to community and civic organizations
Beautification projects support NJDOT Clean Up NJ campaign
(Trenton) – The Christie Administration today announced 12 Urban Youth Corps grants that will enable municipal and community organizations to provide employment opportunities to hundreds of young adults as they develop and carry out projects to improve the appearance of urban gateways along or near state highways.
The program, which was resurrected last year under the Christie Administration, is being administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Civil Rights office and is funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
“The Urban Youth Corps program helps NJDOT improve the appearance of our highways while providing important employment opportunities to young men and women who face an assortment of challenges in their lives,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “The projects offer the opportunity for the young adults to take pride in their work and in their communities.”
The recipients were selected from among 26 applicants – up from 19 last year – and each will receive $32,000 grants to cover stipends, equipment and supplies to carry out their projects. For the second straight year, grant recipients will focus on landscaping, litter abatement, installation of signage, graffiti removal and other aesthetic improvements.
“The enthusiasm and teamwork that the young adults brought to their projects last summer, and the sense of accomplishment they gained, makes all of us in the Christie Administration very pleased to be able to offer this program again,” said Melanie L. Armstrong, Director of the NJDOT Division of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action.
NJDOT has reviewed proposed project locations for participants’ safety and will provide oversight during the summer.
The summer Urban Youth Corps program is an important component of the Clean Up New Jersey campaign. Since it was launched in the summer of 2010, Clean Up NJ has included dozens of concentrated highway cleanup efforts by nearly 500 NJDOT maintenance workers; has bolstered litter pick-up and grass trimming by deploying Department of Corrections inmates; has revived the Adopt-A-Highway program; and has coordinated wildflower plantings.
Project locations and grantees
NJ Youth Corps (Pleasantville)
The Work Group (Camden)
Vineland African American Community Development Corp. (Vineland)
ASPIRA Inc. of NJ (Newark)
Belleville Township (Belleville)
East Orange (East Orange)
Mercer Street Friends (Trenton)
NJ Youth Corps of Middlesex County (New Brunswick)
Neptune Township, MURC & FIRG (Neptune)
Brick Township (Brick)
Clifton Recreation Department (Clifton)
NJ Youth Corps of Paterson (Paterson)