United Against Poverty of Indian River County recently hosted an open house for Impact 100 members on February 8, at the nonprofit organization’s UP Center, located at 2746 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach.
Impact 100 members learned about the Success Training for Employment Program (STEP), which received a $100,000 grant in April 2016 for a project entitled “Jump Start Job Opportunities.” The Impact 100 grant provided funding to remodel the STEP classroom, underwrite an online job-mentoring platform and to publish the STEP curriculum workbooks, which were written by United Against Poverty staff.
The classroom remodeling project included building permanent walls, carpeting, 20 computer stations equipped with new computers, worktables and seating. Since remodeling the classroom in late 2016, STEP has experienced much greater interest in program enrollment.
“Our first STEP class since the renovation enrolled 26 students and had a waiting list of 30,” explained Annabel Robertson, United Against Poverty Executive Director for Indian River County. “We know that the increased interest in this program is due to the professional training environment that was made possible through the Impact 100 grant and our program’s success in 2016.”
In 2016, 100 STEP participants were employed at 60 local employers with a $2.4 million annualized wage impact in the community.
With the classroom remodeling behind them, United Against Poverty is currently working with a professional editor and graphic designer to prepare STEP workbooks for publishing in late spring 2017.
United Against Poverty, formerly Harvest Food & Outreach Center, was founded in 2003 by Austin and Ginny Hunt in Vero Beach, FL. The nonprofit, 501c3 organization, provides programs that inspire and empower people living in poverty to lift themselves and their families to economic self-sufficiency. Services include crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and placement, personal empowerment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers. For more information visit upirc.org.