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CRDA funds Atlantic City youth programs, extends neighborhood policing

CRDA funds Atlantic City youth programs, extends neighborhood policing

Only $5 for 5 months
The Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City

The Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City received a $275,000 matching grant from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to expand its Explore, Learn & Earn program.

ATLANTIC CITY — The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority provided $600,000 in funding Tuesday to two programs that focus on city youth.

The Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City and Turning Point received grants of $275,000 and $325,000, respectively, to help administer vocational and educational programs for Atlantic City youth.

The Explore, Learn & Earn program at the Boys and Girls Club will double in size from 30 to 60 participants. The CRDA grant matches funding from Atlantic County.

The six-month workforce development program, in its second year, provides three course tracks — STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math), hospitality and culinary, and health care — and culminates with industry-recognized certification, said Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City CEO Stephanie Koch. The additional CRDA funding also will allow the club to expand transportation services, Koch said.

Turning Point’s Leaders in Training program is also in its second year. The Rev. Collins Days, of Second Baptist Church, and Joe Jingoli, co-owner of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, started the initiative to help at-risk city youth in 2019, in partnership with the Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, city government, the Fellowship of Churches and Atlantic County, among others.

Nearly 200 youth, ages 14 to 20, will participate in an eight-week program, engaging in community cleanup efforts, workforce development and team-building exercises.

The CRDA Board of Directors also voted to extend the Neighborhood Coordination Officers program through 2021. The NCO program assigns two officers to each of the city’s six wards and three others to social service outreach campaigns to help foster greater community engagement and communication with the department.

Executive Director Matt Doherty said the NCO program has been “very successful” and is “extremely popular in the city.”

“It’s a great program. These officers do a great job, and I’m glad we’re supporting this,” said board member and city resident Gary Hill.

In other business, the CRDA voted to amend its three-year contract with concert organizer LiveNation Entertainment because of the impact the coronavirus had on the summer schedule. Jam band Phish had to cancel a three-day show on the Atlantic City beach in August due to COVID-19.

LiveNation will organize and promote select Atlantic City beach concerts, festivals and events in 2021, 2022 and 2023 based on the terms of the $1.8 million contract approved last year.

The board also approved purchasing and demolishing a property on the beach block of Tennessee Avenue for an amount not to exceed $425,000. The land and building, located at 155 Tennessee Ave., has a listed combined value of $225,000, according to the state tax map.

The property, more commonly known as the Memphis Belle Inn rooming house, is located in the middle of part of the Orange Loop business and entertainment district, named for the three orange-colored deeds in the Monopoly board game.

Contact: 609-272-7222

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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