The city of Atlanta, Chick-fil-A and the Coca Cola Foundation have pledged to spend more than $7 million to expand job training programs and build a workforce innovation hub on the Westside.
The money will go to City of Refuge, an Atlanta-based nonprofit.
The Westside area has seen extensive economic growth in the last few years, but there is also concern about affordable housing and equality for the area as it continues to grow.
The city of Atlanta will contribute $1.25 million out of the $7 million, with some of the funds coming from Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, according to a news release from Mayor Kasim Reed’s office. The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency will also work to support the expanded job training programs offered by City of Refuge.
City of Refuge will use the funds to construct and operate an innovative job hub that will teach residents skills for careers in auto tech, retail, the culinary arts, landscaping, security services and HVAC installation and repair, the news release said. The partnership will also establish a computer-coding academy for young adults, and a small business incubator and accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The non-profit helps women and children facing homelessness. Through their emergency shelter and transitional housing, individuals and families can receive on-site health care, engage in activities for children and youth, and gain vocational training and staffing services.
Construction of the more than 20,000-square-foot training center and culinary academy is expected to begin soon, with completion in September 2019.