Projects support workforce training, literacy, small business, community development initiatives & job creation in Western New York
Empire State Development on Tuesday announced the recipients of funding for Oath's Community Benefit Fund for Lockport and Oath's Yahoo Community Fund for Niagara County - Empire State Development. For the 2018 funding cycle, $510,000 was awarded to 20 projects. Each year from 2015-21, Oath has committed to granting $500,000 to community organizations in Lockport and the surrounding areas.
"ESD's partnership with Oath, through Oath's Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County, helps support multiple projects across Western New York, including today's award-winners—projects chosen for their alignment with our strategic approach to economic development that encompasses workforce development and smart growth," said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky.
Oath VP of Infrastructure and Services Operations Greg Sly said, "This community has given so much to us as a company, and we are honored to be contributing to the development of this great town. Oath is driven by its core values and one of those is to 'create what's next.' That's why we've committed to deepening our partnership with Western New York by investing $3.5 million over seven years to other values-led organizations like those recognized today who are creating 'what's next' in the community. "
Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon, is a values-led company that reaches 1 billion people around the world with a house of media and technology brands. As part of Oath's $170 million agreement with ESD to establish a customer care center and expand its existing data center in Niagara County, the Community Benefit Fund was created in 2015 in addition to the initial commitment the company made to Lockport in 2010 with the Community Benefit Fund. The community initiative is part of Oath's commitment to drive economic development in Western New York, a hub of technical excellence for the company.
The next round of annual funding will begin in the spring of 2019, with up to $500,000 available again through the two funds.
Oath's Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County - Empire State Development Awarded Projects
•Creating a Plan for a Bicycle-Friendly Niagara Falls - $82,615 grant
Awardee: Green Options Buffalo
Development of a Bicycle Master Plan and implementation strategy for the City of Niagara Falls
•Oliver Street Enhancement Program - $50,000 grant
Awardee: Lumber City Development Corp.
•This program includes small projects (maximum of $5,000 per property) to Oliver Street facing facades in North Tonawanda, including new signage, awnings, windows and paintings. Also, funding will be used for public art (murals) and a window display program to enhance underutilized store fronts.
•Open Airways Initiative - $41,500 grant
Awardee: NCCC Foundation Inc.
Installation of air curtains to the exterior of Savor, Niagara Falls Culinary Institute's fine dining restaurant. This will allow Savor's doors to be opened for an "outdoor dining experience" while remaining compliant with the health code. It will also reduce the number of tables needed on the sidewalk for outdoor dining and allow for a wider pedestrian walkway area.
•CCE Learning Farm & Agriculture Incubator - $38,012 grant
Awardee: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County
This project will provide new agriculture businesses the opportunity to learn how to start, operate and implement a farm business without having to purchase expensive equipment and land.
•Wise Young Builders - $30,798 grant
Awardee: Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club
This program will help underserved kids and teens in Niagara Falls learn practical skills through hands-on workshops.
•Engaging Niagara - Expanding the Women's Business Center E-Network to Niagara County - $18,500 grant
Awardee: Canisius College
This program is for women who are interested in starting a business. Due to the growth and success of the E-Network in Erie County, the hiring of a part-time consultant is necessary to continue to expand this program in Niagara County.
•Niagara Falls Adult Literacy Drop In Center: Hire an Adult Learner Project - $13,575 grant
Awardee: Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara, Inc.
This project will expand the Niagara Falls Adult Literacy Drop In Center to serve additional Niagara Falls residents. The "Hire An Adult Learner" program will match students with local employers and jobs in the area.
Oath's Community Benefit Fund for Lockport Awarded Projects
•Taylor Theater Lighting Project - $50,000 grant
Awardee: Kenan Center, Inc.
Perform renovations to the current outdated lighting system in order to continue a 49-year tradition of providing quality programming to children and adults of all ages and economic backgrounds from the greater Lockport region and beyond.
•Community Event Center - $30,000 grant
Awardee: YWCA of the Niagara Frontier
Invest in the YWCA culinary social enterprise fostering both business expansion and increased opportunities for employment of YWCA culinary graduates.
•Lockport Workforce Training Center - $24,474 grant
Awardee: Orleans Niagara BOCES
For the purchase of equipment to provide training in the high-need area of electrical to unprepared and/or under-skilled individuals in the City of Lockport.
•Downtown Lockport Programming Support - $23,000 grant
Awardee: Lockport Main Street Inc.
To further and enhance marketing and economic development initiatives by supporting beautification efforts in the downtown Lockport district.
•Public Art Lighting Project - $20,000 grant
Awardee: Lockport Public Arts Council, Inc. (formerly known as Lockside Art Center)
Projection artistic lighting for various buildings in Lockport.
•Niagara County History Orientation Center - $17,000 grant
Awardee: Niagara County Historical Society
Provide matching funds for a challenge grant to create the Niagara County History Orientation Center at the Niagara County Historical Society to orient school children, families and other visitors to the historical sites in Lockport and Niagara County.
•Ready, Set, Read! - $14,710 grant
Awardee: EPIC - Every Person Influences Children
Conduct three, five-week series of the Ready, Set, Read! (RSR!) program, which promotes literacy and family bonding experiences through learning, reading and playing that can be replicated at home for up to 30 families residing in the Lockport area.
•Lockport Main Street Clock Renewal - $12,500 grant
Awardee: Lockport New York Rotary Foundation
Rebuild or historically replicate the abandoned post clock at the corner of Main and Pine streets in downtown Lockport.
•Community Education Centers - $11,443.45 grant
Awardee: Eastern Niagara Hospital
Establish seven interactive collaborative education centers at Eastern Niagara Hospital sites to promote services, resources and human service organizations across the community that enhance the health and well-being of residents residing in the Greater Lockport area and eastern Niagara County.
•Rebuilding From the Ground Up (phase three) - $9,987 grant
Awardee: Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara County Inc.
Complete the updates to facilities and provide a safe, welcoming environment for disadvantaged children and their families.
•Public Computing Upgrade - $7,934 grant
Awardee: Friends of the Lockport Public Library
Upgrade the public computer area, as well as adding other enhancements, so that the library is able to offer more access to community members who are using their own devices.
•Niagara County Financial Empowerment Coalition: Lockport Initiative - $7,760 grant
Awardee: Friends of the Lockport Public Library
Help low-income families improve their financial situations through access to tax credits and ongoing counseling that reduces debt, restores credit, and helps families live according to a realistic budget.
•A Place to Call Home - $6,191.55 grant
Awardee: St. John the Baptist Parish
Purchase beds from low-cost suppliers to respond to client requests.