Waterbury, Conn., received a three-year, $450,000 grant to implement its RIBA (River Baldwin) ASPIRA initiative, which focuses on addressing the economic and racial/ethnic inequities that have devalued the once-vibrant South End neighborhood.
The RIBA ASPIRA team plans to improve life for neighborhood residents, children, and families by creating a strong and resident-driven civic infrastructure, realigning and relocating job training services, and revising child care decision-making policies to be more equitable.
The South End has a 23 percent unemployment rate, nearly four times the city average. This is the result of low educational attainment, limited access to job training, a lack of services due to years of disinvestment and inattention, and the physical isolation of the neighborhood. An absence of organized resident outreach, inaccessible and fragmented services, and unbalanced policies have further contributed to the neighborhood’s economic condition.
Strategies to address the challenge include:
- Resident engagement through the development of neighborhood ambassadors (or block captains), outreach training, and connections to important decision-making groups.
- Improving access to and awareness of employment training and support services by extending program locations to the South End, then helping job-seekers navigate the process.
- Advocating for a more equitable process for allocating childcare and after-care resources to area families.
Reduce the unemployment rate of the RIBA neighborhood from 23 percent to 12 percent over 10 years by increasing the number of residents earning a livable wage by 150.
- Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury
- Waterbury Hospital
- St. Mary’s Hospital
- United Way
- Neighborhood Housing Services
- New Opportunities
- Workforce Development Board
- CT Community Foundation
- Waterbury Public Schools