News from Fedcap

Staten Island Community Board Honors NIP

Staten Island officials honored the Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) on Oct. 15 with a Public Service Award for its workforce development and neighborhood beautification efforts in the borough’s Stapleton area.

“Giving people the opportunity to improve their lives is a job worth rewarding,” said Larry Beslow, a member of Staten Island Community Board 1 and Vice Chair of the Central Family Life Center.

Beslow presented the award to Mario LaRosa, right, Manager of Social Enterprises for Wildcat Service Corp., right, which runs NIP. The luncheon for 106 was also attended by New York State Assemblyman Matt Titone and New York State Senator Diane Savino.

Award PresentationNIP, now in its second full year, provides transitional employment opportunities to 240 job seekers each year. NIP participants are typically public assistance recipients, ex-offenders and/or residents of homeless shelters. They spend three days a week cleaning and beautifying neighborhoods hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, and two days in a classroom at Fedcap’s 19th Street facility for work-readiness and vocational-skills training. After the program, participants are placed in long-term employment and provided with follow-up services to help them achieve their career goals, and become and remain economically independent. Approximately 90 percent of current NIP participants are women, who are offered specialized workshops in financial literacy, health, domestic violence, sexual harassment and women’s issues in the workplace. Wildcat is a division of Fedcap.

“Stapleton is one of hardest-hit areas on Staten Island,” said LaRosa. “We are very proud to help both individuals and neighborhoods with this program. Four of the seven properties our teams cleaned up earlier this year have already been sold and are under development.”

NIP also works in Bedford Stuyvesant/Bushwick, Brooklyn; South Jamaica, Queens, and Williamsbridge, Bronx.