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Each Nonprofit Will Receive $200,000 in Flexible Funding and Leadership Training to Advance Economic Mobility in Greater Hartford

November 13, 2023 | Hartford, CT – Bank of America today announced Prudence Crandall Center and Forge City Works as the 2023 Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work advancing economic mobility and building up underserved neighborhoods in Greater Hartford. Through this multi-year grant funding and extensive leadership training for the nonprofits’ leadership, programs and services addressing domestic violence and workforce development will be able to expand.

The Neighborhood Builders program is one of the largest philanthropic investments into nonprofit leadership development in the nation, providing comprehensive leadership training for an executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling, and the opportunity to join a national network of peer organizations. Each Neighborhood Builder is also awarded a $200,000 grant over two years

“Nonprofits are vital to solving social challenges, improving communities and promoting economic advancement across Greater Hartford,” said Joe Gianni, president, Bank of America Greater Hartford. “Providing Prudence Crandall Center and Forge City Works with flexible funding and leadership training will directly impact survivors of domestic violence in our community, fight food insecurity, and create career pathways for underserved individuals. Congratulations to this year’s Neighborhood Builders and we look forward to continued partnership with both organizations as they help build a more equitable, brighter future for Greater Hartford.”

For 50 years, New Britain-based Prudence Crandall Center (PCC) has been a leader in our state’s efforts to reduce the devasting impacts of domestic violence (DV) in the lives of survivors, children, and our communities. As the first DV agency in our state, and one of the first nationwide, the agency has been at the forefront of developing compassionate, comprehensive services to address the emotional, physical, and legal impacts of abuse. The COVID-19 crisis brought incredible challenges as more people reached out for help than ever before – at times reaching 250% of capacity in their emergency shelter, one of the largest in the state. As they enter this next chapter of unprecedented need and growth, Neighborhood Builders funding will support strategic investments in expanding housing options and children’s services, addressing the most critical needs of the survivors and families they serve at this time.

“We’re incredibly honored to receive the prestigious Neighborhood’s Builder’s award,” said Barbara Damon, President & CEO, Prudence Crandall Center. “Our Bank of America friends have partnered in our work for more than a decade. That support has been especially critical the past few years, as we’ve faced an outpouring of need like never before in our history. This vital funding allows us to rise to that challenge – especially, in our housing and shelter programs.”

Forge City Works (FCW), headquartered in Hartford, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to not only enhancing food accessibility but also delivering job training opportunities to empower individuals facing employment obstacles in establishing lasting careers within the food and hospitality industry. By utilizing food as a catalyst for fostering social and economic growth, FCW combats food insecurity in Hartford, which is the most food-insecure community in the state. Additionally, FCW strives to create sustainable career paths for those who are unemployed or underemployed. Support from the Neighborhood Builders program will enable FCW to expand its job training program and social enterprise restaurant Fire by Forge, as well as expand its development and operations department.

“We are truly grateful for the partnership with the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders program, as it will be a transformative force in advancing our mission at Forge City Works,” said Ben Dubow,  Executive Director, Forge City Works. “With their support, we can now amplify our impact, further  combating food insecurity and empowering individuals with career opportunities in the food industry.”

The invitation-only program is highly competitive. Nonprofits are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Builders awardees. In Greater Hartford, Bank of America has selected 33 nonprofits as Neighborhood Builders to date, investing $6.6 million in these local organizations.

Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $300 million in nearly 100 communities across the U.S., partnered with more than 1,600 nonprofits, and helped more than 3,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills through the Neighborhood Builders and Champions program.



Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use  online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BAC).

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Prudence Crandall Center

Established in 1973, PCC was the first DV program in our state and opened the first emergency safe shelter. Today, PCC’s continuum of comprehensive services includes 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency safe shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, housing placement services, civil and criminal court advocacy, counseling, and community education and prevention services. PCC serves the communities of Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, Kensington, New Britain, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington, and Terryville, with housing programs open to survivors and their families state-wide. For additional information or to donate, please visit To access the 24-hour hotline, call or text 888-774-2900. All services are free and confidential.

Forge City Works

Forge City Works (FCW), based in Hartford C T, is a non-profit organization that champions comprehensive job training and the development of social enterprises within the food and hospitality sector. FCW empowers disengaged youth and other individuals by equipping them with essential skills for sustainable careers. Focused on leveraging food as a catalyst, FCW also addresses food insecurity in Hartford, the state’s most food-insecure town, and is committed to reshaping its community and workforce for a brighter future. FCW operates several social enterprise businesses that drive its mission: Fire by Forge Restaurant, Fire by Forge Catering, The Lyceum Event & Conference Center, and the soon-to-open The Grocery on Broad. For more information, please visit

Reporters may contact:
Juan Soto, Bank of America
Phone: 1.646.855.5252
Johany Bedon, Forge City Works