Spalding County Collaborative Awarded Recovery Act Funding to Create Jobs

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The Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children (SCC) is better equipped to deal with issues of poverty thanks to the Strengthening Communities Fund, a new program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

SCC—a member of Georgia Family Connection , the largest statewide network in the nation committed to strengthening children and families—also will use the Recovery Act funding to build a community resource center that will provide the community with a one-stop option to access services.

“The Strengthening Communities Fund is an important part of the overall recovery effort,” said Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Carmen Nazario. “The activities funded under this program will fortify organizations in distressed communities so they can improve their services to people who need jobs and opportunities to secure healthier, more prosperous futures.”

SCC is one of only 35 programs in the nation that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected to receive funding between $765,000 and $1,000,000 in the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program category. The purpose of these grants is to improve the ability of nonprofit organizations to promote the economic recovery of people with low incomes. Health and Human Services has awarded $46 million to 84 grantees under the Strengthening Communities Fund.

“Spalding County has a strong Georgia Family Connection collaborative organization with more than 300 members who have worked together for years to improve the quality of life for families and children,” said SCC Executive Director Joseph Walker . “This grant allows us to work with nonprofit organizations, not only in Spalding County, but with the surrounding eleven counties, whose established goals are to work with the families most in need of job training, job placement, and access to Federal and State benefits.”

SCC will utilize the Strengthening Communities funding to encourage economic development and relieve poverty in Carroll, Coweta, Heard, Troup, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Butts, Lamar, and Upson counties. Communities in this region are historically distressed when compared to state and national rates of poverty, unemployment, and educational attainment, a situation exacerbated by the closing of textile mills in the area. SCC will engage at least 60 nonprofit organizations in a series of 20 capacity-building workshops over 24 months.

Through a competitive process, the PPGS will select the 40 nonprofit organizations for one-on-one technical assistance and financial sub-awards of $15,000 each on a tier-level based on performance outcomes designed to strengthen and expand their organizational capacity.

SCC has a long history of working with nonprofits to improve the health and well-being of children, as well as helping families to be stable and self-sufficient. This funding will enable SCC to increase the operational capacity of 40 local organizations through assessment, planning, training, one-on-one technical assistance, funding, and mentoring. The new community resource center will house participating nonprofit organizations and give members of the community a one-stop option to access services. The center will contribute to the sustainability of nonprofit organizations by providing facilities and potential cost-sharing of operating expenses.

“As we work with these organizations to build their capacity to serve this population, we will help these families reach their goals of being able to take care of their children and to reach a level of self sufficiency,” said Walker.

SCC also will use the grant to leverage membership in the Partners for a Prosperous Griffin Spalding (PPGS)—eight entities that have pledged to come together to support a collaborative process to deal with issues of poverty in the county. PPGS members are:

  • University of Georgia-Griffin Campus,
  • Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children,
  • City of Griffin,
  • Spalding County,
  • Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce,
  • Griffin-Spalding School System,
  • Griffin Technical College, and
  • Spalding Regional Medical Center.

“We are pleased to support nonprofit organizations that train people to land and keep jobs, earn higher wages, and reach economic independence,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This is what the Recovery Act was meant to do—provide the help people need to help themselves.”

The Strengthening Communities Fund is comprised of two programs, both of which will boost the ability of community and faith-based organizations to handle the broad economic recovery issues in their communities, including job training and retention and access to state and Federal benefits. All grants are one-time, two-year awards. The State, Local, and Tribal Government Capacity Building Program provides funds for government entities that in turn work with community-based organizations. The Nonprofit Capacity Building Program funds intermediary agencies that also work with community organizations to enhance their economic recovery activities.

“This is definitely not just a Spalding County collaborative grant,” Said Walker , “but most certainly, one that belongs to the community, a well deserving community that can celebrate with the knowledge that positive change is on its way.”

Visit the Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children Web site.


William Valladares
Communications Coordinator

404-527-7394 (x114)

Regina Abbott
Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children