GE Walk helps agencies at home and abroad

The Northeast Parent and Child Society is $20,000 closer to building a Career Development Center in Schenectady since the GE Education Walk, Friday, Aug. 8.

More than 200 General Electric employees walked and ran three miles through the company's three campuses to raise money for the society, which has helped more than 100,000 children and families.

This is the 120th year that GE has collaborated with Northeast Parent and Child Society to help in several ways, not only through funding.

GE volunteers help us in every way, said Jim Johans, CEO and executive director of Northeast Parent and Child Society.

Johan said the volunteers tutor students and even painted one of the society's schools.

"We want to help youth to live self sufficiently and independently in their communities," Johans said of the reasoning behind building the Career Development Center.

The group carried an Olympic torch replica in honor of the Olympics taking place in Beijing. There were 51 countries represented at the GE walk.

"We're hoping to capture a bit of the Olympic spirit," said GE Spokesman Todd Alhart.

The walk, sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Forum, also benefited schools in Shanghai.

In addition to the funds raised by GE for the Career Development Center, the Northeast Parent and Child Society will also receive money from a grant awarded to the county.

Schenectady County was the recipient of a $750,000 state community development block grant, which will be used toward building the center in the City of Schenectady.

The center, which will be located on the first floor the Northeast Parent and Child Society on Franklin Street, will provide county residents 18-to-24-years-old with job skill training.

Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, said, "This award is a great example of how Schenectady County is partnering with local community organizations to bring needed state and federal funding to Schenectady County to invest in our young people."

The facility would be open to low- and moderate-income adults having trouble locating a job in the region, where the emphasis is on skilled labor.

"Northeast Parent and Child Society recognized the need to provide career services to at-risk youth in the townships and villages throughout Schenectady County," said Northeast's Vice President of Career Development Peter F. Stoll. "We are delighted that the community development block grant will allow us to help these young people support themselves, their families and their community.""

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