LOWELL — Kronos employees have awarded Community Teamwork Inc. with a $20,060 GiveInspired grant that will help YouthBuild students learn how to manage their money and address transportation barriers to employment — two key pieces in attaining independence and self-sufficiency.
Thanks to the grant, YouthBuild participants will receive financial literacy training and one-on-one coaching sessions on budgeting, saving and credit from FDIC-certified financial specialists. It will also help fund a pilot program to help up to eight students obtain their driver’s licenses by assisting them with the costs associated with driver education, permits and Registry of Motor Vehicles fees.
At the grant presentation, held Aug. 23 at the Lowell Farmers Market at Lucy Larcom Park, YouthBuild Program Director Siobhan Sheehan thanked the Kronos representatives for understanding “that to get to a job, you need to drive there, to be successful, you need financial literacy.”
“Ladies, I can’t thank you enough,” Sheehan said to the members of the Kronos GiveInspired Committee. “This means so much to us. You are breaking barriers and you’re helping us end poverty by starting right here, right now, with this.”
Kronos GiveInspired Chairwoman Sarah Sheehy said CTI representatives had to apply for the grant, do a presentation and be approved by a scorecard ranking and vote.
“The passion of this organization just shone through and was contagious, and they really fit in with our charter of empowering and inspiring the next generation workforce,” Sheehy said. “So great fit, great partnership. We look forward to continuing to partner with you.”
YouthBuild serves low-income young adults ages 16-24 who dropped out of school, live in Lowell and surrounding towns and are ready for a second chance for educational and vocational training. The program provides participants with High School Equivalency Test preparation, vocational training in construction or culinary trades, one-on-one case management, leadership development, life-skills training and career and academic coaching.
Carl Howell, CTI division director of housing and homeless services, said the grant will give YouthBuild students the skills to be fiscally responsible once employed and help them develop economic plans for their future. He said the assistance with getting driver’s licenses is also key.
“Getting a job means nothing if you are unable to get to work. With driver’s education costs increasing, our students don’t have the upfront money it takes to enroll into a driver’s ed class,” Howell said. “These funds from Kronos help bridge that gap and allow our students to expand their search and opportunities to become gainfully employed.”