WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ARAMARK, the global professional services company, today launched the ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards. These awards, which will provide a total of $100,000 in grants, will honor one community center executive director for visionary leadership, and will recognize three community centers for innovative programs that prepare people for the workforce and place them into jobs.
The national nomination and application process was announced by ARAMARK and its partners, United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) and the Alliance for Children and Families (Alliance), at their joint national conference in Washington, D.C.
"Every day community centers are on the front line helping America's most vulnerable citizens survive and thrive. More and more, community centers are providing a range of solutions, including programs designed to meet the nation's economic and workforce challenges. But community centers are constantly challenged to serve more people with fewer resources," said Bev Dribin, Vice President of Community Relations for ARAMARK. "This program was created to enable these community-based organizations to share best practices, and to replicate and scale programs that are improving lives."
The Peter B. Goldberg ARAMARK Building Community Executive Leadership Award is named for the late Peter Goldberg, who from 1994 through August 2011 served as president and CEO of Families International Inc. (FI), the parent company for the Alliance and UNCA. Goldberg also served as president and CEO of the Alliance and CEO of UNCA. The award will honor an individual who, like Goldberg, advances successful solutions to community challenges, takes innovative approaches, and is a vocal advocate for community centers. Any individual may nominate a current executive director of an UNCA or Alliance member organization for this $40,000 merit-based award.
"Peter believed that executive leadership was a critical part of high performing nonprofit organizations," said Stephen Mack, interim president and CEO of Families International. "He was instrumental in the creation of this award and was passionate about its recognition of the role that community leadership can play in revitalizing neighborhoods. ARAMARK's ongoing partnership and this award are incredible ways to remember our colleague."
In addition to the leadership award, the ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards will focus on and advance programs that prepare people for the workplace, and place them into jobs. Workforce readiness is a core strength of community centers, and a primary building block for creating opportunity and revitalizing neighborhoods. A $20,000 award will be granted to recognize innovative programs in each of the following categories:
- Preparation for Growth Industries—programs that prepare people to work in growing fields.
- Skills Training for Targeted Populations—programs that respond to the specific needs of target populations by providing comprehensive training and support to help youth and adults obtain and maintain jobs, and succeed in the workforce.
- Business Ventures as a Training Ground—programs that utilize the power of community center-created business ventures to provide skills training for a range of local jobs.
Starting today through Jan. 10, 2012, members of UNCA and the Alliance can apply for the workforce program Innovation Awards at aramarkbuildingcommunity.com. Nominations for the Peter B. Goldberg ARAMARK Building Community Executive Leadership Award will be accepted through Nov. 30, 2011 at aramarkbuildingcommunity.com.
This awards program is part of ARAMARK Building Community, the company's philanthropic and volunteer initiative that enriches the lives of low-income families and communities by enhancing the environments, experiences, and programs provided by community centers. Since 2008, ARAMARK Building Community has helped millions of individuals served by community centers through workforce training and job placement; nutrition and wellness education and awareness; access to food, clothing and other basic needs; and by providing a safer place to learn and thrive. UNCA and the Alliance have been instrumental partners for ARAMARK Building Community since 2009.
Editor's Note: Peter B. Goldberg, for whom the ARAMARK Building Community Executive Leadership Award has been named, died unexpectedly on Aug. 12, 2011. Goldberg was instrumental in the creation of the award. More information about Peter and his inspirational can be found on our website, ARAMARK.com.
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. Through ARAMARK Building Community, employee volunteers use their expertise to help youth and adults develop critical, employable work skills and connect them to career opportunities; support families with nutrition and wellness education; provide basic needs such as food and clothing; and help community center partners run cleaner, safer, and more efficient facilities to enhance and strengthen community center programs on an ongoing basis. By the end of 2011 ARAMARK Building Community will be in more than 50 cities impacting more than 2.5 million individuals and families in the United States and abroad. Visit ARAMARK Building Community on Facebook.
About United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) and the Alliance for Children and Families
UNCA is a national advocate for social justice, progress, and community building that is inclusive, asset-based, and rooted in the rich tradition of the settlement house movement. UNCA's members comprise a voluntary network of nonprofit organizations including settlement houses, neighborhood and community centers, and similar community-building institutions. UNCA builds neighborhoods with neighbors. Learn more at UNCA.org or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UnitedNeighCtrs.
The Alliance for Children and Families is a nonprofit national membership association of private, nonprofit human service providers in the United States and Canada. Motivated by a vision of a healthy society and strong communities, the Alliance strengthens the capacities of nonprofit organizations to serve and advocate for children, families, and communities. The nearly 350 members of the Alliance serve close to 3.4 million people each year. More information is available at alliance1.org.
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, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies," and as 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 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site, www.aramark.com, or www.twitter.com/aramarknews
Mary Rucci, ARAMARK