Wean Foundation awards nearly $1.5 million in grants to local organizations

The board of directors of The Raymond John Wean Foundation has awarded grants totaling nearly $1.5 million for organizations to create economic opportunities, enhance educational resources, and revitalize the Mahoning Valley.

The awards include $20,000 to the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) for the development of its Women in Entrepreneurship program. The YBI program is designed to support the unique issues female entrepreneurs in the Mahoning Valley face in starting and growing a business.

“Building on YBI’s tradition of promoting and cultivating entrepreneurship in the Valley, we believe that this program will bolster women’s potential to achieve their business goals by providing them with personal and professional networking opportunities and accessible, affordable knowledge and skills,” said Jennifer Roller, Wean president.

The Wean directors also awarded $150,000 to Policy Matters Ohio, an organization that advocates a fair economy, sustainable communities and pathways out of poverty. Policy Matters’ two-year program in the Mahoning Valley, “Pathways Out of Poverty,” seeks greater access to childcare assistance; advocates for stronger state and federal earned income tax credits and financial aid and college access for low-income students; and continues its longtime work around such issues as predatory lending, including payday loans.

Wean also collectively awarded nearly $1.1 million to its strategic partners: Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative.

In addition, the YWCA of Warren was awarded $195,000 for a project that will enable Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio’s Trumbull County Health Center to relocate to the YWCA facility in Warren.

The YWCA of Youngstown was awarded a grant of $32,000 to lead a three-year project to provide supportive services for Mahoning Valley early childhood professionals. The YWCA will provide resources, networking and advocacy opportunities.

More information on the Wean Foundation is available at http://www.rjweanfdn.org.

© 2015 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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