Lyles Carr, senior vice president of the McCormick Group and chairman of the task force created to select the winners, said that supporting the region’s future workers was an initiative in which all Economic Club members, many of them executives at firms spanning a wide array of fields and expertise, could take an active role.
“Our group as a whole can’t claim specialty in heath care or housing or technology, but as a collection of businesspeople and professionals, what we do know about is education and the workforce,” Carr said. “The workforce is our lifeblood, and with these grants, we are looking to its future.”
Grant winners include college-prep services such as those offered by KIPP D.C., E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and Build D.C., as well as organizations that offer job training and work opportunities such as the Urban Alliance, Alexandria Seaport Foundation and Year Up National Capital Region.
Jubilee JumpStart/Jubilee Housing and Brainfood, both of which promote healthy living, will also receive $50,000 grants, as will the Latin America Youth Center and the Maya Angelou Schools, the latter of which offers an alternative education program to low-income students who have failed in traditional school settings.
“We looked for organizations that have ambitious or innovative approaches to these issues, ones that can set an example for policy leaders, business leaders and other organizations,” Carr said. “Beyond that, we wanted groups that were particularly interested in those that were helping catch the youths that have otherwise fallen through the cracks. Our local economy simply can’t afford to lose people who over time could be productive members of the community.”
The grants will be doled out at an anniversary dinner celebration early next month, at which Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett is to speak along with club President David Rubenstein.