TNP lands federal grant of $225,000 for project, jobs

WARREN — A $225,000 grant will be used to renovate a Mahoning Avenue residence and carriage house that eventually will house offices for Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and serve as a training center for new employees of the nonprofit.

The funding will help create at least eight full-time positions at TNP under a program called Building a Better Warren, and TNP will hire low-income individuals to fill a majority of the positions.

“Those hired will be taught skills to work in modules that include reconstruction and salvaging, home rehabilitation, landscape installation and landscape maintenance,” Matt Martin, executive director of TNP, said. “This is an opportunity to put low-income residents to work.”

TNP will leverage some of its existing  demolition dollars with its work with the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp. to focus rehabilitation work on properties in the corporation’s current inventory.

“This program is all about putting our residents to work in quality, year-round jobs revitalizing our neighborhoods,” Martin said. “We have merged the need for blight remediation with the need for meaningful workforce development, and we have leveraged multiple resources and partnerships to create this opportunity. This is an exciting program for our community.”

Approximately $200,000 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant will be used for the renovation project at 736 Mahoning Ave. About $25,000 will be used to purchase equipment. The federal dollars are being provided through the HHS Community Economic Development grant program.

“None of this money will be used to pay salaries or benefits,” Martin said. “We will  train people to salvage materials from properties scheduled to be demolished, as well as doing the landscaping and maintenance of properties that already have  been demolished.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called the HHS award a “win” for Trumbull County.

“By creating opportunities for residents to improve their own community, TNP is living up to its mission to empower citizens and serve every neighborhood,” Brown said.

Martin said he hopes to complete the renovation project sometime in 2017.  Once completed, the carriage house will be used for training  and storage.

Building a Better Warren already has two employees. It expects to build up to eight during the five-year grant program.

The HHS Community Economic Development federal grant program works to help low-income individuals and families become self-sufficient through employment and business development opportunities.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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