This article originally appeared on qchron.com
Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), 100 Suits for 100 Men Founder and CEO Kevin Livingston, Commonpoint Queens Senior Director Fadia Mohama and area civic, political and business leaders gathered outside Flushing’s Pomonok Houses last Thursday to announce the launch of the Empower Queens Workforce and Entrepreneurship Program.
Empower Queens is a joint venture between Commonpoint Queens and 100 Suits, the Jamaica-based organization that aims to provide underprivileged young adults with resources to thrive in the business world, starting with business attire.
The one-year development program will connect young people to Commonpoint Queens’ Workforce Development Services, where they will be placed in competitive externships and receive career mentorship, among other resources, according to a press release from 100 Suits. The externships will connect participants to the business, education and clinician communities. Those enrolled will also provide meals and other essentials to area seniors.
The program is available to 16- to 24-year-old residents of the Pomonok Houses.
The launch was made possible by Meng, who said she was proud to have recently secured $750,000 in funding for the endeavor, which she said “will go a long way towards helping and empowering so many from neighborhoods” she represents.
“It will create jobs for young people so that they stay off the streets and earn a paycheck,” Meng said in a statement. “This program will also include crucial wraparound services for our young people, and hiring them for jobs will help provide them with many of the tools they need to succeed in life.”
Livingston was excited, as well. “As we continue to advocate for increased initiatives that work towards decreasing violence, we are taking direct action by expanding workforce opportunities to those of our vulnerable demographics across Queens who could utilize them most,” he said in a statement.
Sign-up for the program is expected to open at the end of July.