Fedcap opens Hunts Point headquarters

People who hit barriers in finding a job now have a partner, and also a possible employer, in Fedcap.

The organization, which was founded during the depths of the Great Depression, is working to stave off the current tough economy by opening a brand new Bronx headquarters in the historic Banknote Building at 890 Garrison Avenue in Hunts Point.

Fedcap helps returning military veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and at-risk youth become employable and get back to the workforce.

The project has already created 15 new jobs, and may someday grow to have 150 employees at the Banknote location.

“This opening marks the launch of Fedcap’s commitment to the Bronx,” said Christine McMahon, Fedcap president and CEO. “We could have placed this operation anywhere in the region, but we wanted it to go where it is needed the most.”

The decision to locate the facility in Hunts Point came after research showed that the area in particular had both unemployment and poverty levels well above the state and national average, McMahon said, with unemployment in sections reaching as high as 40 percent.

The BankNote location will house Fedcap’s production mail services, and is already serving customers like the New York City Council, the City University of New York, and Con Edison. The cornerstone of Fedcap is socially responsible outsourcing.

“Fedcap creates permanent jobs that provide a living wage, medical benefits, and hopeful futures for local people in New York, New Jersey, and Washington D.C.,” McMahon said. “But jobs alone are not enough to break the cycles of poverty and need.”

Since this is the case, Fedcap reaches out to communities and their organizations to understand their comprehensive challenges, and partners with other non-profits and agencies, targeting communities that have a high percentage of adults with barriers to unemployment.

“We are here to partner with hundreds of organizations that are dedicated to the people of the Bronx,” Lyell Ritchie, a vice president at Fedcap. “We want to work with them to help people here achieve economic stability.”

Former Mayor David Dinkins, who spoke at the ribbon cutting, remarked that he believed strongly in the mission of Fedcap, although he was just now learning about the organization.

Before cutting the ribbon, Dinkins said that he admired the organization and all that it does to help people, especially the formerly incarcerated, one of his causes.

In addition to the mail processing, a home health aide training program, presently located in Manhattan, will set up shop in the borough. About 375 clients are being cared for by Fedcap at homes all around the city.

It is easier to train home care health aides closer to home, said Aisha Lewis, director of the home heath aide training program at Fedcap. Her students will benefit by being able to work in their home borough, Lewis said.

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