2 R.I. nonprofits awarded with BofA Neighborhood Builders grants

BANK OF AMERICA awarded two Rhode Island nonprofits with its Neighborhood Builders program, granting each organization $200,000 in addition to training and competitive resources. / PBN FILE PHOTO/JAMES BESSETTE
BANK OF AMERICA awarded two Rhode Island nonprofits with its Neighborhood Builders program, granting each organization $200,000 in addition to training and competitive resources. / PBN FILE PHOTO/JAMES BESSETTE

PROVIDENCE – Two Rhode Island organizations, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future and Southside Community Land Trust, have been named 2019 Bank of America Corp. Neighborhood Builders awardees, the bank announced Tuesday.

Both organizations will receive a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for their executive directors, as well as another leader at each organization. Bank of America said the award brings organizations access to a peer network and opportunity to access capital.

“The Neighborhood Builders program gives nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island the power to transform lives and drive economic mobility in the communities in which they operate,” said William F. Hatfield, Bank of America’s Rhode Island president, in a statement. “Skills for Rhode Island’s Future and Southside Community Land Trust are focused on addressing important issues challenging our community, and they are positively impacting countless individuals and families. Both of these organizations represent the finest of what we look for in Neighborhood Builders.”

Skills for Rhode Island’s Future is a nonprofit that aims to meet hiring needs of employers by offering customized talent-sourcing solutions to place qualified long-term unemployed and underemployed candidates into available positions. The organization was launched in 2016 with support from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training and in partnership with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

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“It is such an honor and a privilege to be selected as one of this year’s Neighborhood Builders by Bank of America. This award and the accompanying training and networking opportunities will help propel our organization forward and advance our mission of ensuring that every Rhode Islander has a pathway to economic security and mobility,” said Nina Pande, executive director at Skills for Rhode Island’s Future.

Southside Community Land Trust is a nonprofit that serves people in economically challenged urban neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce. The organization seeks to combat diet-related chronic diseases. The land trust owns or directly manages 21 community gardens in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, according to the organization. It also partners with schools, housing and community organizations to manage another 37 farms.

“This award will enable Southside Community Land Trust to build stronger programs through community outreach while also increasing our internal management capacity. It builds on decades of sustained and meaningful growth while creating new possibilities for the future of our organization and the people and communities we serve,” said Margaret DeVos, executive director for Southside Community Land Trust.

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