• Made possible in partnership with Charlotte Works and St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church
  • One of 30 employment resource sites across Charlotte housed within community nonprofits
  • Career center opening celebration held March 3 at 10 a.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., February 25, 2016 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership (DreamKey Partners), along with Charlotte Works and St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church (SLMBC), is celebrating the opening of a new career center on Norris Avenue in the historic Druid Hills neighborhood.

Located just two miles northwest of Uptown Charlotte and housed within SLMBC, the center will offer community youth and job seekers workforce development services and resources including career training and counseling, résumé creation assistance, computer lab, Internet connectivity, job board, educational literature/materials and access to Spanish interpreters.

Based on 2012 Quality of Life Survey from the City of Charlotte, 71 percent of Druid Hills residents are underemployed, 52 percent receive government assistance, more than half lack a high school diploma and a disproportionate number of households are without Internet access or the proper computer equipment. The annual median household income in Druid Hills is $17,000 compared to Mecklenburg County’s average of $55,000.

“The generous support of NeighborWorks America has enabled DreamKey Partners to work holistically to create meaningful improvements in the quality of life in Druid Hills’ residents,” said Julie Porter, president of DreamKey Partners. “The Career Center will connect residents to training and jobs and enable them to participate in Charlotte’s economic growth. We are thrilled to be able to support such a worthy and important effort and are grateful for St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and Charlotte Works for their collaboration.”

The center is part of local workforce development board Charlotte Works’ network of career centers located within community nonprofits called CARE3, which stands for Community Access to Resources that Engage, Empower, Employ. There are approximately 30 CARE3 sites, which extend NCWorks Career Center services into neighborhoods, across the Charlotte area equipped with computers and trained volunteers.

“Collaborating with St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church was an easy decision. We both have a common goal to ensure that Druid Hills’ residents have resources to seek employment and become self-sufficient,” said Debra Dixon White, community partnerships manager with Charlotte Works. “This is an opportunity to eliminate employment barriers facing many residents.”

Funding came from a $500,000 grant DreamKey Partners received from NeighborWorks® America – a national, congressionally-chartered nonprofit that supports community development nationwide – for its comprehensive revitalization program in the Druid Hills neighborhood. The area’s revitalization has been an ongoing effort since the 1990s with DreamKey Partners acquiring vacant lots and rehabilitating parcel by parcel, most recently building three single-family homes last fall – with four additional in the planning phase – for individuals who earn less than 80 percent of area median income to help preserve affordability.

Adjacent from the Brightwalk community, the career center – located in St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, 1600 Norris Avenue – will be operated by trained volunteers and open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and Wednesdays from 4-7:30 p.m.

The grand opening celebration will be held Thursday, March 3, at 10 a.m. Various project representatives and community leaders will play a role in the dedication program including Julie Porter, president of DreamKey Partners, The Honorable Patsy Kinsey, city council district 1 representative, Pastor Clifford Matthews of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and Debra Dixon White with Charlotte Works.

ABOUT DreamKey Partners

DreamKey Partners is a broad-based, private, nonprofit housing development and financial corporation organized in 1988 to expand affordable and well-maintained housing and promote stable neighborhoods for low- and moderate-income families in the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The agency provides assistance to residents of its properties to more fully enter the economic mainstream and achieve independence. For more information, please visit CMHP.org.

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