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Congressman Neal Announces $2,000,000 for Girls Inc. of the Valley

By October 18, 2023October 20th, 2023No Comments

Holyoke, MA – Today, Congressman Richard E. Neal joined Girls Inc. of the Valley Executive Director Suzanne Parker to announce a $2,000,000 earmark to support the renovation of the Girls Inc. of the Valley headquarters and program center.

The allocation was made possible through Congressionally Direct Spending (CDS) from the Department of Education. Congressman Neal included funding for this project in the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill that was signed into law on December 29, 2022.

“Congress has the fundamental responsibility to oversee the expenditure of the public purse, with earmarking serving as a check on the nation’s spending to ensure regional equity. These funds are highly competitive, and the proposal by Girls Inc. illustrated a worthwhile investment that will help them continue their mission of serving our region’s youth,” said Congressman Neal. “Girls Inc. has a rich history of serving the western Massachusetts community, with roots going back to the Girls Club of Holyoke in 1981. Supporting an organization that inspires our children and provides them with the opportunity to achieve their full potential is certainly an investment that will be of great benefit to the Pioneer Valley.”

“The federal funding that Congressman Neal secured for our program center renovation will allow Girls Inc. of the Valley to complete our work on a beautiful, educational space that the youth of the Valley deserve – even amidst rising construction costs and supply chain disruptions,” said Suzanne Parker, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Valley. “As Congressman Neal is committed to serving the people of the 1st District of Massachusetts, we, too, are committed to serving the youth of Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and beyond. Thanks to the Congressman’s support, participants will have increased access to the resources they need to grow up healthy, educated, and independent.”

With this funding, Girls Inc. of the Valley will be able to complete the $7 million renovation of their 16,000-square-foot facility at 480 Hampden Street in Holyoke. Their new location will serve as their permanent headquarters and program center where they will serve more than 1,000 girls from underserved communities. Students in the organization range from ages 5 to 18 and participate in programs that are offered year-round to help them make better decisions about their health and lifestyles, set and achieve higher academic goals, and put themselves on track to lead independent, successful lives.

Under guidelines issued by the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, members of Congress requested CDS funding for projects in their state for Fiscal Year 2023. CDS requests were restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments, and eligible non-profit entities, were permitted to receive CDS funding.

This project is one of fifteen CDS projects submitted by Congressman Neal, totaling over $20 million in investments throughout the First Congressional District of Massachusetts.