Published on January 13, 2023


HARTFORD, CONN (January 13, 2023) – Today, Mayor Bronin, alongside Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, and Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) President & CEO Hector Rivera announced that OPP’s Youth Service Corps has received $2.6 million in federal and state grants to expand and enhance services for Hartford youth.  The Youth Service Corps (YSC), which was launched in the first year of Mayor Bronin’s administration, connects  young people aged 16-24 to part-time, yearlong employment engaging in community service-based projects, while at the same time providing meaningful coaching, mentoring, and support.

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration awarded $2 million to OPP to expand the YSC mission and model, providing funding to directly engage 180 justice-involved or other highest-need youth between the ages of 18 and 24.  OPP is one of just 13 organizations across the country to have received the grant, which is geared towards preparing young people for success in the workforce and in their communities.  The funding will enhance the YSC’s educational, job training, and mentorship opportunities by creating and carrying out individual success plans and by providing more opportunities for paid work experience for each youth. 

The City also received $640,000 from the State’s Department of Economic and Community Development, which is being distributed to OPP to expand its existing Youth Service Corps programming to reach an additional 54 Hartford young people.

"Since we started the Youth Service Corps nearly seven years ago with Our Piece of the Pie, nearly two thousand young people in Hartford have had the chance to earn their first paycheck, build experience and confidence, get connected to an incredible support network, and plan for their future – while at the same time making a difference in their community,” said Mayor Bronin.  “The Youth Service Corps has become one of the most important and one of the most effective youth development initiatives anywhere in the state, and our mission is to sustain and grow it.  I’m incredibly grateful to our federal and state partners for recognizing the power of the Youth Service Corps and working with us to expand its work and its impact, and grateful also to the amazing team at Our Piece of the Pie and at our Department of Families, Children, Youth & Recreation.”

“We know that one of the most effective ways to reduce crime is to create a path toward economic and social stability," said Senator Richard Blumenthal. "This $2 million federal grant will do just that for Hartford’s young people. We often talk about federal investments in infrastructure, but equally important are investments like this one that lift people up. This funding $2 million will truly make a difference for justice-involved youth and I will keep fighting for more federal dollars for these life-changing programs.”

“The Youth Service Corps, first and foremost, is about getting people connected with work, but it is also about training leaders and developing leadership skills," said Senator Chris Murphy. "There are a lot of youth employment programs out there, but this program also teaches leadership skills. That's part of the reason that it's going to be continually successful because we have great residents, great kids, and great students who show the difference that these programs can make.”

“The grant funding announced today will bolster the Hartford Youth Service Corps to connect more young people with leadership and job training opportunities,” said U.S. Rep. John B. Larson. “The Youth Service Corps has been selected as one of only a few programs across the country to be awarded funding because of its successful model empowering young people at home, work, and in their community. I am thrilled to partner with Mayor Bronin and Our Piece of the Pie to secure funding in Washington to expand the reach of this critical initiative.” 

"Young people need support and opportunity and that is what they receive from Hartford's Youth Service Corps," said CT Speaker of the House Matt Ritter. "This program a win-win for the participants and for our city."

“This new and monumental support from both the State of CT and the US Department of Labor will allow us to introduce more Hartford young people to the highly impactful Hartford Youth Service Corps model, a model that now has historically served close to 2000 Hartford young people, distributed close to $6M in wages to those young people and completed more than 1,900 community service projects,” said Hector Rivera, President and CEO of Our Piece of the Pie.

For more information on the Hartford Youth Service Corps, which was launched by Mayor Bronin in July of 2016 and has provided over 1,500 Hartford youth with an opportunity to build job skills, earn a paycheck, and help strengthen neighborhoods, please visit Youth Service Corps – City of Hartford (hartfordct.gov).

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