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Renamed Richard P. Garmany Fresh Start Academy trains formerly incarcerated people in woodworking, carpentry, sheet-rocking and other related skills

The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has awarded $30,000 to Fresh Start Pallet Products in Hartford, Connecticut, to support Fresh Start Academy, the educational arm of the organization. The Garmany Fund, a donor-advised fund administered by the Hartford Foundation, has granted more than $1 million to assist dozens of civic, cultural, and educational nonprofits in the region.

Fresh Start Academy, founded in 2020, trains students in woodworking, carpentry, sheet-rocking and other related skills through an intensive eight-week program conducted at Fresh Start’s headquarters in Hartford. Thus far, 23 individuals have graduated from the Academy and virtually each one has rapidly gained employment.

Warren Boley, Fresh Start’s chairman, said, “We are most grateful to the Garmany Fund and the Hartford Foundation for their generosity and belief in the importance and future of Fresh Start Academy. In recognition of this commitment, we are pleased to rename the Academy, which will now be the Richard P. Garmany Fresh Start Academy.”

Individuals are referred to the Academy from a variety of sources, including Capitol Workforce Partners, and other agencies committed to helping people to improve their lives through training and education.

Fresh Start Pallet Products, established in 2015, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “Building Furniture and Rebuilding Lives.”  It employs formerly incarcerated individuals, those recovering from addictions, refugees, and others seeking to rebuild their lives.

The Fresh Start shop provides the opportunity for Academy students to receive on-the-job training in building a variety of products, including chairs, benches, tables, and arbors, as well as custom bookcase and entertainment installations for home and office.


The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $894 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit or call 860-548-1888.