Job Training and Small Business Support

It's About More Than Housing

Hudson River Housing’s economic development work is focused on implementation of a targeted community wealth building strategy for the City of Poughkeepsie. 

“Community wealth building is a systems approach to economic development that creates an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership. Community Wealth Building calls for developing place-based assets of many kinds, working collaboratively, tapping large sources of demand, and fostering economic institutions and ecosystems of support for enterprises rooted in community.” – The Democracy Collaborative

As an agency, we already strive to create opportunities for wealth building by providing affordable housing and connections to job training and employment opportunities. The concept of Community Wealth Building provides us with a more comprehensive lens for focusing and evaluating our work to help create a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Hudson River Housing’s vision of community wealth building leverages local expertise in arts and culture, healthcare, education and culinary industries, key sectors in our local economy. 

Within and around the Main Street Corridor, Hudson River Housing is pairing community and commercial space with residential space and focused programming, assuring that as the city grows and is revitalized, a mixed‐use, neighborhood‐scale community will continue to thrive as one of Poughkeepsie’s greatest assets.


Employment Assistance & Training Station

Hudson River Housing’s Charles S. North Employment Assistance & Training Station (EATS)

Through EATS, we create links to employment and provide wrap-around services in a welcoming environment. Currently we operate two employment training programs, assist with job searches and resumes, and partner with local employers to hire youth and adults.  

Culinary Training Program

Our 80-hour Culinary Training Program places unemployed adults in training positions with food businesses operating out of the Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen, a shared‐use commercial kitchen located within the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory. Participants learn all aspects of culinary arts from food prep, presentation, sanitization, customer service and more, preparing them with new skills and confidence to re-enter the workforce in the growing Hudson Valley hospitality industry. Participants work a flexible schedule and earn a $400 stipend upon completion of the program, as well as NYS Food Handling & Serv Safe Certification.

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Upcycle Workforce Training Social Enterprise

Upcycle is an HRH-led social enterprise that designs, produces, markets and sells products made from reclaimed materials. Participants in the 80-hour Upcycle Training Program take part in productive, hands-on activities; gain confidence and skill building, have an outlet for creative expression through the arts, and learn job and money management skills. Participants work a flexible schedule and earn a $400 stipend upon completion of the program.

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Youth Employment

Teen-Shirt Youth Business Lab Program

This October, HRH is starting a business lab program centered around custom t-shirt printing that seeks to engage up to 20 youth between the ages of 14-18. “Teen-Shirt” will be a structured, 10-week, after-school program with a curriculum centered around creating an understanding of the fundamental basics of business and the development of entrepreneurial and leadership skills. Throughout the duration of the program, participants will learn about business activities associated with launching a new product line while also building complementary skills such as leadership and management, team work and collaboration, public engagement and communication, and resilience. Participants will also receive a program stipend of $20 a week for their attendance, earning $200 over the ten-week period.

Two 2-hr sessions will be facilitated weekly, one serving 10 middle school students, and another that will serve 10 high school students. The program will be run out of HRH’s shared-use commercial space, Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory (PUF) Studios, and will be overseen by HRH Care Manager and local artist Anita Kiewra with assistance from HRH Main Street Stewardship Coordinator Anthony Slade, HRH Studio Apprentice Kristen Mercy, and an intern from Dutchess County Community College.

Teen-Shirt will provide after-school enrichment focused on career and educational development, positive adult role models, stronger connections to their community, and a safe place for youth to explore their interests and chart pathways into the future. Under the supervision of “Teen-Shirt” program instructors, participants will work collectively to create and market a brand, engage potential customers, and finalize sales. The program will culminate in a pop-up shop recognition event held at PUF where the participants will have the opportunity to showcase and sell their product to the community

For more information email Anthony Slade at aslade@hudsonriverhousing.

Small Business Support

Made in Middle Main

The Made in Middle Main Business Network is a membership‐based small business network. Focused on preserving and strengthening the small businesses of Poughkeepsie’s Main Street corridor, Made in Middle Main offers business development training, marketing support, and a supportive peer community. Members have the option to pay dues and take part in a participatory decision‐making process on how to use those funds for neighborhood improvements.

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Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen (P.O.K.)

The Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen is a membership‐based small business network. The Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen is a shared-use commercial kitchen that rents space by the hour to food entrepreneurs to launch or grow their business. In addition to providing low‐cost, professional work space, the Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen offers business training, marketing support, retail outlets, and a supportive peer community.

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