, in New Jersey in June.
The rates were 8.8 percent in Atlantic County, 8.3 percent in Cumberland County, and 7.1 percent in Salem County. Gloucester County had a 5.9 percent unemployment rate.
Gloucester County is the only one of the four counties where the median income for 2009 to 2013 exceeded the state figure of $71,629, and then only by about $2,900, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show.
MILLVILLE – A $50 million investment is being made in South Jersey Counties to help support working families in Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, and Atlantic Counties.
“We, the Pascale Sykes Foundation is fully funded and is closing its doors in either 2022 or 2023. So we decided to have a spend down to really make a difference,” said Francis Sykes, President of the Pascale Sykes Foundation. “We looked at all the different counties in New Jersey, all kinds of stats, and discovered that Atlantic, Cumberland, and Salem Counties offer the most potential.”
Pascale Sykes plans that over the next 12 years, new programs will be implemented among South Jersey including social service and transportation programs. Their main goal is to promote the growth of business and the assets of these Southern Counties.
“We looked at median salaries, unemployment, high school graduations, a host of things that are a matter of public record,” said Franics Sykes. “Found that these counties have the most potential. We know that physically, these counties are beautiful counties.”
As part of their initiative, Pascale Sykes teamed up with Masterpiece Advertising for their first phase of the project, which includes showing all of the great things these counties have to offer.
“My reaction is hurray. I appreciate Pascale Sykes and what they’re doing,” said Albert Kelly, Mayor of Bridgeton. “They’re not overlooking the most impoverished counties and cities in New Jersey, but they are focusing in on and we’re often over looked here because we do not have the numbers of Central and North Jersey and so I say thank you and hurray.”
The New York Times recently reported on a finding from the large social mobility study out of Harvard that found that access to good, reliable transportation is a huge factor in determining economic mobility. Read More…