Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP) was selected by the U.S. Bank Foundation to receive a $50,000 grant as part of a $1 million investment to 20 nonprofits. The U.S. Bank Foundation is supporting emerging leaders and community-led solutions to address economic disparities.
The chosen organizations are in both rural and metro communities. They focus on supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners; workforce development programs; and financial inclusion efforts for individuals and families as solutions to wealth building.
“We are dedicated to empowering our communities by listening to those who lived experience and supporting their idea on how to address racial and economic inequities and creating lasting change,” Nicole Bascomb-Green, of U.S. Bank Community Affairs for Washington State, said in a release. “In addition to the funding, we are exploring ways to support these leaders and organizations by creating points of connection and access as well as opportunities to build their networks. We look forward to learning from these leaders as we continue to work to break down traditional power dynamics in philanthropy.”
The $50,000 will fund a new immersion program for Title 1 elementary and middle-school students in the Skyway/West-Hill neighborhoods that sit in unincorporated King County with limited resources. Starting this fall, a series of 10 events will get students in front of career, education, and economic opportunities covering the industries of STEM, healthcare, construction/trades, transportation, arts, food/entertainment, government, and business. Immersion events like “Doctor Day” will allow students to learn about the medical field from doctors and medical professionals who come from similar backgrounds as the students.
RIZP executive director Ryan Quigtar said in release that Skyway is an area surrounded by abundant development but doesn’t have many employment opportunities. Therefore, students don’t always receive exposure to the many economic sectors developing at a rapid pace.
“In order to increase economic mobility for our youth, they must be able to see themselves in these roles,” he said.
Every week since September, RIPZ has hosted a Skyway Resource pop-up designed to bring community resources and services to the Skyway community. The pop-up includes behavioral health, food resources, house, and rental assistance, PPE care kits, diapers, books, school supplies, early childhood resources, child developmental screening, and more. RIPZ has also helped grow and sustain weekly food distributions for the neighborhood.