Last week, PepsiCo employees hosted a workshop for women living in Win’s (formerly Women in Need) South Bronx shelter to help them with resume writing, interviewing and other job search skills. The workshop was held in a new job resource center at the site, which was funded by the PepsiCo Foundation. The Foundation’s grant enabled Win to purchase new computers, hire job specialists and create a dedicated space for residents to focus on finding employment.
Win is the largest provider of shelter for homeless women and children in New York City, and the new job resource center is located on Powers Avenue in the Bronx, the nation’s poorest congressional district, where 1 in 3 women – more than 220,000 – are living below the poverty line. Citywide, nearly 60,000 people are homeless, and over 70 percent are families with children. But few New Yorkers recognize the acute impact of homelessness on families: a new poll released by Win and HarrisX showed that New Yorkers inaccurately believe that the city’s homeless are primarily single adults (62 percent). The poll also revealed that New Yorkers strongly agree (92 percent) that more needs to be done to combat the city’s homelessness crisis.
To help homeless women secure stable employment and a steady income, Win offers residents employment counseling and classes in financial education, interview preparedness, resume writing and budgeting through its Income Building Program. Last year, the program helped 3,175 women achieve “employment gains” – such as securing a job, moving to a full-time position, earning a raise or getting benefits. PepsiCo has been a long-term partner of Win and has donated more than $1 million to the organization since 2014.
“Stable employment is a critical component on a family’s path to securing a permanent home,” said Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Win. “We’re grateful for PepsiCo’s generosity, which has helped Win to equip mothers with the skills they need to thrive in today’s workforce and break the cycle of homelessness for good. With the launch of this job resource center, Win will be able to provide more moms with the opportunity to learn skills that can help them find well-paying, long-term employment opportunities.”
PepsiCo’s work with Win is part of the company’s broader effort to support education and job training for women and girls in New York City. In addition to the partnership with Win, PepsiCo works closely with Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty fighting organization, to create mobility from poverty, putting women and girls from low-income communities on the path to high-quality education and good jobs. In 2018, PepsiCo announced a $4 million, multi-year investment with Robin Hood, and last week, the partners shared that nearly $1 million of this support will be directed to Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK) and Nontraditional Employment for Women(NEW), which help low-income women living in New York City enter the workforce.
“At PepsiCo, we’re committed to helping lift up women in their communities, both across the world and right here in New York,” said Charlene Denizard, Director of Global Citizenship at PepsiCo. “Women – especially single mothers with children – are most vulnerable to homelessness and investing in their job training is key to unlocking their ability to become financially secure. We’re proud to partner with Win and Robin Hood to help women build better futures for themselves and their families.”
NEW and HBK are receiving nearly $600,000 and $400,000, respectively, from the PepsiCo Foundation through Robin Hood. Based in East Harlem, HBK provides U.S.-born and immigrant women with barriers to employment the skills they need to start successful careers in the culinary industry and has placed more than 170 graduates in fair-wage jobs with opportunities for advancement. NEW helps women enter the skilled construction, utility and maintenance trades and has placed more than 1,500 women in jobs in the last decade alone.
The first community partners of PepsiCo’s grant to Robin Hood – Code Nation and Computer Science for All – provide coding skills and computer science education in New York City’s schools to help surpass the key racial and gender barriers prevalent in this industry. Code Nation provided nearly 1,000 New York City students with instruction last year, including 50 female students from the Bronx where PepsiCo’s grant was applied. Computer Science for All, a recipient of Robin Hood’s support since 2016, will ultimately bring computer science education to all 1.1 million New York City elementary, middle and high school students. Computer Science for All reached nearly 5,200 young women in the Bronx in the 2016-2017 school year.
PepsiCo has long invested in women in the communities it serves and supported causes that advance women’s economic empowerment. As part of these efforts, PepsiCo aims to invest $100 million in initiatives that will benefit at least 12.5 million women and girls around the world by 2025, with a focus on helping 1.5 million young women progress through school and be successful in the workforce. PepsiCo associates and executives also serve as mentors and volunteers with its partner organizations around the world.
About PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation works with nonprofit partners and invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system – helping alleviate hunger, manage water and waste responsibly, and support women as champions of nutrition from farm to family. For more information, visit https://www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.
About Robin Hood
Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests over $100 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics. For more information, visit https://www.robinhood.org.
Since 1983, Win has been transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless women and their children by providing a holistic solution of safe housing, critical services and programs they need to succeed on their own — so the women can regain their independence and their children can look forward to a brighter future. With more than 1,600 units of transitional housing providing shelter for more than 4,600 people every night, Win focuses on solutions for the many causes of homelessness by helping women improve their job skills, life skills, personal health and more. Win’s children’s services include childcare, after school programs, and Camp Win, a summer day camp program. Win also provides permanent supportive housing offering dedicated, long-term support to families with additional needs. For more information, visit https://winnyc.org/.
About Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW)
Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) prepares, trains, and places women in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades, helping women achieve economic independence and a secure future for themselves and their families. Founded in 1978, NEW is a sector-based workforce development program that prepares women for careers in the construction, transportation, energy, and facilities maintenance industries. NEW focuses on skilled, unionized jobs in the trades with starting wages averaging $17 per hour, benefits, and a path to higher-wage employment. NEW primarily serves low-income minority women from all five boroughs in New York City. For more information, visit: http://www.new-nyc.org.
About Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK)
Hot Bread Kitchen envisions a food system that equitably compensates talent and sustains a diverse workforce while celebrating culinary tradition and innovation. They achieve their mission through an employer-driven workforce development program and culinary incubator programs. Their non-profit social enterprise marries market to mission: 65% of their operating budget is funded through bread sales and kitchen rental. For more information, visit https://hotbreadkitchen.org.