NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In some Queens neighborhoods, more than 22 percent of the adults have less education than the average high school sophomore. The lack of education and skills are barriers to finding employment for many residents, in a community where the unemployment rate is nearly eight percent, and thousands of residents are unemployed or receiving public assistance.
Today ARAMARK, the global professional services company, will establish an ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone at Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) that will provide ongoing resources to help residents prepare for and secure meaningful jobs. The ABC Opportunity Zone at SCS will offer job readiness programs and support services to help people overcome the challenges they face in obtaining employment.
Sunnyside Community Services provides a continuum of vital services for people of all ages, including an after-school program and a center for active older adults. As part of their continuum, SCS also offers home-care services, and trains health care professionals. The volunteers' efforts will enhance Sunnyside Community Services' existing workforce initiatives, including a college readiness program for children who are often the first in their families to attend college.
"Educational attainment is an excellent pathway to economic mobility and ARAMARK's leadership and commitment helps our participants achieve that goal," said Judy Zangwill, executive director for Sunnyside Community Service. "The new ABC Opportunity Zone will create an environment that is far more efficient and conducive to learning."
As part of the partnership with Sunnyside Community Services, more than 100 ARAMARK volunteers will transform an under-utilized space at the SCS into a welcoming workforce resource center by creating individual classrooms with movable dividers. The new career center will provide job training, job search support, and workforce workshops on topics such as interviewing skills and resume building for young adults. Individuals will also be trained for the growing home care field. ARAMARK human resource experts will provide ongoing support for the workshops and create a speakers bureau to inspire young people about their futures and careers, including opportunities in the hospitality industry. In addition, ARAMARK will donate office supplies and professional business attire to supplement the workforce programs.
"Our volunteers are helping to address a critical issue in this community – the need for ongoing training, education and skills people need to find good jobs to support their families," said Joe Tinney, President, ARAMARK Business and Industry Facility Services. "The creation of this new workforce resource center, combined with the ongoing support of our skilled employees, will help Sunnyside Community Services to provide job-readiness programs to more people. Together, we'll continue to help people find jobs, and provide ongoing support, all leading to a stronger and more vibrant community."
ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company's global volunteer and philanthropic program, strengthens local community centers and helps struggling families in the U.S. and abroad. This project is part of a four-year relationship between ARAMARK and United Neighborhood Houses, a membership organization that supports community centers in the five New York bureaus, including Sunnyside Community Services. To date, ARAMARK volunteers have impacted five UNH member organizations, enhancing facilities and programs at Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan and Queens Community House in Queens. ARAMARK culinary professionals and dietitians have also hosted healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition education workshops, and volunteers have sponsored holiday activities and fundraisers at several UNH member centers. ARAMARK was recognized as the UNH Corporate Partner of the Year in 2010.
About Sunnyside Community Services
Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) strengthens our community by providing a continuum of vital services and activities that enrich the lives of individuals of all ages. SCS offers a range of programs that include after-school activities for children; college preparation and career training programs for teens and young adults, green jobs initiatives, ESL and GED classes; a welcoming center for active older adults that offers a variety of social, educational and recreational programs for seniors, caring and dedicated home care services, Home Health Aide training and job placement, caregiver's support services, social adult day services for individuals with memory loss and other cognitive disorders; and more. Sunnyside Community Services is located at 43-31 39th Street, Sunnyside, NY. For more information, call (718) 784-6173 or visit www.scsny.org or www.facebook.com/sunnysidecommunityservices
About ARAMARK Building Community
ARAMARK Building Community enriches the lives of families in need by supporting local community centers to help people of all generations learn, earn and thrive. ARAMARK recognizes the important role community centers play in addressing the comprehensive needs of individuals and families and is providing a range of resources including grants, volunteers and in-kind contributions. Since 2008, ARAMARK has invested more than $7 million in volunteer expertise, cash and in-kind resources to strengthen the capacity of local community centers, involving 15,000 ARAMARK volunteers through over 500 volunteer activities. Nearly 3 million individuals and families served by community centers have been aided by the program through workforce training and job placement; nutrition education and awareness programs; access to food and clothing; and by having a safer place to learn and thrive. Visit ARAMARK for more information. Please join us on Facebook.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, parks and destinations and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute, one of the "World's Most Admired Companies" by FORTUNE magazine and one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramark.
Contact: Mary Rucci, ARAMARK