AABDP graduate honored

Peter McConney is a graduate of the Greater Cincinnati Urban League’s African American Business Development Program and is going to be honored for his achievements by the Cincinnati Business Courier.

He is president and CEO of Premier Mail & Fulfillment, a full-service print, fulfillment and mailing house, in Blue Ash, Ohio.

AABDP lasts seven months and has reached 60 firms since its inception in 2012. Participating companies increased their spending with other MBE (Minority Business Enterprises) firms from $503,000 in 2013 to $2 million in 2014.

From Sheila A. Mixon, Senior Vice President of Business Development & Entrepreneurship at the Greater Cincinnati Urban League:

“Please join me in congratulating our own, Pete McConney being recognized as Forty Under 40 and Second Act awardee. … Congrats Pete, well deserved.”

http://m.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/event/120061?r=full

Helping families displaced by fire

Angela Dews and her boyfriend, Ricardo Battle, of Forest Park, sit on some of the donated furniture the Urban League's Torrance Jones found for them. Dews and her 17-year-old daughter were among the eight people displaced by a May fire at the Somerset, Avondale. They are living temporarily in the Poinciana, also in Avondale.

Angela Dews and her boyfriend, Ricardo Battle, of Forest Park, sit on some of the donated furniture the Urban League’s Torrance Jones found for them. Dews and her 17-year-old daughter were among the eight people displaced by a May fire at the Somerset, Avondale. They are living temporarily in the Poinciana, also in Avondale. Urban League photo/Mark Curnutte

 

Urban League’s Jones secures used furniture, household items

AVONDALE — Angela Dews and her 17-year-old daughter, smelling thick smoke, woke at 4 o’clock on the May morning. The apartment above their first-floor unit in the Somerset, Blair Avenue and Reading Road, was on fire.

Dews and her daughter, Aiken High School junior Tekobah Lewis, escaped, but their clothes and furniture were damaged by smoke and water.

For the next week, they lived in a room at Comfort Inn and Suites, Mitchell Avenue and Interstate 75, but had no place to go afterwards. Then Torrance Jones called. He and Melissa Hill are the two community access coaches at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, charged with working with residents of the five low-income apartment buildings, including Somerset, that are part of the five-year, $29.5 million Choice Neighborhoods Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Urban League is providing social services for residents of the five buildings through 2017.

Dews’ household was one of six displaced by the three-alarm fire, which Cincinnati firefighters largely contained to one unit on the second floor.

“Torrance gave us rides from the hotel to different agencies,” said Dews, 39, who has lived in Somerset since 2001. “He took us to pick out some furniture.”

Grant recipient The Community Builders (TCB), the landlord of the five buildings, paid for the hotel room and some clothing for displaced Somerset residents. But it was Jones, residents said, who went beyond his Urban League job description to help. He gave them bus tokens if he was unable to drive them himself. Jones and TCB helped Dews and her daughter get an apartment in another of the landlord’s Choice Neighborhoods Grant’s buildings, the Poinciana, Avondale. When renovations are completed on two previously vacant apartment buildings in Avondale, the Ambassador and Commodore, Dews and her daughter will move in there. TCB purchased and remodeled those buildings.

“Torrance was the only person I saw hustling,” Dews said. “He was the one who was trying to help us put the pieces back together. He was always positive. He knew what we needed.”

Jones found used furniture at an agency in Over-the-Rhine and secured food for displaced families from the Freestore Foodbank. He came up with baby seats, toiletries and clothing. The Community Builders provided a truck, and Jones store items in the garage of his home.

“I prayed for these families, and things just kept happening,” Jones said. “These families already are suffering from generational poverty. How can we expect them by themselves to recover from a fire when they lost everything? I can’t get them back to 100 percent, but maybe I could get them from 40 percent to 60 percent, where they wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed and hopeless.”

Jones is working with Dews and her boyfriend, Ricardo Battle, 43, to help them find jobs. Dews has experience in food service. The next step is likely going to be a job-readiness program at the Urban League.

Miami Valley Urban League

The Miami Valley Urban League is located in Dayton, Ohio. Youth, Jobs, and Justice are the areas we focus on to improve the communities we serve. Our Urban Youth Empowerment Program NOW (UYEP NOW) works with 100 youth, ages 14 to 24 who have been involved with the juvenile justice system to give them the tools they need to succeed in their education or career goals. We also work with youth involved in UYEP NOW to help prepare them for successful careers by providing several workforce development activities including: youth employment initiatives; education and training; case management; mentoring; restorative justice; and community-wide outreach efforts to reduce violence and crime.  Additionally, youth involved in UYEP NOW can increase their education and skills through apprenticeships and certifications. The program assists with job placement and offers personal and professional development that can provide opportunities for youth to give back to their community.

The Urban Youth Empowerment Program NOW is supported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration and the National Urban League.

MVUL UYEP Recruitment Flyer 10 30 13


These Companies are Transformational Supporters of the Urban League’s Corporate Heritage Annual Giving Program.