Local efforts to boost educational opportunities and career paths for young people helped Albuquerque land up to $1.2 million in funding as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program, Mayor Richard Berry said Monday.
Albuquerque is one of 12 cities nationwide, including Boston and Los Angeles, along with two Israeli cities, that won awards from the foundation started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to create teams charged with tackling problems of job growth, poverty and public safety.
“Bloomberg Philanthropies is validating what is going on, they are seeing us (Albuquerque) as innovators, and they’re bringing additional resources to bear for us to continue the work that’s already going on,” Berry said at a news conference Monday.
The city will be granted $400,000 annually for three years to create an “innovation team” that will study education and employment and identify ways the city can make improvements.
“The i-team will provide Albuquerque with a clear-headed approach and resources to identify gaps in Albuquerque’s decision-making infrastructure in regards to education and employment opportunities,” city spokeswoman Rhiannon Schroeder said in a release.
Among innovative efforts in Albuquerque are Running Start for Careers, a public/private partnership designed to give high school students access to industry-taught curricula, and Homework Diner, a school-based initiative that helps elementary-age kids and their parents with homework tutoring, Berry said.
The grant was possible because of a public/private partnership between the city and New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union. The credit union paid one of its vice presidents, Robin Brule, while she worked with the mayor’s office and wrote the grant, Berry said.
Brule said the city will receive the money in a couple of months as its begins identifying projects the innovation team will work on. Berry expects the city will recruit a couple of additional mayor’s office staffers in the next two months to work on the team.
By: Rosalie Rayburn (Albuquerque Journal)
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