The ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards recognize excellence in innovation and programming by local community centers. Launched in 2011, the Innovation Awards are hosted through a joint partnership between ARAMARK, United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) and the Alliance for Children and Families (Alliance) and are open to member organizations of either of these organizations. These awards celebrate and accelerate program models that are improving lives, supporting families, and strengthening communities.
The ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards are part of ARAMARK Building Community, the company’s global philanthropic and volunteer program, which enriches the lives of families in need by strengthening the capacity of local community centers.
Since 2008, through ARAMARK Building Community, the company has invested over $7 million to support community centers and help individuals prepare for and connect to jobs; live healthier lifestyles; or have safer, more inspiring community gathering places. More than 15,000 ARAMARK employees have participated in over 500 volunteer educational programs and events impacting the lives of over 3 million individuals and families in 50 cities around the world. For more information “Like” ARAMARK Building Community on Facebook.
ARAMARK recognizes that community centers address some of the nation’s toughest challenges, especially during hard economic times. Whether it is providing for basic needs like food to the hungry and shelter to families who’ve lost their homes; or forward-facing initiatives such as afterschool and job training programs for teens and adults, community centers are experts at strengthening our local communities and tailoring their programs to respond to ever-changing needs. United Neighborhood Centers of America and the Alliance for Children and Families and their member organizations are at the forefront of the effort to develop creative solutions to persistent problems.
In 2011, ARAMARK, UNCA and the Alliance joined efforts to establish an awards program that would identify and share innovative programming that responds to issues common to many communities across the country. The ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards focus on celebrating and accelerating solutions and program models that are improving lives, supporting families, and strengthening communities.
ARAMARK has granted a total of $200,000 through the ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards since 2011. Each winning organization for the Innovation Awards in Workforce Readiness received a $20,000 grant to accelerate its innovative program. The winner of the Peter B. Goldberg ARAMARK Building Community Executive Leadership Award received a $40,000 grant that will be directed to the recipient’s community center to develop further programming and innovation.
The Innovation Awards for Workforce Readiness programmatic awards focus on preparing people for, and connecting them to jobs. These three competitive award categories include:
An external panel of professionals judged the applications and the process was supervised and managed by UNCA and the Alliance. This selection committee chose one winner and two finalists in each of the three categories. Please see the award descriptions for criteria the selection committee considered in each category.
The ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards for Workforce Readiness judges include:
The award honors one outstanding community center executive director/CEO for active voice and leadership on behalf of the community center movement. Any individual may nominate a current executive director of an UNCA or Alliance member organization in good standing who:
This award is named in honor of Peter B. Goldberg, who served as president and CEO of the Alliance and CEO of UNCA for a number of years until his death on August 12, 2011. Due to his passion for the role that community leaders can play in revitalizing neighborhoods, Peter was instrumental in the creation of this award.
Any individual was able to nominate a current executive director of an UNCA or Alliance member organization in good standing. Nominees’ agencies were asked to complete a short questionnaire and dossier to confirm eligibility. Qualified nominees were then vetted and verified through an internal executive leadership panel of Alliance, UNCA, ARAMARK and external representatives. Finalists were identified based on pre-determined criteria and an external committee selected the winner. The Peter B. Goldberg ARAMARK Building Community Executive Leadership Award judges include:
Unemployment, underemployment and workforce readiness continue to be key issues in today's society and in building strong families and thriving communities. The ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards for Workforce Readiness recognize community centers’ efforts to prepare people for the workforce, and connect them to meaningful jobs.
Community centers have long been at the forefront of creating strong and collaborative programs dedicated to removing barriers that limit peoples’ ability to find and keep jobs and improve their quality of life. By focusing on addressing this major community issue, the awards aim to highlight best-in-class programs that will serve as examples to help other community centers worldwide develop new breakthrough programs, revitalize neighborhoods and help people thrive.
Each winner in the ARAMARK Building Community Innovation Awards for Workforce Readiness categories received a $20,000 grant to accelerate its innovative program. The winner of the Peter B. Goldberg ARAMARK Building Community Executive Leadership Award received a $40,000 grant directed to the recipient’s community center.
Nearly 70 organizations participated in the ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards application process.
Only members (current, and in good standing) of the Alliance for Children and Families or United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) were eligible to apply for these awards. For information about joining UNCA or the Alliance, contact: Ian Bautista at ibautista(at)unca.org (UNCA) and/or Carol Rybak at crybak(at)alliance1.org (Alliance).
No. We understand there are organizations that are members of both UNCA and the Alliance, but the competition was equally open to all members of both networks. Applications were not weighted based on membership. A panel of judges from UNCA, the Alliance, ARAMARK and other leaders in the field judged each application solely on the information submitted.
Only one program per individual organization per year was considered for a workforce readiness award. Organizations that were eligible for more than one award were advised to choose the best representation of an innovative workforce readiness program. Agencies whose executive directors were nominated for a leadership award could also submit a workforce readiness award application.
Yes. The ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards recognize the outstanding work being done in existing programs. The program must have taken place during 2011 and be recurring in 2012.
For the purpose of these awards, a community center has the following characteristics:
Yes. Community centers that applied for the ARAMARK Building Community 2012 Innovation Awards can apply for the 2013 Awards as long as they meet the membership criteria for UNCA or the Alliance.
Yes. Finalists in 2012 will be encouraged to show continued program growth and innovation in their 2013 application.
Please visit www.aramarkbuildingcommunity.com for detailed information on the winners and the honorable mentions in each category.
The Alliance and UNCA are collaborating on efforts to administer this award program. To maintain consistency and efficiency, all applications and questions should be directed to Jerica Broeckling at JBroeckling(at)UNCA.org or (414) 359-6605.