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Urban Resource Institute Awarded Grant from NBA Foundation To Expand Workforce Development Programs For Black Youth

URI’s Economic Empowerment Program receives funding to provide skills training and STEM learning for high school-aged youth who impacted by domestic violence and homelessness

 New York – April 7, 2022 – Urban Resource Institute (URI) today announced a grant awarded by the NBA Foundation to deepen and expand workforce development programming for youth who have been impacted by domestic violence and homelessness, particularly Black youth. URI, the largest provider of domestic violence residential services in the U.S. and a leading service provider for homeless families, recognizes that economic empowerment and education are essential services in helping survivors and their children re-establish healthy and independent lives.

In New York City and across the country, Black women and youth are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence and homelessness, as well as faced with inequity in access to technology – the “digital divide.” Through this new grant, URI’s Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) will offer skills training to high school-aged youth for the first time, in particular STEM and tech training, further advancing the program mission to increase economic opportunity and career advancement for those overcoming domestic violence and homelessness.

“Urban Resource Institute is deeply grateful to the NBA Foundation for the grant to expand our workforce development program to include youth, particularly Black youth, impacted by domestic violence and homelessness,” stated Nathaniel M. Fields, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Resource Institute. “For more than 40 years URI has been committed to providing comprehensive services for our clients, and we look forward to expanding our successful economic empowerment and job training programs to the younger members of the families we serve. For these youth, we will focus on training for the jobs of the future to help prepare them to develop career paths leading towards more secure and sustainable futures.”

Funding from the NBA Foundation will support access for youth in URI’s domestic violence and homeless family shelters to directly experience STEM learning through URI’s digital Fabrication Laboratory, or Fab Lab. This opportunity will help bridge the digital divide by exposing them to the latest technologies and training for jobs of the future. The Fab Lab, located in URI’s Economic Empowerment Center in Midtown Manhattan, is the second in all of New York City. It offers state-of-the-art, industrial-grade fabrication and electronics tools, software, and programs written by researchers at the Center for Bits & Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The URI Fab Lab is the only one in New York City providing underserved adults and youth the hands-on opportunity to learn about the machines, materials, design processes, programming, and engineering of fabricating objects. By providing a space for both youth and adults to learn,  invent, and create with technology, the URI Fab Lab prepares participants for potential new career paths.

The NBA Foundation was launched in August 2020 with a focus on creating greater economic opportunity and career advancement in the Black community by supporting organizations that provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development in NBA markets and communities across the U.S. and Canada. This most recent grants announcement marks the Foundation’s fifth grant round, totaling over $11 million for 40 grants supporting workforce development, pathways for higher education, mentoring, and entrepreneurship for Black youth.  URI is one of four grant recipients in New York City, including two in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn.

URI’s Economic Empowerment Program

Research shows 98% of those experiencing domestic violence also experience financial abuse, with forced economic dependence one of the greatest barriers to leaving and remaining free from abusive partners. For homeless families, establishing economic stability is critical to building a sustainable, secure future. By providing the training, tools and resources to achieve economic safety and stability, URI’s Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) helps clients create and maintain financial independence and a brighter future. EEP uses a trauma-informed approach to job training, internships, and financial education for clients with individualized services that prioritize their aspirations and talents. These services have to date been offered to adult clients, and will expand to include youth with the new NBA Foundation funding.

About Urban Resource Institute (URI)

Urban Resource Institute (URI) transforms the lives of domestic violence survivors and homeless families in New York City by empowering individuals, families, and communities, particularly communities of color and other vulnerable populations, to end cycles of domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and trauma by increasing safety and resiliency. As the largest provider of domestic violence shelter services in the US and a leading provider of homeless services, URI’s programs impact more than 40,000 individuals annually through prevention, intervention, education, and direct services in both residential and non-residential settings. URI is recognized as a thought-leader across the U.S. and beyond, in particular on the intersection of domestic violence and pets. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.

About the NBA Foundation

The NBA Foundation is the league’s first-ever charitable foundation dedicated to driving economic opportunity for Black youth. The Foundation invests in local and national organizations that promote school-to-career and workforce development opportunities. For more information visit nbafoundation.com.


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