The mayors of Baltimore, MD, Little Rock, AR and West Sacramento, CA have been recognized with top honors in an awards program administered by The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Presented Monday at USCM’s 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the 2015 CommunityWINS (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) Grant Program includes monetary grants to city-based non-profit organizations and recognizes mayors for exemplary leadership in developing local programs that promote long-term economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for residents in three categories: neighborhood stabilization, economic development and job creation.
An independent panel of judges, selected by USCM, determined the winning cities from a pool of 162 applicants in three populations groups — small, medium and large.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was presented $300,000 on behalf of Civic Works, Inc. for its work with Growing Green Tracks Team — a collaborative effort to address blight and improve the city's image of Baltimore as is seen by millions of passengers along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
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Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola was presented $150,000 on behalf of Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind for its Employment for Individuals Who Are Blind — Inclement Weather Outer Layer (IWOL) project, which offers employment for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and provides funding for training and machinery accommodations.
West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon was presented $150,000 on behalf of the West Sacramento Foundation in support of the FutureReady program, which connects students studying engineering, science and technology to work-based learning internships and job training.
Additional Outstanding Achievement awards also were presented to: Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on behalf of Newark Community Economic Development Corporation ($75,000); Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt on behalf of NeighborWorks Green Bay ($50,000); and Lima, OH Mayor David Berger on behalf of Lima-Allen County Neighborhoods in Partnership ($50,000).
The Grants were presented by Martin Sundquist, executive director at Wells Fargo Housing Foundation.
USCM has a history of partnering with the private sector to advance innovation. In 2014, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced it would fund a five-year program for innovation in U.S. manufacturing and launch it in collaboration with the USCM. The fund provides grants to innovators in the manufacturing sector and seeks to create new processes, ideas and jobs that support the country’s growing manufacturing footprint.