Westgate Resorts Foundation recently announced its investment of $100,000 in four nonprofit partnerships that are developing programs designed to strengthen the local workforce - and City Year Orlando is a proud component of this announcement. After a call for collaborative grant applications to create innovative new ways to fulfill the Foundation’s mission of Strong Families | Strong Workforce, City Year Orlando and Foundation for Orange County Public Schools were awarded $25,000 to support the Accelerated Teacher Pipeline Program.

“As one of the largest private employers in Central Florida, building a strong workforce and community is critical to our success,” says Mark Waltrip, Chief Operating Officer of Westgate Resorts. “We support that through our hiring and development opportunities, as well as extensive community investment. These four grants are an important final piece of our Foundation’s $1 million commitment for 2017.”

Four grants were awarded, representing nine diffent organizations. The awardees, including City Year Orlando, are:

  • City Year Orlando and Foundation for Orange County Public Schools for the “Accelerated Teacher Pipeline Program.” Mentorship and training program for City Year Orlando AmeriCorps members who are interested in a teaching career with a high-needs school within Orange County Public Schools.
  • Valencia College Foundation and The Jobs Partnership of Florida for “Hope for Students, Hope for Parents (Hope2).” Hope2 focuses on job skills, job placement and vocational training for the parents of students in the Valencia Promise – Take Stock in Children Program, increasing opportunity and stability for the entire family.
  • Community Hope Center’s IDignity Osceola Program, IDignity Orlando, and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida for "Gateways to Work.” This fast-track program ensures families have the identification resources they need to participate in the workforce, giving them immediate access to career-skills training, employment, education resources and health programs.
  • Foundation for Seminole State College and Victim Service Center of Central Florida for the “Be the Hero Bystander Education & Training.” Bystander education and training for students at Seminole State College, helping to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence, and keeping students on track to receive their degree. 

“This collaborative opportunity brings out the best in both our organizations,” says Debi Pedraza, Senior Director, Foundation for Orange County Public Schools. “It helps us ensure that students in our fragile schools have energetic, prepared, and dedicated teachers who believe deeply in each child’s potential. And it helps City Year Orlando ensure that corps members with a passion for education are able to accelerate their career trajectories with mentoring support and continue to make a difference right here in Orange County, in the schools and with the kids they have already embraced. These young idealists stay; our teaching corps is strengthened; and our students succeed. That’s a win for everyone!”

Click here to read the official press release.

About the Westgate Resorts Foundation
The Westgate Resorts Foundation is committed to investing in Westgate’s resort communities and team members by partnering with nonprofits equally committed to our mission of Strong Families | Strong Workforce: If families are equipped to break through barriers such as homelessness, domestic violence, gaps in education or returning to the workforce after military service, then they keep working or quickly return to work… paving their own path to self-sufficiency and lifelong success. A strong workforce means thriving communities where people want to live and vacation. The Foundation supports this mission through grant-making, advocacy and volunteerism in Westgate’s resort communities nationwide. For more information about the Westgate Resorts Foundation, visit www.westgateresortsfoundation.org.

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