Economic opportunity creates a path toward self-sufficiency. The Renaissance Project works to interrupt cycles of intergenerational poverty in New Orleans communities, due to unemployment and underemployment, via youth participation in coordinated workforce development and living wage employment opportunities.
Since 2014, and with support from W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the organization employs 60-70 New Orleans area youth ages 14-21 at a living wage of $10 per hour over the course of eight weeks during the summer. This includes enrichment programming and job readiness training during a one-week boot camp orientation prior to job placement.
Ours is an easily replicated program – provided sites have access to adequate funding sources to support intern wages and benefits; dedicated program staff and leadership; dedicated employment sites/hosts; accountability partners including parents and guardians; community support and involvement via steering committees; selection committees, communications, media and outreach; programmatic partners and service providers.
Previous host businesses and nonprofit organizations include: Ninth Ward Senior Center, Boys Town of Louisiana, Tekrema Center for Arts and Culture, the Renaissance Project, Green Project, Tipitina’s Foundation, St. Roch Market, New Orleans Master Crafts Guild, WWOZ and WBOK radio stations, Camp Restore, Universal Printing and Hewitt Washington and Associates Architects.