Faith-based initiative gets grant

The money will fund a resource-opportunity center based at Heart Reach Ministries.



YOUNGSTOWN — Flying High Inc., a community initiative promoting work force development, has received a $60,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

It is one of 73 community and faith-based groups sharing in $3.8 million disbursed recently by the federal agency. The Department of Labor said the grants “are part of the labor department’s ongoing effort to partner existing programs with effective faith-based and community organizations to serve the needy.”

Jeff Magada is executive director of Flying High, which has offices at Mill Creek Community Center, 496 Glenwood Ave., Youngstown, and at 5918 Winthrop Drive, Austintown. He said the grant will underwrite a resource-opportunity center to be located at Heart Reach Ministries, 211 Redondo Drive. Magada said he anticipated the center would be operating in the fall.

The center at Heart Reach Ministries, which will serve residents of the North Side, is working in conjunction with One Stop Workforce Center of Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties; specifically the office at 149 Boardman-Canfield Road, Boardman.

The centers

One Stop centers offer coordinated workforce development and customer service including employment services, training programs and informational resources on the state and federal level at one accessible location.

The site at Heart Reach will offer much the same including pre- and post-employment mentoring, case management, job retention services, life skills training and employable skills training. Staff and volunteers of Flying Highwill provide services at the resource-opportunity center.

Flying High also partners with Heart Reach, Warriors Inc. and the Salvation Army to offer services to “youth at risk for gang activities in Youngstown,” Magada said.

Flying High features three components:

U“Let Your Potential Soar,” which was buoyed by $300,000 in 2006 from the Compassion Capital Fund Community Empowering Youth. “This is a federal initiative. We were one of 100 agencies to receive funds,” Magada said.

UEx-offender program. “Support services help reintegrate ex-offenders into Mahoning and Trumbull counties,” Magada said.

ULeague of Champions. The sports program, with four-on-four football and three-on-three basketball. “These are structured, positive activities,” Magada said of the activities that provided the impetus for the formation of Flying High.

Gloria Mathews of the One Stop office in Lisbon worked with Magada on the grant writing.

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