November 16, 2015

Robin Hood Provides Increased Grant of $250,000 to Support Youth Employment Services at Union Settlement
East Harlem Young Adults Who Are Out-of-School And Unemployed Will Benefit

November 16, 2015

Sara Stuart: 212-828-6024

NEW YORK, NY – Union Settlement (, East Harlem’s oldest and largest social service provider, today announced that the Robin Hood Foundation will be providing a third year of support for the organization’s work helping youth ages 17 to 24 make the transition into the workforce. This year’s grant has increased from $175,000 to $250,000, and will expand Union Settlement’s Career Academy, which provides soft-skills job training, employment placement, and job retention services.

The first two years of Robin Hood funding allowed Union Settlement to launch its Career Academy, which trains job seekers, ages 17 to 24 years old, who are neither in school nor employed. In many instances, these young adults face complex barriers to employment. This third year of funding will add a third staff member to the Career Academy team, which will strengthen the program’s impact and expand the number of participants.

“Youth who are neither employed nor in school face tremendous obstacles to finding employment. Last year, our Career Academy placed about 100 individuals in jobs with average wages of $10.25 per hour — 17% higher than NYS’s minimum wage. Seventy-two percent of these young people have retained their jobs for at least three months, and most of our full time placements have benefits,” said David Nocenti, Executive Director of Union Settlement. “I want to thank Robin Hood for this grant, which will allow us to help over 200 young adults move towards greater stability and independence.”

“We are very pleased to continue to support Union Settlement’s services for East Harlem youth,” said Deborah McCoy, Managing Director, Early Childhood and Youth at Robin Hood. “This grant will allow Union Settlement to continue and expand the work of the Career Academy as it helps young people prepare for, obtain, and retain employment.”

Union Settlement serves over 2,400 children and youth ages five to 24 each year. Among older youth, there is a growing crisis in East Harlem and the city as a whole; nearly one in six of New York City’s young people ages 16 to 24 are neither attending school nor participating in the labor force. In recent years, Union Settlement has witnessed an influx of young people who have dropped out or been pushed out of school. Struggling with low literacy levels and other obstacles, these young people sorely need help to build their futures. It is vitally important to reach out to young people and provide early intervention before the cycle of unemployment, underemployment and, most of all, hopelessness continues.

About Robin Hood

Robin Hood, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization, creates and funds over 200 of the most effective programs, to help 1.8 million New Yorkers learn and earn their way out of poverty. Robin Hood’s board underwrites all operating costs, so 100% of every donation goes directly to serve New Yorkers in need. Facebook: Twitter: @robinhoodnyc

About Union Settlement Association

Union Settlement Association is an on-the-ground resource for East Harlem residents of all ages, and a passionate advocate for the needs of underserved communities. Since opening our doors in 1895, we have brought education, wellness and community-building programs to our neighborhood, empowering New Yorkers with opportunities to better their lives. More than 450 staff work here, and our services impact 10,000 people in our community every year. By helping our neighbors realize their goals, we build the vitality and success of East Harlem. Visit to learn more.


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