Christie Administration awards Urban Youth Corps grants for 12 communities statewide
Corps members will support NJDOT Clean Up NJ efforts
(Trenton) - The Christie Administration today announced Urban Youth Corps grants for 12 communities and projects that will provide summer employment for about 120 young adults in our state’s urban areas.
As part of the Urban Youth Corps clean-up and beautification program, corps members will work with municipal or civic organizations to create attractive gateways near state highways in cities throughout New Jersey.
The program, which had been dormant since 2008, is being administered by NJDOT’s Civil Rights office and is funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
“The Urban Youth Corps will provides disadvantaged young adults from our urban communities the opportunity to earn a paycheck, develop solid work habits and enhance their employment marketability with the the type of experiences that will help them succeed in the job market,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “We are very pleased to revive this program which aligns perfectly with our renewed emphasis on improving the appearance of our highways.”
The grant recipients were selected from among 19 applications and will receive $32,000 grants to cover wages, equipment and supplies to carry out their projects. Project elements include picking up litter and debris, clearing overgrown vegetation, planting flowers, shrubs and trees, landscaping with rocks and stones, repairing pedestrian walkways and installing welcome signs.
NJDOT has reviewed proposed project locations for participants’ safety and will provide oversight during the summer.
“This grant will enhance the gateway of the historic City of Perth Amboy,” said Mayor Wilda Diaz. “It’s also a great opportunity to employ our youth during the summer months and beautify a major area of our business district. I want to thank the Christie Administration for this urban initiative.”
Since it was launched in the summer of 2010, Clean Up NJ has included dozens of concentrated highway cleanup efforts by nearly 500 NJDOT maintenance workers; has bolstered litter pick-up and grass trimming by deploying Department of Corrections inmates; has revived the Adopt-A-Highway program; and has coordinated wildflower plantings. The summer Urban Youth Corps program is a new element to the campaign.
Project locations and grantees
The Children’s Home (Mount Holly)
The Work Group (Camden)
The Work Group (Pennsauken)
Vineland African American Community Development Corp. (Vineland)
ASPIRA Inc. of NJ (Newark)
Mercer Street Friends (Trenton)
NJ Youth Corps of Middlesex County (New Brunswick)
Perth Amboy Office of Recreation (Perth Amboy)
Downtown Merchants Corp. (Passaic City)
NJ Community Development Corp. (Paterson)
Brand New Day/City of Elizabeth (Elizabeth)
New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg (Phillipsburg)