Kelvin Crucey, Senior V.P., Finance & Administration (UMEZ); Francine Delgado, Vice President, Community-Based Employment Programs (SEEDCO);
Diane Baillargeon, CEO and President (SEEDCO); Yahshaanyah Hill, Workforce Development Manager (UMEZ); and Hope Knight, C.O.O. (UMEZ).


 New York, N.Y. – Recognizing that due to recent difficult economic conditions, different approaches must be used to create new employment opportunities, Kenneth J. Knuckles, President & CEO of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corp. (UMEZ), announced today that his organization had awarded the Structured Employment Economic Development Corp. (Seedco) a $360,000 grant to develop and implement the “Upper Manhattan Health Careers Initiative” to train 200 Upper Manhattan residents for positions in the growing healthcare field. Seedco has been operating programs in the Upper Manhattan Community since 1998.

 According to the New York State Department of Labor's occupational projections, eight (8) out of twenty-five (25) occupations that are projected to grow the fastest in the New York City region are in healthcare.  Healthcare Support/Service occupations are expected to generate over 62,000 jobs in New York City at a rate of 21.2 percent through 2014 and Health Care Practitioner/Technical occupations are expected to generate 23,000 jobs at a rate of 12.8 percent through 2014. 

             Moreover, the healthcare industry has experienced a significant shift in the provision of direct care services for the elderly and disabled from government-operated facilities to a community-based service delivery model comprised of group home-based services.  Community care facilities for the elderly and residential care facilities have been identified by the U.S. Department of Labor as one of the fastest growing industry sectors with the fastest wage and salary employment growth projections from 2002 to 2012.

             Seedco, utilizing a variety of mechanisms for the implementation of the UMHCI, will leverage public/private resources and partnerships with several community-based organizations, experienced training providers and existing employer relationships, in an effort to provide Upper Manhattan residents with training, job placement and career advancement opportunities in four direct health care occupational tracts.  These tracts include the following: 1) entry-level opportunities as Direct Care Workers, 2) entry-level opportunities as Home Health Aides, 3) skill upgrade opportunities as Direct Care Supervisors and 4) skill upgrade opportunities as Certified Nursing Aides.

 Through a unique service delivery model, Seedco will leverage its partnerships with a consortium of community-based organizations and employers to develop Community-Based Health Care Sector Skills Centers.  The Centers will focus on several areas including, encouraging entry-level and skills upgrade training opportunities, in order to ensure that there is good access to good career paths for low-skilled, unemployed, under-employed and low-income Upper Manhattan residents.  Unlike, traditional job placement services, the Centers will provide jobseekers with culturally sensitive services, intensive case management and training designed to meet the current labor market needs that will ultimately lead Upper Manhattan jobseekers to long-term careers and income growth.

             “Seedco’s outstanding reputation makes it an ideal organization to undertake this very worthwhile and important initiative,” said Mr. Knuckles.  “The Upper Manhattan Health Careers Initiative complements another health care employment and training partnership we announced almost exactly a year ago with the 1199 SEIU Training and Employment Funds to connect 118 Upper Manhattan residents to employment and career advancement opportunities in the health care industry. In both instances, our overall goal is to create opportunities for empowerment zone residents with skills deficits to obtain the highly valued training that is needed to qualify for employment and career advancement opportunities, while simultaneously providing employers with a pool of skilled and qualified labor.”

 This support will help to strengthen Seedco’s commitment to working with our community partners, Northern Manhattan Improvement Center, Union Settlement and Highbridge Community Life Corporation and Cooperative Home Care Associates, to help meet the needs of Upper Manhattan residents and employers,” Diane Baillargeon, Seedco’s President & CEO, said.  “We are grateful to the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corp. for the opportunity to be of service.”



  UMEZ was one of nine federally designated urban zones in 1994, and seeks to revitalize economically deprived communities by using public funds and tax incentives as catalysts for private investment.  UMEZ’s mission is to sustain the economic revitalization of all communities of Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments and small business assistance.  For more information about the UMEZ visit


Seedco is a national nonprofit organization that helps low-income people and communities move toward economic prosperity.


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March 2014
Win8 logo
UMEZ upgrades to Microsoft Windows 8.1
Biennial Report 2011-2012
Biennial cover pg 2011-2012
Biennial Report 2011-2012
Nov 6, 2012
June 26, 2012
Career Opportunities in Healthcare Program
Jul. 25, 2012: BRISC loan recipient, Jado Wine Bar & Sushi opens in Harlem
Jul. 25, 2012: Jado Sushi

October 17, 2011
October 17, 2011
Dec. 15, 2010
Dec. 15, 2010
Dance Theatre of Harlem receives UMEZ grant
Dec. 14, 2010
Dec. 15, 2010
Verdery Roosevelt appointed Senior Vice President
November 22, 2010
November 22, 2010
Award-winning master stylist Maisha Teacher opens Bibi Salon
November 10, 2010
November 10, 2010
Harlem Vintage receives BRISC loan
November 9, 2010
November 9, 2010
Hope Community receives grant
September 27, 2010
September 27, 2010
UMEZ teams with Grameen America
July 22, 2010
Ken Grand Opening
Grand Opening of East River Plaza
April 16, 2010
April 16, 2010
Morris-Jumel Mansion receives grant
March 15, 2010
March 15, 2010
Acelero Learning, Inc. receives BRISC loan
March 5, 2010
b yet
Best Yet Market opens in Harlem
Jan. 20, 2010
Jan. 20, 2010
Gemini II Specialty Boutique receives retail incentive loan
Dec. 13, 2009
Island Salad Opening
Island Salad receives BRISC loan
Sept. 30, 2009
Sept. 30, 2009
Caribbean Cultural Center receives UMEZ grant
Aug. 18, 2009
Patane Press receives retail incentive loan
Jun. 16, 2009
Harlem Masters
Harlem Masters receives forgivable loan
Mar. 17,2009
Mar. 17,2009
Watkins Health Foods receives forgivable loan
Feb. 2, 2009
Pollen Nation
Pollen Nation receives BRISC loan
Jan. 28, 2009
Jazzmobile check
UMEZ underwrites Jazzmobile's future
Jan. 13, 2009
Island Salad Check
Island Salad receives BRISC loan
Nov. 3, 2008
Nov. 3, 2008
UMEZ provides funding for new health care careers initiative
East Harlem Cafe celebrates grand opening.
Aug. 26, 2008
Dagaz check
BRISC loan is a custom fit for Dagaz
Jun.26, 2008
Taller Boricua receives UMEZ grant
Jun. 24, 2008
Manhattan Neighborhood Network awarded UMEZ grant
Jun. 11, 2008
Jun. 11
Empowerment Zone awards $150,000 grant to Opus 118
May 30, 2008
Hope Co mmunity pic
UMEZ grant for Hope Community, Inc
Apr. 7, 2008
Apr. 15
Studio Museum receives multi-year grant
Mar. 14, 2008
Plum Pomidor Restaurant awarded BRISC loan
Mar. 13, 2008
Mar. 25
BRISC loan helps Citicare move to new location & purchase equipment
Feb.13, 2008
Alianza Dominicana breaks ground for new headquarters
Feb.12, 2008
Fishers of Men II Reels in BRISC Loan

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